Co-opting election fraud

Here's two phrases: "vote fraud" and "voter fraud." Know the difference?

The first one alludes to systematic problems within the voting system, such as problems with electronic voting and voter disenfranchisement; the second one is the phrase used by conservatives to discredit voting rights advocates and imply that people who aren't supposed to be voting are voting and tipping elections all over the country.

Incredible, but true, and the conservative side of the story is getting a lot of ink (or the digital version of ink) these days. In an article on TomPaine.com, Steven Carbó details some of the tactics being used to disenfranchise voters, including recent legislation that has passed in Georgia requiring a state ID to vote. The problem with this? A greater majority of lower-income and senior citizens do not have state-issued identification, most often a drivers' license, and thus wouldn't be allowed to vote.

It's important when talking about these issues to not fall victim to reinforcing a conservative frame, and to make sure that we continue to talk about disenfranchisement for what it is: a civil rights issue dealing with race and class that we need to continue to continue to fight for. To find out what's going on in your state around election/voting reform, visit Verified Voting for easy-to-use information and action alert.

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