Something Fishy About Democrats’ Voting Claims

About the only item left on the Biden agenda is the bill entitled “The Freedom to Vote Act.”  Requiring, as it does, 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, the bill has no chance of passing without changing the rules of the Senate.  So actually, the only remaining issue is whether the Senate will retain the filibuster or permit simple majority rule on each bill.  But the issue of the filibuster exists now solely because Democrats pretend that there’s a sudden emergency regarding voting rights.  According to them, state voting laws are so onerous that black and (some) other minority voters, but not white ones, find their ability to vote “suppressed.”

That raises the question of whether there’s any evidence for the proposition.

Now, just 14 months ago, we were treated to President Trump complaining that the 2020 vote had actually returned him to office, that all the evidence to the contrary was fake news and that the election had been “stolen” from him.  Certain states, like Arizona, looked into the matter and found no evidence that votes sufficient to alter the outcome in those states had been “stolen” or were otherwise of dubious origin or legality.  In short, once examined, Trump’s claim proved false.  (Many of us believe that the entire charade was more about turning out his base in 2024 than any actual voter fraud/alteration/etc.)

The points being two.  First, we’re perfectly capable of looking into allegations of voting irregularities and drawing reasoned and fact-based conclusions about them.  Second, there is no evidence of such widespread suppression of voters or votes as to raise any serious alarm.  After all, the 2020 election saw higher voter turnout than any other in memory, so, if votes were suppressed, the suppressors made a mighty poor job of it.  Is there any credible evidence of generalized and effective voter suppression?  Where are the millions (thousands? hundreds?) of voters claiming they were wrongly denied their right to vote? 

The simple fact is that voter “suppression” isn’t a good explanation for the year-to-year variations in patterns of black and white registration and voting.  These data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census show what I mean (See Table A-1).  If racists in state voting bureaucracies had truly been bent on suppressing the black vote, surely 2008 and 2012 would have been the years in which to do it.  And yet, in those two years black voting rates spiked, actually exceeding those of whites.  Needless to say, there’s a more sensible explanation than foiled voter suppression for what in fact happened: a black man seeking the presidency and with a real chance of winning sent black voter turnout to especially high levels.

With the exception of those two Obama election spikes, black registration and voting show a steady upward trend from 1980 to the present.  How to explain that undeniable fact via the notion of voter suppression?

And what of the fact that, in 2020, 68.3% of white citizens voted, while in 2016, just 62.9% did?  Was the white vote “suppressed” in 2016, but not four years later?  If so, how was that accomplished?  Or could the explanation be something as pedestrian as Hillary Clinton’s being a remarkably uninspiring candidate?

For that matter, how do Democrats explain the fact that, in several southern states, the black voter registration rate exceeds that of whites?  The answer of course is simple: they don’t.  The facts about registration and voting contradict the narrative of suppression and are therefore left unmentioned.

Meanwhile, whatever happened to “equity?”  The Democratic Left defines the term as equality of outcomes, so, since black Americans make up 12% of the population, then all businesses of any size must have a 12% black workforce, colleges a 12% black student body, prisons a 12% black population, etc.  And yet the Census Bureau reports that, in 2016 and 2020, blacks made up 12% of the those who voted, i.e., perfect “equity.” (See Figure 3.)  But all of a sudden, when it comes to actual voting, the supposedly urgent need for “equity” vanishes from leftist rhetoric like morning mist.  Plus, Asians voted in lower numbers than their presence in the general population would indicate.  Needless to say, the absence of that particular sort of racial equity receives no comment from the Democratic Left.

Now, of course Democrats may claim that the problem isn’t past (or at least not the recent past), but future voter suppression, that state laws passed since November 2020 are bent on keeping minorities from voting.  (Just why there’s been no noticeable voter suppression in the recent past, but all of a sudden racists have decided to do so remains both unclear and unaddressed by Democrats.) But even if they’re right, there’s a little thing called the Voting Rights Act, in effect since 1965, that prohibits discrimination in voting on the basis of race.  So, if any of those laws happen to contravene the federal statute, an injunction against its implementation can be gotten fairly readily and often has been over the decades.  That of course hasn’t occurred in any of the states Democrats pretend to be concerned about, strongly suggesting the new laws don’t violate federal mandates, an unsurprising result given that states are well aware of the requirements of the VRA.

And indeed, when we look at the actual laws the Democrats want to negate, they turn out to be moderation itself.  What the Democrats are claiming to be so discriminatory as to require overturning the rules of the Senate and altering federal law to entirely (and probably unconstitutionally) govern voting are things like the number of days prior to election day a mail-in ballot must be post-marked and how many feet (50? 100?) from polling places electioneering can be conducted.  Not exactly the sort of stuff to send the masses to the barricades.

As of now, it looks like the Freedom to Vote Act will end up like almost all the rest of the Biden agenda – ignored and forgotten.  I consider that a good thing.  With the new laws in place and an election coming up in November, we’ll be able to see if there’s any significant evidence of voter suppression.  Biden has already suggested that without the new federal law, he’ll claim the election results to be invalid because of those state laws.  Democratic leftists seem not to notice that that places him closely alongside Donald Trump shouting “We wuz robbed!”  Hey, great minds think alike. 

The Freedom to Vote Act is a hammer in search of a nail.  If there’s any evidence of real suppression of registration or voting, by all means, let me see it.  Until I do, I’ll conclude that the leftist whoop-di-doo about voting is more a red herring than a real issue.




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