2012 Election | News | Rachel Maddow | Republican Party

Maddow: GOP-Led Voter Registration Laws 'Devastated' Florida Democrats: VIDEO


Republican lawmakers from coast-to-coast have been using their power and positions to slowly erode voter registration laws, thereby blocking ballot box access for millions of Americans, most of whom lean Democrat.

In a Tuesday night segment over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow took a deep, long look at what's been happening in Florida.

Today the Florida Times Union released some remarkable new analysis on voter registration in Florida that I almost cannot believe.

[In] '04, 159,000 new Democrats registered to vote over that time period. In '08, same time period, 13 months, it was pretty much the same story... Democratic voter registration surging in the same time period before the election.

But then last year, Florida Republicans made it harder to register to vote in the state. Look at what has happened in the lead up to this year's election over an equivalent time period. Look. New Democratic voter registration has disappeared in Florida. It has fallen off a cliff, over the same amount of time - look, the Republican numbers have been basically static.

Watch Maddow and Chris Matthews discuss Florida and other states where voter registry have been decimated AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. So should it be "devastated DEMOCRATS"?

    I fear this election, if it's as close as people think it's going to be, will be stolen by the GOP because of these harmful laws. This will be about the last election that the GOP can rely on it's white-voter-base anyway.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 30, 2012 5:48:13 PM

  2. lol -- well no wonder they did it...

    Posted by: Jaycee | Aug 30, 2012 5:49:21 PM

  3. Looks like the Democrats were "devastated" and the Republicans are sitting pretty.

    Posted by: Perry | Aug 30, 2012 5:52:42 PM

  4. It's not unreasonable to demand proof of identity to receive a ballot. How else do you prevent fraudulent voting? How do you stop people from voting twice or foreign nationals from taking part in an election that they have no right. Photo ID is the only reasonable solution.

    Posted by: dave | Aug 30, 2012 5:58:32 PM

  5. @Dave -

    First, there's no evidence that voter impersonation fraud exists at any significant level.

    Second, this isn't about voter ID laws. It's about voter registration procedures.

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2012 6:01:20 PM

  6. In-person voter-fraud is so uncommon as to be almost non-existant. This is a solution in search of a problem. It is actually blatant voter-supression and the courts are finally beginning to weigh-in on it, beginning with striking--down Texas' new law today.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Aug 30, 2012 6:05:58 PM

  7. So this begs the question: What is it about the way Republicans are getting registered to vote that enabled them to keep occurring at the same level? Clearly there's something different about either the way R and D voter turnout groups operate, or something different about individual R and D voter registration behavior.

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2012 6:07:32 PM

  8. When a "voter fraud" case came up in the WA State gubernatorial race, brought by Dino Rossi, he found one of the most conservative venues. And still, the judge tossed the case with prejudice—that means there wasn't even enough evidence of fraud to come to court.

    Why do conservatives think it's OK to lie?

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 30, 2012 6:15:23 PM

  9. Question for an American reader: Do people who registered in 2008 need to re-register in 2012 again? If not, then clearly the extra 100,000 Dem registrants in '08 (thanks to Obama's popularity) don't need to reregister - explaining part of the precipitous drop.

    Posted by: elegir | Aug 30, 2012 6:19:08 PM

  10. I'd be interested in seeing this graph carried back a few more years and one that shows trends in states without the more restrictive laws. Democratic registration surged all over the country due to the unpopularity of George W. Bush in 2004 and 2008. I changed mine from Independent to Democrat in 2004. Now with Obama in charge and the economy so bad in Florida, you'd expect a Republican surge. I don't buy that this is due to the new laws.

    Posted by: Ken | Aug 30, 2012 6:24:59 PM

  11. If you don't believe voter fraud exists, I invite you to come to Illinois. Perhaps Alexander County, where there are more people registered than citizens who live in the overwhelmingly Democratic county. Or maybe the documented cases of fraud in Metro East area of St. Louis. Or we could travel north to Cook County and Chicago.

    So "burdensome". So "onerous". So vicious. What a load of crap. Try to get through life without an i.d., but somehow preserving the integrity of our electoral process is just a racist plot by the GOP. Funny how wide majorities in polling support it.

    Let's just call this what it is. Democrats want lax and loose laws so they can keep felons and non-citizens to continue to try and steal elections. That's why they howl in protest at these common-sense laws.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Aug 30, 2012 6:27:35 PM

  12. @Elegir - Generally speaking, no, you don't have to re-register if you still live at the same address.

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2012 6:27:42 PM

  13. Lincolnlounger, you'll have to do better than that.

    1. There are probably more registered voters than citizens in many jurisdictions, unless a registrar makes a particular effort to identify and remove deceased voters. Those numbers by themselves don't tell us anything about voter fraud.

