Fox Hypes Voter ID Report From Organization That Claims To Continue ALEC's "Excellent Work"

Blog ››› ››› REMINGTON SHEPARD

Fox News hyped a flawed report from the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) purporting to claim that voter ID laws protect the poor and minorities. But Fox host Steve Doocy failed to acknowledge the conservative group's self-proclaimed mission to continue the "excellent work" of the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council.

On Fox & Friends, Doocy promoted a NCPPR piece, claiming that the report demonstrated that "blacks and the poor are the most common victims of voter fraud, and would be protected by voter ID laws." From the broadcast:

DOOCY: Meanwhile, despite an ongoing push by the Department of Justice to prevent states from requiring an ID to vote, a new study said requiring ID would actually help increase minority participation. According to a brand new study from the National Center for Public Policy Research, blacks and the poor are the most common victims of voter fraud and would be protected by voter ID laws. Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow at the Center saying "the criminals, more often than not, are Democrats violating the rights of people who tend to be black or senior." Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department though, has sued to block voter id laws across the country claiming they are unfit to minority voters.

But Doocy failed to mention that the NCPPR is a "conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank" dedicated to "putting the left on notice" that it "will not win." A Talking Points Memo post noted that NCPPR's chairman Amy Ridenour attacked "the left's Trotskyite strategy" of making relentless demand over relentless demand in public. From the post:

The National Center for Public Policy Research announced this week it had formed a "Voter Identification Task Force" to continue ALEC's "excellent work" in "promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting." Describing itself as a "conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank," the group was established in 1982.

[...]

"We're putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we'll kick it up a notch somewhere else," Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. "You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory."

The TPM post also noted that the NCPPR began focusing on voter ID law when the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) abandoned its voter identification project. TPM cited an April 18 NCPPR press release that said the Center intends "to continue the excellent work of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting." The National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization with close ties to ALEC, promoted this transition during the May 22 edition of NRA News' Cam & Company.

ALEC eliminated its Public Safety and Elections task force after increased scrutiny of the organization for its roll in crafting "Stand Your Ground" laws. This task force heavily influenced a number of state legislatures to pursue voter ID laws in recent years.

In the most recent attempt by the current right-wing defender of voter ID laws, the NCPPR attempted to provide a rationale for voter ID laws. The report's claim that voter fraud exists, and harms vulnerable populations, is similar to one recently hyped by Fox News, focusing on fraudulent voter registration tactics. But just like the Fox segment, the type of fraud Cooper overwhelmingly cites would not be helped by voter ID laws and deflects from the very real concerns that voter ID laws could prevent millions of eligible people from voting.

As much as Cooper attempts to create a vast conspiracy of Democrat driven voter fraud across the country, voter fraud that he suggests could be stopped by voter ID laws, this fraud simply does not exist. Additionally, the examples Cooper used to draw his conclusions are voter registration fraud, not voter fraud as defined by the New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. Additionally, the Justice Department, through legal action, is attempting to prevent the spread of voter ID laws that could stop eligible voters form exercising their right.

Fox's promotion of this newest dubious attack on efforts to protect the right to vote for all Americans is just another example of Fox defending voter ID laws without acknowledging the mountain of evidence that indicates that voter ID laws restricts access to eligible voters.

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