Do Democrats suppress Republican votes anywhere?

I was considering posting this in General Questions, but settled on Great Debates because I think it will inevitably turn into a political argument.

It seems to be there is a genuine asymmetry between the two parties on voter suppression. This doesn’t seem to be a case of “both sides do it.” Let’s keep this discussion confined to the 21st century. I know the Southern Democrats during Jim Crow suppressed black votes, and blacks tended to vote Republican back then. But I don’t think reaching back that far into the past is relevant for discussing today’s political climate.

I’m not aware of any systemic attempts by the Democrats to make it more difficult for Republicans to vote, even when that might have been to their advantage. When the Tea Party backlash happened in 2010, did the Democrats try to suppress rural white (Republican) votes to maintain their power?

Let me guess. You get to define what “suppress,” voters means, and it won’t mean gerrymandering, and it won’t mean arguing that military absentee ballots should not be counted because they lack postmarks, which military mail often does, but it WILL mean Voter ID and voter registration roll verifications.


Not exactly voter suppression but Tea Party organisations were apparently deliberately targeted by the IRS during Obama’s presidency. CNN article with timeline here.

Gerrymandering has been around a long time. The problem is that new technology and better mapping information has made it a far more potent tool than it was in the past. Perhaps if Democrats had swept the state legislatures in 2010, they would have had their own version of REDMAP.

I’ll tell you what. I promise that if the Democrats sweep office in 2020 and implement a BLUEMAP strategy, I will be posting on this message board to condemn it. You can bookmark this post and hold my feet to the fire, counselor.

As far as the military mail issue, I believe you’re referring to the 2000 election. I was 16 at the time and not as interested in politics as I am now so my memories of that fiasco are hazy. I’m going to profess my ignorance for now. If I wanted to be super lawyerly and pedantic, I’d say that doesn’t count because technically the 21st century started in 2001. :wink:

IIUC, it was illegal to count those military ballots but the majority of Democrats acquiesced to their counting without pursuing legal remedies — even though all know these ballots would favor Bush by a huge margin. This was to show respect to young Americans in uniform. And thus Bush, rather than Gore, became the 43rd President of the United States.

Regardless of the morality of the situation, the LAW required that the ballots NOT be counted. I am not entirely uncertain that Dopers who usually advocate for conformity with the LAW would not advocate for the LAW in this case also, were the party alignment reversed.

On one matter, however, Mr. Bricker and I are in agreement, albeit in a minority here. The 21st century started in 2000, Gosh darn it!

IOW, No.

The issue in 2000 was ballots postmarked after Election Day. We’ve been over that a number of times, sadly without effect.

No. Now try again, this time with facts.

Quartz, what actually happened there was that the IRS targeted political organizations that were illegally using a nonpolitical nonprofit status. They targeted organizations on both sides of the aisle, but the asymmetries were that there were more such illegal organizations on the right, and they were more likely to let them get away with it.

On the topic of gerrymandering, did an excellent series on gerrymandering last year including a series of podcasts which delved not only into deliberate gerrymandering but the difficulty of balancing provisions of the Voting Rights Act with the intent of creating competitive districts that are also demographically representative. You can see from their Atlas of Redistricting that the current map somewhat favors Republicans but is not essentially different from proportional, majority-minority, or compact districts, although it slightly less competitive than the first two and significantly less than compactly drawn districts. The Democratic Party has certainly engaged in partisan gerrymandering, albeit not in such a systemic way as the GOP has in the last decade with REDMAP.

On active voter suppression in the post-Voting Rights Act era, this is almost exclusively a GOP activity, consisting not only of imposing restrictive voter i.d. laws despite virtually no evidence of a problem of significant voter fraud, but also restricting voter registration, absentee balloting, arbitrarily purging voter rolls of legitimate voters, removal of voter registration and polling stations in locations accessibly by people with limited transit options, et cetera. Democratic vote suppression consists of scheduling off-year elections at odd dates to reduce the number of people participating, and the effect is pretty much limited to local elections.


