The voter purge myth
This article by David Harsanyi is excellent and makes it clear (as have many other articles) that the claims by Stacey Abrams and many other Democrats about losing elections due to voter suppression via improper purging of voter rolls is utter nonsense.
Maggie Haberman, the esteemed New York Times reporter, recently tweeted out a Mother Jones article to 1.2 million followers titled: “GOP-Led Voter Purges in Wisconsin and Georgia Could Tip 2020 Elections.” The chilling piece warns readers that “hundreds of thousands of voters are set to be purged in two key swing states,” which “potentially” gives Republicans “a crucial advantage by shrinking the electorate” in those states.
None of this, of course, is true. Cynical pieces of this genre, an election-time tradition at this point, only allow Democrats to warn of widespread disenfranchisement and preemptively give aggrieved Democrats such as Stacey Abrams a baked-in excuse for losing elections and smearing Republicans.
How many people who fall for these claims understand that both federal law and state law mandate the updating of voter lists? In Georgia, we already know that hundreds of thousands of “voters” were not purged, because at least 62 percent of registrations that were canceled by the state this week had surely moved away or died. Either their mail was returned as undeliverable or they had officially changed their address to a different state.
Other registrations were purged because the person hadn’t voted in years. Georgia has automatic registration. I know it’s difficult for some people to believe this, but lots of Americans have no interest in voting. And Georgia voters can be declared “inactive” if they haven’t participated in elections, contacted officials, responded to officials, or updated their registrations since the 2012 election.
Stacey Abrams (YouTube screen grab cropped via Wikimedia Commons)
Another good article making similar points was this WSJ editorial.
A few months ago, I sent out an email observing that any time a news story reported Trump questioning Hunter Biden’s board position at Burisma, it seemed obligatory for the story to add something along the lines of “There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.” An example from WSJ here.
In the same way, whenever there is mention of Trump’s concern about possible Ukraine interference in our 2016 election, the story always characterizes the claims as “debunked.” An example from WaPo here.
These widely used “no evidence” and “debunked” qualifiers about the Ukraine stories are just incorrect.
As we approach the 2020 elections, let’s keep our eyes open to see how conscientious the media is about labeling Democrat parroting claims about voter suppression as “debunked” or “without evidence.”