Governor needs a dictionary and a civics refresher course
Texas Tribune writer Ross Ramsey does a good job in the column linked below of catching Governor Greg Abbott in a gross misrepresentation (lie is too ugly a word) about voter fraud in Texas. It seems the governor needs to pull his head out of the political sand long enough to get an education in how to use a dictionary – or fact check his own political claims.
Abbott was asked Monday to respond to a remark that President Obama made in Austin last week during a Texas Tribune interview at South by Southwest Interactive. “The folks who are governing the good state of Texas aren’t interested in having more people participate (in voting),” the president said.
Abbott responded that Obama and other leaders of his party are “against efforts to crack down on voter fraud.”
“The fact is that voter fraud is rampant,” the governor added. “In Texas, unlike some other states and unlike some other leaders, we are committed to cracking down on voter fraud.”
Ramsey, however, cited a study of voting in Texas between 2000 and 2011. During those elections, 35.8 million votes were cast and only 104 cases of voter fraud were detected. That is fewer than three cases of fraud per 1 million votes – three too many but hardly a “rampant” number.
President Obama was correct. Members of the governor’s political party fought long and hard to enact Texas’ voter identification law, less to combat voter fraud than to make it more difficult for many Hispanics, African Americans, low-income people and the elderly to vote. Those are the people most likely to vote for President Obama’s party and less likely to have the required photo IDs.
The real fraud is in the voter ID law and in claims that it was enacted to combat fraud.
Some states are making it easier for people to vote. Texas has deliberately gone the other way.
While he is looking for his dictionary, it also wouldn’t hurt for the governor to sign up for a refresher course in American government and civics, where he should have learned from an early age about the basic importance of voting – not politically motivated voting restrictions — to the American way of life.