Monday, August 19, 2013

Missed it by THAT much!

I was tooling through the internet and saw this Joy-Ann Reid piece attempting to educate Rand Paul on voting issues. I found it quite amusing actually. I thought i'd actually take a look at what she said and see if it made any sense. Here's what I came up with.

 if it’s evidence you want that voter-ID laws preclude African Americans from voting? Well then, here we go.
Cool. Actual evidence. That's great. A liberal founding their argument on objective evidence. Now we have the basis for an actual debate.
Up to 25% of African-American adults don’t have a photo ID.
That is an interesting fact. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to quote an actual, you know, study that establishes that or any of the statistics she elucidates. Kinda hard to debate without actual, you know - facts. I thought i'd help her a out a bit though and try and see where she got all those interesting sounding statistics. I did find this study about Wisconsin voters and drivers licenses. It was based on data from 13 years ago in a state not necessarily known for it's minority population, but other than that I guess it's good. However, this article cites numerous studies done in the last eight years that say that voter suppression due to lack of ID is a myth. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good argument Ms. Reid.

Now Ms. Reid had this to say about long lines at early voting locations:
Some of the worst lines were on the Saturday before Election Day, which also happened to have the highest minority turnout. And that led Dartmouth researchers to declare that the cuts to early voting disproportionately affected minority voters.
Anecdotal in Virginia in the last election I recall long lines effecting everyone, not just African Americans during normal voting. Once again, Ms. Reid did not cite the specific study, so I was left to do a little research to try to figure out what exactly she was was talking about. I finally came up with this study by Dartmouth. Interestingly, it appears to make no such conclusions. In fact it says this:
 One interesting question is the extent to which long lines at early voting stations, in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and elsewhere, led some voters to abandon their plans to vote early. To the best of our knowledge, there is at the time of this paper’s writing no data that bears directly on this question.
 Ms. Reid disassociates a bit from there. There were a few jewels in there that did get me chortling a bit. This:
Black adults are four times more likely than white adults to be disenfranchised due to a felony conviction—laws that happen to be a vestige of post-Civil War era, when many states tailored felony disenfranchisement laws to get around the 15th Amendment.
So blacks are being thrown in jail now so they can't vote? Do you actually want to make that argument? I suspect that poverty and drugs might have more to do with all those felony convictions than voting rights. She did miss one obvious followup argument when she said this:
In our old friend, Florida, 23% of black adults cannot vote due to a felony conviction.
She could have pointed out that if Zimmerman had let Trayvon continue to pound his head into the concrete and been apprehended by the police that showed up 20 minutes later, he probably would have been convicted of a felony assault and lost his right to vote, just like the <Democrats> did to backs after the civil war.

I think it's safe to say that Ms Reid should probably leave real debates to the professionals. I admit that I am not one, but I did drive by a Holiday Inn on my way to work this morning.

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