Georgia’s “exact match” name laws disproportionately affect minorities, who are refused their right to vote because of a backwards conservative “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist. With incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent, “voter fraud” is a debunked conservative myth.
The “exact match” laws put registered voters on a “pending registration” list if the name on their registration doesn’t exactly match the name on their license, including hyphens, apostrophes and spaces.
In Georgia, where roughly 31 percent of residents are African American, nearly 72 percent of registered voters placed on the “pending registration” list were African American. Just under 10 percent of the people on the list were white.
According to The Brennan Center’s seminal report on the non-issue, it is more likely that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”
And yet, as Republican candidates for Secretary of State debated, “voter fraud” was the biggest issue. This just goes to show if another Republican is elected, Brian Kemp’s legacy of forgoing research to concentrate on racist voter suppression policies and fear-mongering will continue.
During the debate, former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle held up a bottle of water and said “You don’t need to know how big the hole in this water bottle is to know it needs to be plugged,” metaphorically speaking of voter fraud in Georgia. Belle Isle likely knows that “voter fraud” is a non-issue, which is why he sticks to showy gestures instead of facts.
A comprehensive study done in 2014 by the Washington Post found only 31 credible instances of voter fraud out of one billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014.
The conservative obsession with a myth that has been so thoroughly debunked would be laughable, except that they’re using it to justify their crusade to strip away rights from predominately minority voters.
“Exact match” name laws, voter ID laws, map rigging and voter roll purges are all coded ways of saying “voter suppression.” This year, we must elect Georgia officials who will fight for more voter engagement rather than fighting to stop registered voters from exercising their Constitutional rights.