Trump's voter suppression effort takes hold in Republican-controlled states – Daily Kos

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BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, pose for a photo following their meeting with president-elect at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Donald Trump with his voter suppression chief, Kris Kobach of Kansas

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Less than 56 percent of Americans cast ballots in the 2016 election, but that’s not low enough for many Republican-controlled legislatures across the country. Eight states have now passed or are implementing new voter suppression laws that will reduce rather than increase voting participation in the U.S.

Voter suppression efforts are gaining momentum from popular vote loser Donald Trump’s delusional claim that several million fraudulent votes were cast for Hillary Clinton. Yet somehow, when Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was recently trying to build a case for his new voter ID law in the “Show-Me” State, he could only cite one potential instance of fraud in the last half dozen years. NBC’s Jane Timm writes:

“We know it’s happened,” said Ashcroft, 44, noting that he didn’t have any hard numbers, although he cited a 2010 incident in which a couple claimed a false address on their voter registration forms to vote in a primary election. “How many are an OK number? Is it OK to have one or two?”

The Republican secretary of state didn’t mention that the new law he’s traveling the state to promote — aimed at combating voter impersonation — wouldn’t have stopped the couple, a fact his office later confirmed. […]

At least 99 bills to restrict access to the polls have been introduced (or have been carried over from previous sessions) in 31 states this year; that’s already more than double the number last year, according to data compiled by the Brennan Center. Voter ID — requiring voters to prove who they are with identifying documents — is the most common requirement, but changes to the voter registration process, such as asking people to prove their U.S. citizenship, are a close second.

Ashcroft isn’t the only GOP secretary of state who’s had a hard time documenting “widespread” fraud—he’s joined by none other than Kansas’ Kris Kobach, who’s now co-leading Trump’s national effort to suppress the votes of those who cast a ballot against him.

The Brennan Center points to Kobach’s own 2013 review (since taken offline) of 84 million votes cast in 22 states, where he found just 14 instances of fraud sent on to prosecutors. 

Sure sounds like a pressing issue.