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#EndorseThis: Bill O’Reilly Dismisses Concerns About Voter Suppression: ‘Every African American I Know Has An ID’

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#EndorseThis: Bill O’Reilly Dismisses Concerns About Voter Suppression: ‘Every African American I Know Has An ID’

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On Wednesday, Bill O’Reilly spoke about the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a case on Ohio’s “Golden Week,” which was previously struck down by a lower court. Golden Week would have allowed Ohioans to register to vote and cast their ballots beginning on October 5, rather than October 12.

Though O’Reilly celebrated the court’s decision against to prevent extra voting days, it wouldn’t be The O’Reilly Factor without some additional misinformation thrown in.

Let’s break down O’Reilly’s claims:

“There’s all kinds of stuff about people wanting to vote at the last minute, they want to vote after the election, they want to vote at 3am.”

Perhaps O’Reilly is referring to pro-Bernie Sanders Democratic primary voters here, it’s unclear. In many states during the primaries, Sanders supporters who felt they were being disenfranchised advocated for the use of affidavit ballots in cases of disputed party affiliation and the like.

As far as 3am voting? That doesn’t exist. In fact, so far this year, the problem has been the opposite: In Arizona, primary voters waited 5 hours to vote in some locations because the (Republican) state legislature reduced the number of open polling places from 200 in 2012 to just 60 in 2016. Many waiting in line were forced to go to multiple polling places, or not vote at all.

After the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, such changes could be made without federal pre-assurances that it would not lead to voter suppression. Without such oversight, it’s clear that Arizona did suppress the primary vote.

“You can’t just have the week-of sign-up.”

First, Ohio’s “Golden Week” took place from October 5-12, hardly “the week of” the election. But many states do allow voters to register and vote the same week as the election. Here are the states which allow same day registration and voting, according to the Brennan Center: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, MaineMaryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — plus the District of Columbia.

“You can’t check these people that fast, so somebody could come in with fraudulent documentation the day of, the week of, and the state can’t check it.”

See above. This isn’t true. Plenty of states allow voters to register immediately prior to voting, and there isn’t any evidence that these states have higher instances of voter fraud than others. Overall, voter fraud is an almost impossibly minuscule problem in American politics. Writing in The Washington Post in 2014, Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt claimed to have found just 31 allegations — not prosecutions — of the type of fraud that can be prevented with voter ID laws, over roughly a billion votes cast. He also found over the same period that 3,000 people had been turned away from the polls due to a lack of ID. And no doubt countless others stayed home due to a lack of ID.

“Every African American I know has an ID.”

Thankfully, knowing Bill O’Reilly is not a requirement to vote. In fact, according to the ACLU, “more than 21 million Americans do not have government-issued photo identification; a disproportionate number of these Americans are low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and elderly.”

“All the states that say, ‘You have to show an ID,’ and then its, ‘Oh no! You can’t do that! Then African Americans won’t vote!'”

In fact, O’Reilly’s impression of a stereotypically pro-voting rights liberal is telling the truth. In North Carolina, the Republican state legislature decided to place all sorts of limits on voting specifically because they had confirmed (with tax-payer funded research) that it would suppress African American (and thus, Democratic) turn-out. In fact, when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals finally got around to striking down North Carolina’s racist voting laws earlier this year, they mentioned this Daily Show segment, which clearly implies a racial and partisan motivations, recorded when the law was first passed.

“The states that want that will send you an ID. They’ll come to your house with the ID.”

Nope. In fact, one of the reasons voter ID laws are discriminatory in the first place is that, sometimes, obtaining a valid ID takes lots of time and access to a vehicle. When the Department of Justice struck down a voter ID law in Texas in 2012 (before the Voting Rights Act was gutted by the Court), according to Color Lines‘ Brentin Mock:

Texas has no driver’s license offices in almost a third of the state’s counties. Meanwhile, close to 15 percent of Hispanic Texans living in counties without driver’s license offices don’t have ID. A little less than a quarter of driver’s license offices have extended hours, which would make it tough for many working voters to find a place and time to acquire the IDs. Despite this, the Texas legislature struck an amendment that would have reimbursed low-income voters for travel expenses when going to apply for a voter ID, and killed another that would have required offices to remain open until 7:00 p.m. or later on just one weekday, and four or more hours at least two weekends.

Voter ID laws are not common sense regulations whose benefits outweigh their costs. For the miniscule handful of voting violations that may prevent, they make it harder — much harder, in the many states where access to IDs has been limited by state legislatures — to vote for hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom, coincidentally, are Democrats.

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23 Comments

  1. towercam September 14, 2016

    O’Reilly’s been a self serving traitor to this nation for decades now.
    His execution should be televised.

    Reply
    1. JPHALL September 14, 2016

      No execution, just life in a ghetto or barrio.

      Reply
  2. MarthaStew September 14, 2016

    “Every African American I know has an ID.” And that would be how many exactly, Bill? The same number of personal “friends” Trump lost in 9/11? Didn’t think so.

    Reply
  3. greenlantern1 September 14, 2016

    Do butterflies have ID?
    They had ballots!
    Hanging chad has ID?

    Reply
  4. dpaano September 14, 2016

    Apparently, O’Reilly doesn’t know a lot of African Americans, and I suspect that’s the problem! Why would ANYONE with a brain believe anything this doofus has to say about anything?!!!

