Editorials: Republicans should want more African Americans to vote. It’s the only way they can keep winning in the south | George Chidi/The Guardian
If I were a vote-scrounging Republican politician and I wanted to hustle up some black people’s votes, I would think it generally sound policy not to tell them that they’re too stupid to deserve a vote. State senator Fran Millar, a Republican from the affluent, majority-white Dunwoody section of majority-black DeKalb County here in Georgia, apparently doesn’t feel the same way. In a public Facebook post, he took exception to a plan by county CEO Lee May to open up an extra early-voting site in a South DeKalb mall “dominated by African American shoppers and … near several large African American mega churches”. “I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters,” he added in a comment to his post. “If you don’t believe this is an efort [sic] to maximize Democratic votes pure and simple, then you are not a realist. This is a partisan stunt and I hope it can be stopped.” Well, yes. It is a partisan move. It shouldn’t be. The race of voters shouldn’t be a partisan predictor in an ideal world. But here in Georgia, the contests for governor and a US Senate seat are too close to call – and may turn on whether the Democrats can win as much as 30% of the white vote. Seven out of 10 white voters, minimum, are Republicans, and 90% of black voters are Democrats. Here, all politics are racial politics – and the contests are only close because the number of black and Latino voters in the state has grown so quickly.