Jack Villamaino, Former GOP Candidate, Arrested for Felony Voter Fraud

With the recent arrest of former GOP candidate Jack Villamaino for felony charges voter fraud, it’s no wonder Republicans are so invested in voter fraud legislation. Since 2011, 25 restrictive voting laws and two executive actions have passed in 19 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin. Fifteen of these states have Republican-majority legislatures or Republican governors, with the exceptions being Illinois, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. The stated purpose of the legislation is to combat in-person voter fraud, and protect the sanctity of the ballot.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, however, voter fraud is such an insignificant problem that it’s barely worth legislating against. Since 2000 there have been less than 100 cases of voter fraud per state, with the highest number in Kansas (97) and Georgia (80 cases). This data reveals the real motive behind these laws and executive actions: disenfranchising traditionally liberal voters.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, the real impact of these laws is to disenfranchise students, minorities, the elderly and disabled..

Given the zeal with which the GOP in state after state has gone after Joe Voter, it’s really a shocker that Republicans account for the majority of voter fraud: Adam Ward of Virginia (for Newt Gingrich, what a waste), Texas Governor Rick Perry, Indiana’s former Secretary of State Charlie White, and now Jack Villamaino.

Here's a novel idea: Perhaps rather than working to repeal the voting rights of average citizens, the party willing to legislate morality for everyone else should be working on their own integrity, and maybe also spend some time on legislation that will actually address one of the many real problems the nation faces.

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Nicole Polizzi

Nicole is an adjunct lecturer in Sociology, Philosophy and Composition at ASA in Manhattan. Professionally she is dually obsessed with the expansion/protection of human rights and social justice, and holistic, arts-inclusive education reform. Running, writing and belting Adele in the shower are her catharses.

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