After the Supreme Court's decision to strike down key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act this year, some states hit the ground running with new laws that would make it much more difficult for women and minorities to cast their ballots. Unfortunately, it now seems like this could bite them in the ass, as one of the groups voter suppression will affect the hardest will be... conservative women. Pardon my impish lack of sympathy, but: LOL.
Over at Slate, the always fantastic Dahlia Lithwick explains how a new law in Texas that takes effect on November 5th could be incredibly effective in preventing the only women who still vote Republican — married, older ones — from even casting their ballots.
The problem is that Texas's new law requires voters to provide original documentation of a legal name change (marriage license, divorce certificate, etc) if they don't own a state-issued ID that contains their most recent legal name. If they can't locate the original documentation, they can request a new form, but that costs money and is a pain in the ass. Because 90% of women change their names when they get married or divorced and some research has suggested that a hell of a lot of women don't actually have state-issued ID with their most recent name, this spells trouble for married ladies, who reliably vote Republican.
Things get even more headachey for women who have married, divorced, and remarried. Writes Lithwick,
Something else to consider: If the slew of new voter ID laws may hit divorced women hardest, consider that women in red states in fact have much higher divorce and remarriage rates. And women in the South have especially high remarriage rates. So it’s not at all clear that liberal women will be disenfranchised in greater numbers than their conservative counterparts. I’m told that women generally get hassled more at the polls because they rarely resemble the image on their photo ID in the first place.
Why is moral hypocrisy so delicious?
Lithwick goes on to argue that both sides of the debate over voting rights have it wrong; both voter fraud and voter suppression take place with much less regularity than pundits from either end of the political spectrum would have us believe. But this is one unintended voter suppression technique that I'd love to see work. At least temporarily.
Look: I love the hell out of America, and even though I'm getting old enough to know better, I still have faith that while there's plenty of awful shit that still needs addressing, this country can improve. And because I love America, I'd love it if as many Americans as possible can participate in the democratic process and make it a country that reflects what I believe to be the inherent goodness and optimism in most regular people.
The People get who they vote for, and conservative women shouldn't be surprised when the dipshits they elected based on braying about taxes end up actually enacting some of the regressive junk in their platform. There's something incredibly satisfying about watching dog whistle racism and sexism backfire on the people duped into believing the GOP had their best interests in mind. You voted for a party that actively advocates policies that hurt women? Fine. Here you go — a rollback of the 19th amendment. You want voter suppression? Fine. Here it is. You sit out this voting cycle, so the rest of the adults can vote for politicians who won't waste time fighting battles against imaginary brown demons.