Originally Posted by Money2Burn
Please explain how the problems DVaut enumerated couldn't also effect poor/old white Republican voters.
It could effect poor white people. It most certainly could. But blacks and racial minorities, non-English speakers (read: poor Latinos) are far more likely to fall prey to being illegitimately disenfranchised than whites since they're more likely to be poor.
The history of Jim Crow laws are instructive here: the creation of grandfather clauses
was motivated by the fact that racist white Southerners former strategies (literacy tests and poll taxes) caught up too many poor illiterate whites in the net.
The game isn't to categorically disenfranchise every black person and spare white people the same. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, and of course, some poor white people are going to get caught up in the backwash of a voter ID law and be illegitimately disenfranchised. The point is just to exclude more would-be Democrat voters than GOPers, full-stop. Of course just disenfranchising poor people, period, white or black, isn't exactly a bad strategy for the GOP. Really downtrodden whites aren't their bread and butter base either.
So to that end, sure: maybe the GOP's strategy isn't necessarily and overtly racist like a Klan rally is. Maybe they're just trying to disenfranchise poor people. As it happens, in America, a disproportionate share of poor people happen to also be racial minorities, so it's something of a distinction without a difference.
The Tennessee anecdote is the perfect example of how even an ostensibly and superficially non-racist voter disenfranchisement that just on its face looks like it's targeted towards poor people could really victimize blacks, especially: People hold on to highly irrational beliefs and concerns in the face of contradictory evidence all the time. There's still a lot of racist white people. The GOP knows whites are more likely to be a mid-level, voter-ID-checking bureaucrat than a black person. Make enough arbitrary ID-acquisition requirements, empower the bureaucrats to be judges, and count on the fact you're more likely to have racist white people manning the gates to acquiring the voter IDs than racist blacks, and that's that, strategy created. It wouldn't take much effort for a strategic GOPer Secretary of State to load up whites in heavily black neighborhoods in government-ID-offices.
Some of you guys will poo-poo this as far-fetched, but a cursory investigation of the history of voting rights in America along with an even more superficial examination of the contours of Congressional districts and gerrymandering demonstrate that politicians have gone to tremendous lengths in the past to disenfranchise and/or dilute the power of racial minorities. You don't get Congressional districts like this by accident, and yeah, it takes a lot of time and effort to craft this kind of stuff: