Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall reports that GOP suppression of Democratic votes may be a leading motive behind the white house/Gonzales purge of federal prosecutors:
The story emerging is that at least some of these US Attorneys were fired because they weren’t aggressive enough in investigating Democratic ‘voter fraud’. Like I said last night, I’ve been reporting on this stuff for years. And this is a horse that shouldn’t even be let out of the gate. It’s become standard operating procedure for Republican operatives to whip up charges of ‘voter fraud’. And some of them even believe it. But the claims are almost universally bogus. And the real intent in most cases is to stymie get out the vote efforts or shut down voter registration drives — mainly, though not exclusively, in minority voting precincts.
Marshall provides a gateway link to his extensive reportage on the topic here.
Perhaps the Republicans were hoping that trumped up voter fraud charges against Dems would strengthen the case for the voter identification bills being hyped by the GOP in the states. As Christopher Drew reported in Feb 21 New York Times on the findings of a recent study by the federal Election Assistance Administration:
States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities…
In the unlikely event that the Republicans want to open up an honest dialogue about voter fraud and suppression, Dems will have more than enough to talk about given the GOP’s long, embarrassing history. For a pretty good introduction to voter fraud issues, click here. Note also that a Yahoo search of “GOP voter suppression” and “Republican Voter Suppression” each brings up more than 1,000 hits, compared to 78 for “Democratic voter suppression.”