Editorials: Voter suppression laws are already deciding elections | Catherine Rampell/The Washington Post
Voter suppression efforts may have changed the outcomes of some of the closest races last week. And if the Supreme Court lets these laws stand, they will continue to distort election results going forward. The days of Jim Crow are officially over, but poll-tax equivalents are newly thriving, through restrictive voter registration and ID requirements, shorter poll hours and various other restrictions and red tape that cost Americans time and money if they wish to cast a ballot. As one study by a Harvard Law School researcher found, the price for obtaining a legally recognized voter identification card can range from $75 to $175, when you include the costs associated with documentation, travel and waiting time. (For context, the actual poll tax that the Supreme Court struck down in 1966 was just $1.50, or about $11 in today’s dollars.) Whatever the motivation behind such new laws — whether to cynically disenfranchise political enemies or to nobly slay the (largely imagined) scourge of voter fraud — their costs to voters are far from negligible.