In April of this year, Representative Glenn Grothman, Republican of Wisconsin, predicted in a television interview that the state’s photo ID law would weaken the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the state in November’s election. It was not the first time he cited voter ID requirements’ impact on Democrats; in 2012, speaking about the law’s effect on President Obama’s re-election race, Mr. Grothman said voter ID requirements hurt Democrats because Democratic voters cheat more often — a premise that remains unproven. One of the few verified instances of recent voter fraud at a Wisconsin polling place — the only kind of fraud that a photo ID might prevent — padded a Republican governor’s tally.
Also in Wisconsin, Todd Allbaugh, 46, a staff aide to a Republican state legislator, attributed his decision to quit his job in 2015 and leave the party to what he witnessed at a Republican caucus meeting. He wrote on Facebook:
I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple Voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Think about that for a minute. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power.
In Florida, both the state’s former Republican Party chairman, Jim Greer, and its former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, told The Palm Beach Post in 2012 that the state’s voter ID law was devised to suppress Democratic votes. Mr. Greer told The Post: “The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates. It’s done for one reason and one reason only,” he said. Consultants told him “we’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,” he said. He added, “They never came in to see me and tell me we had a fraud issue. It’s all a marketing ploy.”
… Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert and law professor at the University of California, Irvine, said in an email on Thursday that spreading claims of voter fraud for political gain has a pernicious impact. “It is a shameful falsehood, given the extremely low rates of voter fraud in the U.S., especially the kind of fraud targeted by Republican voter ID laws,” he wrote. “It undermines faith in the fairness of the electoral process, which is the bedrock of all functioning democracies.”