    Reply
    1. ceekee September 14, 2016

      Exactly

      Reply
  5. ceekee September 14, 2016

    Smart people have caught on to Bill O’Reilly and his ignorance and ugliness. People are sick of him and his lies and narrow minded views.

    Reply
  6. Billabob Johnson September 14, 2016

    Of course, O’Reilly’s Black’s all come with ID’s tattooed on their arms so owners don’t get them confused. I see why Bill has objections to “Black Lives Matter”. Another one for the Trump Deplorable Basket.

    Reply
    1. dtgraham September 16, 2016

      Exactly. As Bill explained one time, similar to the Black slaves who once built the White House, the Jews in WWII concentration camps also had guaranteed employment, were fed, and were even given free tattoos if you can believe it.

      Reply
  7. Jon September 14, 2016

    Bill O’Reilly doesn’t want any blacks voting. He knows very well that a large majority vote for Democrats. Bill O’Reilly will never be confused with a democrat any more than he will be confused with a black man.

    Reply
  8. jakenhyde September 14, 2016

    Let’s see. “Every African American I know has an ID”. Would that be the one token African American he knows who goes by the name of Allen West?

    Reply
  9. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 15, 2016

    Let’s see—O’Reilly knows about a handful of African Americans, and they have ID’s.
    By some weird extrapolation in a mind cluttered with conservative flotsam, he assumes that every African American should have ID and therefore there’s no problem in requiring more stringent ID criteria to be applied to blacks than other voters.

    This sort of illogical “conservative logic” is why Bill is constantly in a fog and just flat out doesn’t know what day of the week it is, and why he is proud to be totally ignorant of the general proclivity by his ilk to continue by whatever means possible to continue to disenfranchise an ethnic group that historically been denied the right to vote in the land of the free.

    But Bill, like Trump and the rest of that clan, shows very little likelihood of removing the thick veil covering his mind.

    Reply
    1. Beethoven September 16, 2016

      I’m pretty sure that all my black friends have ID and have no problem voting. On the other hand, through work experience, I have met and had contact with many poor black Americans who may not have IDs, and might have difficulty obtaining an ID that would allow them to vote, because of financial limitations or difficulty getting to a place where they can obtain a voter ID. I have no problem with the government requiring an ID for voting as long as it can be obtained at no cost, and offices where it can be obtained are easily reachable and open for hours that don’t limit the ability of people to get into them to apply for the ID.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 16, 2016

        An ID, along with citizenship proof, are a must if you want to get a passport—one without the other is unacceptable in that case. Just to be able to move around with ease nowadays and receive certain goods and services, it helps to have ID.
        And so, you’re right that officials need to ensure that all its citizens are able to obtain that which facilitates involvement and movement in society

        Reply
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  11. I Am Helpy September 15, 2016

    Finally a dim loud-mouthed white guy has explained that there’s no real racism. What a relief that is.

    Reply
    1. I Am Helpy September 15, 2016

      I hope he explains how there’s no sexism next.

      Reply
  12. Jeff Zakany September 15, 2016

    Hey Bill, the people who are having trouble getting ID’s are mainly poor people. How many very poor people are in your circle of friends?

    “Every African American I know has an ID.”I can’t imagine Bill O is this stupid. I think he realizes the people who hang with him are either rich or well to do. I think he is just making asinine comments like this for his show. He uses this type of approach on these topics to stir up his audience. Fox News plays on the viewers emotions, not on their logic.

    Reply
  13. FireBaron September 15, 2016

    OK, as most of you are aware by now, I am an old New-Deal Democratic Liberal. However, I have also lived for the past 30+ years in a state where photo ID is required to vote. No problem for me on that. I used to show my military ID, then showed my state Driver’s License. At times I have also shown my passport, just for the chuckle factor on the part of the poll workers. (Hey, at least the print is larger than is on the Driver’s License!)
    I am also lucky in that I live in a state where most of the DMV offices ARE on bus routes! That way, folks without access to a motor vehicle can get to them. As for the folks in Texas, well, the state I live in is smaller than the metro areas of either Dallas-Ft. Worth, or Houston, and the way San Antonio’s metro area is growing, it’ll soon be bigger than the state where I live, too! That being said, unless Texas gets off their duff, they are going to be facing a major upheaval.

    Reply
  14. bojimbo26 September 15, 2016

    Roflmfao . He knows Millions , but they don`t want to know him .

    Reply
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  16. useyourindoorvoice September 17, 2016

    The idea that this entire thing can be allowed under law in the United States of America should be a national shame to every citizen. And two things are often missed completely in the “Get your ID or have no ID discussion”. Point one, in many cases these individuals have an ID just not one the State has put on their acceptable list. Point two, they neglect to explain what documents they have declared acceptable to get the ID and that often people don’t have those. And to get them is not free. Those documents cost money. Going to get them cost money. Student ID’s have worked for years and are no longer acceptable. Insurance cards, social security cards, Medicare cards, expired Drivers License, which many elderly people have. For women a birth certificate does not work if you are married. Then you need your marriage license and if divorced your marriage license and your divorce papers.
    And exactly what does closing polling places and reducing early voting have to do with Voter Fraud. Anyone that defends this idea either is not really aware of the details of the laws or have decided to bury their head in the sand.

    Reply
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