Voter suppression is no ‘myth’

Jeff Jacoby’s op-ed on the “myth” of voter suppression is a classic case of obfuscation by statistics (Ideas, Dec. 31). Yes, black turnout in Alabama was greater than white turnout. As Jacoby notes, there were good reasons for that — in the recent Alabama election and in others, also noted by Jacoby. But that should not diminish our understanding of the very real attempts to suppress black voters in Alabama and elsewhere.

In Texas, a clear statistical analysis, accepted by at least two federal courts, found that voter ID restrictions adversely affected black and Hispanic voters to an extent almost twice that of white voters. High black turnout in any (or even all) elections does not diminish this intended effect. It is illegal, and Texas has been ordered by the courts to fix it.

The lesson from Alabama is not that voter suppression is a myth. It’s that properly motivated voters can truly affect the results.

Stephen Polit