    2. Are there any documented cases - and if so, how many - of *in-person voter impersonation fraud* in Metro East St. Louis? I googled quickly and didn't find any. Maybe you know better?

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2012 6:32:03 PM

  14. @Lincoln as a proud resident of Illinois please stop embarassing us with your conspiracies. Facts show there are few to 0 cases of reported vote fraud in Il.

    Poll Taxes are illegal. Requiring an id that can cost upwards of $75 in some states is a poll tax designed to stop the poor from voting.

    Posted by: Kevin | Aug 30, 2012 6:36:59 PM

  15. Make no mistake about it the republicans are in the process of stealing this election. I think that they will likely achieve their goal. Even though I am a pessimist, I did respond to a letter I received today from Bill Clinton and sent a $200.00 check to "Obama for America". I sent a check for $100.00 to the Obama campaign about 2 mos ago. Thats not a lot of money but it is close to the best I can afford. I would encourage the progressives who post on this site to flood the Obama campaign with as much money as they can spare. So that the progressive agenda continues.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 30, 2012 6:40:06 PM

  16. What do you expect ? Lazy and stupid Americans have stood by and let this happen in 17 states ! We have let the right wingers take over our courts so that even if we sued these corrupt officials and lawmakers we would not win because the Judges are all right wing too.

    Until lazy, stupid Americans STAND UP against this corruption nothing will change.

    Get off your asses, stop being brainwashed by TV and get out there and demand change !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 30, 2012 6:52:51 PM

  17. These numbers from the Jacksonville TImes Union are pure bunk and are a result of sloppy analysis. They do not represent the change in the number of NEW registered voters, but are merely the differences in total voter registration by party during the period. As a result, not only do they include new voter registrations, but voters who have left the voter roles for any number of reasons, such a moved, deceased, etc.

    If they had taken the time to look at voters who's voter registration shows as during the period in question, they would have seen much different numbers:

    No Party: 211,359
    Democrat: 200,629
    Republican: 168,841
    Other: 26963

    Yes, the change in absolute voters by party should be a concern. But it can't be laid at the feet of new voter registration, as Democrats are clearly outnumbering Republicans, as usual.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 30, 2012 6:53:35 PM

  18. Bill -

    Where do your numbers come from?

    Assuming your numbers are correct, someone still needs to explain what happened to 189,264 Democratic voters in the 2012 period. Clearly something changed.

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2012 7:06:48 PM

  19. There are a coupole of big lies in operation here.

    Lie 1. People can't get id cards. They sure can get them to cash checks and do all sorts of things. Getting one is not difficult.

    Lie 2. Voter fraud is insignificant. When Acorn (or whatever their name is now) is registering Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse at non existing locations, it's a problem.

    Lie 3. Voter registration is guaranteed, somehow the republicans sabotaged it. Acorn sabotaged itself, and the democratic party relied on them.

    Lie 4. Bush stole the election from Gore. If you go back and look at the results of the after election count by a liberal newspaper by the most extremely generous method the democrats were asking for, Bush actually GAINED votes, leading by 1600.

    Posted by: ted baldwin | Aug 30, 2012 7:55:40 PM

  20. Sorry Ted, but most of your points are themselves lies, but ones that have been exhaustively debunked.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 30, 2012 8:20:18 PM

  21. Also, people confuse 'proof of identification' with 'photo ID'. Everybody except the homeless have a proof of ID. Only those with cars have a photo ID. The state provides non-drivers photo IDs but you need to have a reason to get one. And if you're elderly in a nursing home, for example, why have one?

    I think much is being made of this issue, however the fact remains -- putting a requirement between a person and their most fundamental right has never been a good thing.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 30, 2012 8:27:39 PM

  22. Dave the appeals courts are giving the repubs a way out but they refuse to take it

    supply free ids and free transportation to get to ids

    otherwise a poll tax

    something makes me think you care less about voter fraud and more about voter disenfranchisement

    Posted by: say what | Aug 30, 2012 8:32:42 PM

  23. Voter fraud has never been an election deciding issue. This voter ID thing is requiring a "government sanctioned photo ID" which a hell of a lot of people do not have. They have other forms of photo ID, just not "government sanctioned" ones. This is the problem.

    Posted by: Tre | Aug 30, 2012 8:38:13 PM

  24. Documented cases of election fraud in Illinois:



    I don't have the time or energy to find the many documented cases of election fraud in Chicago and Cook County, where the dead enthusiastically vote Democrat early and often.

    Never mind that many of these states that now require i.d. to vote will allow voters to get an i.d. for free. Everybody has an i.d. or they couldn't bank, fly, or get through life. It's just that it makes it more difficult for the cheaters.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Aug 30, 2012 9:27:03 PM

  25. @Icebloo: have you contributed any money to re-elect democrats this November. You can send your contribution to: Obama For America, PO Box 802798, Chicago Il 60680-4263

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 30, 2012 9:44:15 PM

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