Friday, October 19, 2012

George Kenney: "Voter Suppression w/ Tova Wang" @ Electric Politics

Dear Michael,

With the election finally upon us I figured it might be a good time to look at American voting processes. In this show I talk with Tova Wang, author of The Politics of Voter Suppression (Cornell, 2012), while next week -- for a quite different and much more realistic assessment of the danger of electronic voting -- I talk with Barbara Simons, co-author with Douglas W. Jones of Broken Ballots (Stanford, 2012).

There's no doubt that the Republicans are seeking to suppress potential Democratic voters but I also wonder to what extent the fear, for example, of voter ID may be exaggerated. There are, after all, quite a few prominent black politicians -- Andrew Young, for example -- who favor voter ID and even Tova reluctantly admits to me that former President Jimmy Carter favors voter ID provided that the IDs are fairly and easily available. The clincher should be that in poll after poll large numbers of Americans favor voter ID, so why not figure out a way to find common ground? In any case Tova, the Senior Democracy Fellow at Demos and Fellow at The Century Fund, presents a certain establishmentarian view which we should understand.

As always, thanks very much for listening!



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