As we gear up for our 2012 election season coverage and the redesigned TPM website, due later this year, I wanted to let you know that we’re going to have a special section on what I believe is one of the most important — though still pretty undercovered — stories of this election cycle: the crackdown on voting.Largely, but not entirely, because of the big Republican wins in the 2010 midterms, states around the country have been passing laws to make it more difficult to vote: voter ID laws, end of same day registration, more aggressive efforts to cull voting lists, various pieces of legislation aimed at cutting down on the number of people who are able to cast ballots. As always the purported aim is to eliminate voter impersonation fraud — people trying to show up and vote as people they’re not. That despite the almost total lack of any evidence that’s actually happening. These laws have the biggest effect on blacks, hispanics, the poor and the young. And that, my friends, is the idea.
Those ballots that never get cast will likely make the difference in many close elections next year. It’s a big, big story. But it’s still far under the radar.