Disaffecting Legal Voters is Voter Suppression

The real problem with American election rules isn’t that people lack the opportunity to vote. The real problem is that people “don’t think their vote is going to make a difference.”

Efforts by liberals to allegedly increase voter access through schemes such as mail-in ballots, lax voter registration rules and no voter integrity protections such as ID requirements are causing potential law-abiding voters to become disaffected by the process. This is the kind of voter suppression perpetrated by the left that conservative election reforms are designed to combat.

But progressive political activists, such as failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, are railing against Georgia proposals designed to regain public trust. Abrams claims that efforts to return absentee voting and early balloting to traditional timeframes, to reduce the number of ballot drop boxes and to ask voters to prove their identity are “racist” and a “redux of Jim Crow.”

On the Fox News Channel program “Fox News @ Night,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper argued that voter integrity protections should not simply be dismissed with divisive rhetoric:

You have to separate two issues.

One is the fake claim that this is race-based. There is no evidence that having to use fewer boxes is going to affect more blacks than whites, or more browns than whites…. And there is no proof or evidence that having to demonstrate actual evidence that you’re a real citizen entitled to vote affects – again – one race over another.

The idea that we should address, the big problem that most Americans say for the reason that they don’t participate in the vote, is they don’t think that their vote is going to make a difference.

If you provide voter integrity measures, you ensure that people can be confident that if they participate it will matter.

The topic then turned to the federal legislation promoted by liberals that would do the opposite of many of the Georgia proposals. It would further allow for practices such as “ballot harvesting” and lower standards for ballot access as well as prohibit voter ID protections. Horace welcomed a more robust debate in the Senate that was not allowed in the House of Representatives (where there were no hearings before the massive bill was quickly put to a vote).

Horace noted that the focus needs to be on election integrity:

This isn’t about race. This is about political parties trying to advantage themselves.

The Constitution allows political parties to try to manipulate the process. The Constitution doesn’t allow the use of race as a means of accomplishing that.

The problem here is Stacey Abrams, and even Nancy Pelosi, tries to pretend that there is a race issue when there isn’t. Why not come right out and say, “we’re funding candidates that wouldn’t otherwise get support because we… want to see that we get an advantage.”

Let’s have a debate, and then that’s a real debate.

In its original “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” Project 21 recommended several election reform measures, including voter ID, proof of citizenship, cleaning up voter lists and not mailing ballots to those who do not request them. A new edition of the Blueprint is in production, and includes recommendations such as ending same-day and automatic voter registration allowances, stopping ballot harvesting and mandating that only citizens may vote.

Project 21 also recently participated in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee that could determine the constitutionality of ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct provisional voting. A decision in that case is expected in late June.



Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.