Playing with fire: How Trump’s push against mail-in voting is likely to impact GOP turnout
The Trump administration and GOP leaders in Congress are poised to propose legislation that would require all eligible voters to show photo IDs in order to cast a ballot. This change would disproportionately affect minority, low-income and young voters.
But there’s a more cynical motive behind White House and congressional actions to make voting more difficult. Their main goal is to increase turnout among Republican voters, who have been the core of President Donald Trump’s coalition in the 2016 election. As they did with their push for so-called “voter IDs” in 2006, the White House and GOP leadership are taking the same approach: to suppress Democratic turnout by making the process of voting more difficult.
This is not an isolated effort in Washington. To win control of the House of Representatives in 2010, Republicans in the House and Senate turned away nearly two million eligible voters. They were turned away because they lacked proper photo IDs or other forms of identification. Since then, many states have passed new laws requiring photo IDs. For example, Pennsylvania has approved a law requiring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, in order to vote.
This year, the push against mail-in voting is even more urgent because Election Day is Nov. 8 — a week away.
But as with the voter ID effort, the GOP push this year is likely to have little impact on the numbers of voters who actually show up on Election Day. The GOP also is trying to reduce the turnout of minority, low-income and young voters, and many of these voters who do show up on Election Day are unlikely to have photo IDs.
And so the political calculation is to suppress Democratic turnout by making voting more difficult with higher barriers for minority, low-income and young voters.
The push against mail-in voting
Trump and the GOP are planning to introduce legislation that would make it more difficult to vote by requiring all eligible voters who use a state’s mail-in voter registration system to show two pieces of identification: a photo ID that matches the voter’s name and a photo ID that matches the voter’s Social Security number. The Trump administration has already moved to restrict