MSNBC's Roberts Dismisses Voter ID Laws As 'Voter Suppression Laws'

May 17th, 2012 5:45 PM

Perhaps liberals are wising up and realizing that comparing voter ID laws to Jim Crow statutes is, well, a bit much. It seems now the preferred term of choice, at least on MSNBC, is simply "voter suppression laws."

During the 11 a.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC programming, host Thomas Roberts matter-of-factly labeled voter ID laws as "voter suppression laws" that "could keep minorities and young people away from the polls" as he introduced his guests Heather Smith of Rock the Vote and the NAACP's Marvin Randolph.

"The NAACP says that registration among blacks in this country is down by 7 percent in this country, so what are the factors, some of the factors that are limiting seeing that minority registration stay where it was or exceed where it was?" Roberts asked Randolph.

Randolph, who heads up the NAACP's voter registration drive, complained about a nationwide "coordinated attack on voting rights" in the guise of new state laws toughening identification requirements, among other things. For his part -- and fitting MSNBC's M.O. on the issue -- Roberts had no critical questions for Randolph about his near-conspiratorial premise.

Nor did Roberts point out that a poll released last month found 70 percent of Americans, including 52 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of women -- you know, those the GOP is at war with according to MSNBC -- and 58 percent of "non-white" poll respondents support photo-required voter ID laws.

For her part, Heather Smith simply plugged Rock the Vote's efforts to get young people to register to vote through their website. In past appearances, however, Smith has decried a GOP "war on voting."

As I've explained in previous posts, Smith's complaints about "voter suppression" have been simplistic and overblown.