Well, the default alt-right answer is “I don’t care,” since charges of racism are just used to socially shame ethnocentrism among Whites. Furthermore, anyone who doesn’t have enough agency to prove their identity to the government should not be voting on who gets to be part of the government. One can only imagine how low-information these people must be and the damage their inclusion would do to the level of political discourse. But let’s explore this controversy on its own terms for a moment.
A majority of states have passed voter ID laws (33), and have had them since 2012 (29). Nine of these will implement “strict” requirements in November, i.e. it will be very hard to vote without a photo ID. Voter ID laws are generally supported by Republicans with Democrats in opposition. Additionally, a 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that 77 percent of registered voters support a photo ID requirement to vote. Proponents argue that having voters show identification is necessary to stop electoral fraud while opponents cite ‘disparate impact’ and say the new rules will impact mostly black, Hispanic, and elderly voters that lack identification, and therefore any laws requiring voter ID are unconstitutional. Some take it a step further and say the intent of voter ID laws is to disenfranchise non-White voters, and therefore Republican lawmakers are racist. And adding to this sense of implicit racism, as viewed from a liberal perspective, is that the evil Confederate states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia have the strictest laws, while the progressive-run states of California, Illinois (Chicago), and New York have no such laws at all.
One problem with the narrative—that the intent behind the laws is racist and therefore they are invalid—is that there are very clearly two factors being conflated here, race and party affiliation. While it is true that these categories are in fact related, given that most persons of any race will tend to favor one party over the other, we have no evidence to prove racist intent, only implications. In other words, the intent could just be a colorblind effort to suppress Democratic voters, assuming the intent is to suppress valid votes at all, which is not the stated aim by anyone in the government who is advocating for these laws. And we know for a fact that the Republican party salivates at the prospect of raising its share of non-White voters, because that is one method to help it win elections in an increasingly non-White electorate. Have people already forgotten about the unwarranted attention shed on political nobody Ben Carson, Rand Paul’s asinine attempts to court the “Detroit Republican” vote, or the quixotic pandering of Jeb “Identifies as Hispanic and Speaks Spanish at Home” Bush to Hispanic voters? That as recently as last year people were baptizing Marco Rubio as the new face of the Republican party? Even Donald Trump claims he is going to get the Black and Hispanic votes. Why would Republicans want to disenfranchise people they want to win the votes of?
But you know what? Let’s assume the intent is both racist and to suppress voters, because the result will be to suppress a set of mostly non-White and Democratic voters, and results matter more than intentions in the real world. Let’s say the Republicans are in fact using demographic information to make discriminatory and racist rules to help them keep control of the government. There’s something kind of rational about this, isn’t there? Republicans have a vested self-interest in not being voted out of office, something which the left all too gleefully reminds us will inevitably happen as a result of changing demogr—
Wait a minute.
You mean to tell me that Republicans are reacting to changes happening to voter demographics as a result of liberal immigration policies that will result in a permanent left-wing majority by limiting the ability of these people to vote? Why on earth would they do something like that?
Better question—why do Democrats support policies which will increase the size of their voter base and decrease the national share of Republican voters? Are they racist? Is it racist to increase the share of one group of voters at the expense of another? Or vice versa—to decrease one to the benefit of the other? I mean, we’ve already established that intent can be retroactively derived from outcome and used to justify opposition to policy, and that laws which have disparate impact against voters who happen to be a different race are racist.
Nah, who am I kidding? You can't be racist against White people because racism is privilege plus power. Something like that. And that’s why all these enriched voter blocs are considered critical to post-1980s national elections, because they have no power.