Maine Gov. Paul LePage is lining up behind Donald Trump’s conspiracy train, agreeing with the Republican nominee’s charge that there’s going to be widespread voter fraud during next month’s general election.
LePage also pushed for voter ID laws by claiming that his own state’s elections would be “rigged” without them.
“The left, the Democratic Party, insists on not having IDs. And will people from the cemetery be voting? Yes. All around the country,” LePage told radio station WVOM. “The media and the Democratic Party want everybody to vote whether they're citizens or not."
The audio was captured and published by CNN.
Once again, it’s a bogus claim, no matter how many people repeat it or believe it. The Brennan Center, a non-partisan public policy and law think tank, has found that a voter is more likely to be struck by lightning than to try to impersonate someone else in order to vote, while The Washington Post found only 31 credible cases of voter ID fraud out of more than 1 billion votes cast in the United States between 2000 and 2014.
Voter ID laws, on the other hand, are real. And they’re really racist, as experts such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg have said, describing them as a de facto “poll tax” that will more likely burden racial minorities who tend to vote Democratic.
LePage is chasing the dog whistle of fraudulent votes — something that Donald Trump and his surrogates have attributed to people who live in the “inner cities.” Of course, to LePage, dog whistles are nothing new.
In August, LePage came under fire for claiming that more than 90 percent of the drug dealers “are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut; the Bronx; and Brooklyn.” He even said that he had a “three-ringed binder” filled with men named “D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty,” who he earlier claimed had come to Maine to sell drugs and “impregnate young white [women.]” LePage’s drug dealers were not overwhelmingly non-white; in fact, only 37 percent of them were black or Hispanic.
Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC. MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa
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