Fox Downplayed Voter ID Concerns, But Republican Now Admits Voter ID Laws Could Help GOP

PerinoFox News has long downplayed concerns that voter ID laws could suppress the vote, especially among groups that lean Democratic. But the Republican House Majority Leader in Pennsylvania, Mike Turzai, recently validated those concerns at a meeting of that state's Republican State Committee, reportedly saying that passing ID laws would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania”:

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) suggested that the House's end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically.

“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we've talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it's done. First pro-life legislation - abortion facility regulations - in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

In the past, Fox personalities have belittled progressive warnings about restrictive voter ID laws, making absurd parallels between the requirements to buy medicine, alcohol, and movie tickets compared to voting - a constitutionally protected activity. Some lowlights:

  • Dana Perino, co-host of The Five, described voter ID concerns as “absurd” and evidence of “manufactured outrage”
  • Gretchen Carlson, co-host of Fox & Friends, said those opposed to restrictive voter ID laws were “for voter fraud”
  • Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. said voter ID laws were “not a big deal,” while mocking concerns about vote suppression: “And we hear it every election cycle, saying oh, no. The Republicans are trying to suppress your vote.”

Fox has helped foster hysteria about supposed voter fraud in order to promote voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina, minimizing complaints about the burden imposed by those initiatives. The network has even cited a story about a dog mistakenly sent a voter registration card in order to promote the voter ID movement.

Fox ran a special in April called Stealing Your Vote to spread fears about voter fraud that ended up being padded with unproven allegations in lieu of actual malfeasance.

Turzai's admission, combined with Fox's past misreporting on this issue, are continued evidence of the network's role in boosting GOP “voter fraud” rhetoric rather than noting the facts.