This is something I’ve brought up at various times when we cover “voter suppression” stories (which is MSM code for voter ID laws or anything intended to enhance the integrity of the voting system) but never bothered to quantify extensively. Francis Barry at Bloomberg, however, digs into the question of where the real hotbeds of voter suppression are to be found, even using the definitions favored by the Left, and they’re not in the deep south or any of the states covered by the Voting Rights Act. Nope… it’s right here in New York. If you take the things which outrage liberals the most in terms of voting laws and compile them into a list you will learn that New York rings the bell on almost every one.
Barry starts off with a few of the most common examples. (Emphasis added)
New York is the worst state for independents, bar none. Most states, including North Carolina, hold some form of open primary or caucus that allows independents to participate. Not New York, where independents outnumber Republicans. Voter suppression begins with eligibility, and New York’s parties have long history of trying to minimize participation in primaries…
It’s not just independents who face challenges in New York. The North Carolina law struck down by the courts would have reduced early voting to 10 days from 17. But New York (like a dozen other states) has no early voting at all. If you’re counting at home, 10 days of early voting is a voting-rights violation, but zero days of early voting is just fine with the federal courts.
As Barry explains, we’re dealing with a concept known as “retrogression” in terms of the Voting Rights Act. You can’t pass any new laws which make anyone worse off in terms of voting, but that only applies to new laws which are then eligible for review. But if, as the author describes it, you never passed any laws making voting better for anyone in the first place then you don’t have to answer any questions. You’re essentially grandfathered into the system. So New York offers zero days of early voting, no same day registration (you have to register at least three weeks before the election) and independents don’t vote in primaries where the only seriously viable candidates are selected. (For the record, you have to register to join one of the parties eleven months before any primary election.)
Here’s the icing on the cake: the New York City Board of Elections invalidated 78,000 affidavit ballots cast last November. That means that in a single swoop they wiped out the votes of more people than the total number of voters in 86 of the 100 counties in North Carolina.
So why aren’t we hearing screaming from the rooftops about this horribly unfair, biased system which is surely bad for women and minorities? Because Democrats win the elections in New York, and if that’s the case, why upset the apple cart? Despite the fact that New York is doing virtually all of the things which liberals repeatedly tell us make it harder for their base to vote, their track record in New York is the gold standard so all of those “abuses” are just fine.
It’s not that I agree with the basic assumption that all of these things are bad, mind you. Early voting distorts the results because voters may not have crucial information which is yet to come when they cast their ballots. Same day registration opens the door to all manner of potential fraud which will most likely never be detected unless someone does a full (and very expensive) audit ever year. If you can’t be bothered to go register as late as a few weeks before election day you weren’t that interested in voting anyway. And you shouldn’t be voting in the party primaries if you’re not a member of the party. They are private clubs in that regard.
But all of the things Barry is bringing up are worth highlight because they point out the inherent hypocrisy of these “voter suppression” arguments from the left. They only want to change the system in states where they tend to lose. All of these evils are suddenly not so “unfair” if they take place in blue states where they win.