Yet another talking point from the right that I have seen become fossilized among many on the conservative side.

I’m not sure that’s quite the correct interpretation. The investigation turned up nothing because crucial data was accidentally destroyed in a HDD crash.

And was there a mysterious epidemic which killed off hundreds of IRS auditors around the same time? Because if there had been a bunch of audits like you’re claiming, there would have had to be auditors conducting them. All you’d need to do to prove the audits were occurring is have the auditors who were conducting them testify.

Well, by keeping it in the 21st century you are going to take most of the instances of Democrats suppression votes off the table. It’s cherry picking, especially since the political landscape has so shifted that, outside of the perennial gerrymandering squabbles I’m not sure how Democrats WOULD suppress the vote of Republicans in any sort of systemic ways. Today, for sure, Republicans are more guilty of voter suppression than Democrats…minorities that are poor are pretty much overwhelmingly Democrat and poor minorities are easier targets for voter suppression in systemic ways…or even in in non-systemic but critical ways. As your brief mention of Jim Crow demonstrates. And this was hardly the only instance of Democratic vote suppression…though, honestly, I think the Dems were better at enhancing votes, lets say, than trying to suppress them, in the past. All those dead folks voting in lock step for the Dems really helped, after all. :stuck_out_tongue:

This can’t be voter suppression because those votes were actually counted.

You might be able to make a case for attempted voter suppression, but that’s not what this thread is about so it’s not really relevant. If you post an argument about this in the failed attempts at voter suppression thread, I’ll be happy to discuss it there. It sounds like it could be interesting.

No, they were not.
*The findings indicate the division of the IRS that handles tax exempt organizations was mismanaged and unprepared for the surge in applications from new nonprofits affiliated with the Tea Party movement. According to the committee, the delays in processing the applications from conservative groups were due to poor communication and layers of bureaucracy… The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration issues a new report that finds liberal-leaning groups may have also been subjected to extra scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status./I]

Basically that division was overworked and application piled up, so they took everything that looked political and put in in the “dont accept for now, check it out later” pile.

Well, yes. But they were taking a shortcut and basing the preliminary decision on the name.

I heard reports that in 2000 the democrats were trying to suppress votes from military overseas during the Florida recount, but thats the only example I know of.

Sorta. What happened is that the Agents were’t conducting the audits, they put a bunch of them aside to possibly conduct audits on.

You can say this was bureaucratic shenanigans to reduce the workload.

Why can’t the military do such a small thing as postmark their mail correctly? Is it somewhere in the law that says that if the military does not postmark their mail, then it gets treated as if it were postmarked anyway? If the duly elected representatives wanted the law to say that the military did not need to postmark their mail, then they could have said that in the laws that they wrote.

In any case, even though the law specifically said that they should not be counted, the republicans insisted that they should be, and they turned to the courts to try to get unelected judges to bend the law in order to get the result that they wanted. BTW, they did end up being counted, in case you forgot, contrary to the letter of the law.

Why do the republicans have such little respect for the law, as it is written by duly elected representatives, I wonder? The law was supposed to protect voter confidence in the elections, that everyone had voted by the deadline. There being no way to tell when these ballots were cast and mailed decreases the confidence that the results of the election are legitimate. In such a high stakes as a presidential election, when it comes to such close numbers, the laws should be followed, not ignored if they are inconvenient, wouldn’t you agree?
Resolved: Your attempted charge of tu quoque has failed, miserably.

Please don’t engage in this sideshow. The end result is that both sides agreed the ballots should be counted. Not a single vote was suppressed. This thread is about Democratic voter suppression. An eighteen year old incident where they didn’t suppress votes is a distraction.

Your doubt is that the audits were occurring? There’s ample evidence of that. The typical leftist defense on this is that the lefty orgs were also hit, not that it didn’t happen.