BLOG: How Politicians Buy Elections and Stick You With the Bill

Whether it’s passing intentionally confusing voter I.D. laws, closing the polls early, or refusing to reinstate voting rights, efforts by politicians to illegally silence American votes have a common effect: they keep eligible voters away from the polls. In addition to threatening the integrity of our elections, voter suppression efforts waste our hard-earned tax dollars.

You know what they say, everything’s bigger in Texas…even the bills they rack up around voting issues. Last year, the state wasted over $3.5 million defending a strict voter I.D. law that was ultimately declared unconstitutional. To put that number into perspective– with just $2 million, the 11 Dallas schools that will be deprived of librarians next year could hire them back, and the Texas Commission on the Arts could refund the grants program that was cut this year despite its importance to 35 cultural districts across the state.

If you thought that Texas spent a ton of money trying to undermine democracy, look at North Carolina. The state recently spent $5 million defending their own oppressive voter I.D. law. They also lost, but stuck taxpayers with the bill.

Texas and North Carolina aren’t alone– Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have faced similarly costly battles.

Bottom line, politicians across our nation are creating problems and then waging lengthy legal battles to defend those problems. Meanwhile, they’re racking up huge court bills on the American people’s tab– even though we had nothing to do with the issues in the first place.

In other words, instead of serving the people who put them in office, politicians are spending all their time trying to buy elections and force hardworking Americans to pay for it.

Wasting taxpayer dollars is bad enough, but participation in the sacred institution of democracy is priceless. Now more than ever, we should be safeguarding our elections from politicians who want to undermine what it means to cast a ballot in a free nation. In order to defend election integrity, we have to stand strong together and demand that everyone be allowed one vote.

— LAV Staff