Las Vegas, NV – Two weeks ago, Assembly Republicans held a hearing on a voter ID proposal that drew national headlines due to racist statements from Republican legislators pushing the proposal – such as calling an African American legislator a “colored person,” and saying people needed to stop “playing the race card… because our President is black.” Republicans then amazingly tried to say with a straight face that their voter ID proposals have “nothing to do with race.” As KLAS exposed, when asked to give examples of alleged voter fraud, the bill proponents – including “some of you look a little Asian to me” Sharron Angle — could not provide a single example.
Flash forward a week and apparently GOP Senate boss and former Tom DeLay operative Michael Roberson’s Senate Republicans wanted in on the action. The Huffington Post reported last Friday that the same folks who proposed a “stand your ground” bill only weeks ago proposed eliminating Sundays from Nevada’s Early Voting period. This essentially ends the “Souls to the Polls” programs that help many Nevadans — including a large number of African American voters – vote.
Not content to stop there, Republicans also proposed a string of other proposals that make it harder to vote, including: restricting the hours of early voting from 7 am to 7 pm, as opposed to the current closing time for permanent early voting locations in Clark County of 9 pm. This puts up significant barriers for shift workers in Clark County who work on the Las Vegas Strip, many of whom are Hispanic.
There is only one reason for these proposals: to put up barriers for people, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, to vote. Is this the “New Nevada” Governor Sandoval likes to talk about?
“The proposals of Michael Roberson’s Senate Republicans serve only one purpose – to prevent as many African American and Hispanic voters from voting as possible,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson. “Barely one week after Nevada Republicans garnered national headlines for calling an African American legislator a ‘colored person’ and essentially insisted racism is dead because the United States elected a ‘black President,’ Michael Roberson and Senate Republicans are now trying to deliberately restrict African American and Hispanic voters from voting. And all this from the same Senate Republican leader who proposed a ‘stand your ground’ bill only weeks ago?”