State Rep. John Kavanagh, the chair of the Government and Elections Committee that recently advanced the bill clearing the way for purges of the permanent early voting roll, explained why he thinks people should have to jump through a series of hoops to vote.
“Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues,” Kavanagh said. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.”
Don’t even get me started on someone from the party of Donald Trump and Fox News—the network that makes its viewers less informed—talking about people being “totally uninformed on the issues.” Just don’t.
But we need to talk about “quality.” Being a citizen of the United States legally eligible to vote is not enough to be “quality.”
You have to vote regularly or else take action to prevent yourself from being caught up in a purge. You have to photocopy and mail in identification, and you have to get that in the mail by the Thursday before Election Day or your ballot doesn’t count even if it arrives by Election Day. These things might not seem like a lot to people with time and easy access to printers and photocopiers, but make no mistake, they are intended to get in the way of voting by people these Republican state legislators don’t think are “quality,” with all the racial and class undertones and overtones you could possibly attach to that term.
It’s a message from the same party that, in Georgia, is moving to restrict early voting on the days Black churches turn out the vote and to restrict no-excuse absentee voting to the age groups in which the majority of 2020 absentee voters were white.
It’s a message from the party that is pushing literally hundreds of bills suppressing the vote in dozens of different ways in states all across the country. The backers of such bills should be pariahs, trying to exclude eligible voters from casting their ballots because they’re Black or brown or young or poor or otherwise seen by Republicans as likely to vote for Democrats, but instead these backers continue to get corporate funding from too many companies and they may be on the brink of getting a big assist from the Trump Supreme Court.
Democrats have the legislation to fix all this and end partisan gerrymandering, but of course it won’t pass the Senate as long as Republicans have 40 votes and the filibuster is in place.