Appearing Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, National Public Radio senior news contributor Cokie Roberts criticized Republican efforts to pass voter ID legislation, calling increased restrictions of voting rights “downright evil:”
[H]aving grown up in the deep south in the era of Jim Crow, the difference is dramatic. The fact that Andy Young was Mayor of Atlanta and John Lewis is a member of Congress from Georgia, is a great testament to the fact that when you do something like pass a voting rights bill, that it makes a difference.
Which is why, at the moment, what’s going on about voting rights, is downright evil. Because it is something that really needs to keep going forward, not backward.
Liberals like Roberts see the voter ID laws and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as a Republican plot to suppress minority voting, when it’s really about preventing vote fraud—which even Chris Matthews has admitted exists.
With black voter turnout in 2012 at 66%—two percentage points higher than whites, despite voter ID laws—it’s hard to see where the suppression is, or how, in Roberts’ words, we are going backward.