The recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act is bound to bring voter ID laws back into the media discussion. And, unfortunately, that means some of these discussions will suffer from a familiar problem: The unwillingness to point out that the problem such laws are allegedly fighting–voter fraud– doesn't exist.
Independent media outlets have basically owned the ALEC story over the past few years. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a corporate-sponsored "bill mill" that works with state legislatures to pass the kinds of laws corporations want. Thanks to investigations in Mother Jones, the Nation, Extra! and continued attention from the likes of AlterNet and ThinkProgress, a group that prefers to work in the shadows has been exposed to a harsh spotlight. And the group doing much of the hard work to expose ALEC–the Center for Media & Democracy–has pushed many of the group's corporate backers to bail out. So […]
Stories about new state voter ID laws should, at a minimum, explain that the problem the laws supposedly address–voter fraud–doesn't really exist. On that count, a New York Times report (4/30/12) by Michael Shear failed, since it presented the issue as a partisan dispute. On the one hand, Democrats complain: Many of the laws in question–including the ones in Florida and Wisconsin–are the subject of legal challenges by Democratic groups who say they are part of a partisan, Republican effort to dampen the turnout of voters, particularly members of minority groups, for Mr. Obama and his party. While on the […]