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John Oliver Voting.jpg

'Last Week Tonight' Covers Voting Rights, And Man, Is It Horrifying

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | February 15, 2016 |

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | February 15, 2016 |

He’s back! Again! It’s been a long few months, but John Oliver is finally back on our TVs. And as excited as I was to have him back, I have to admit picking voting rights as the main topic seemed a little over done. Didn’t we already hear about this in the last elections? And on The Newsroom before it got terrible? But as Oliver points out, we’re finally in an election year, and more importantly still dealing with this bullshit. Restrictive voter ID laws are still in place in ten states meaning voters can still be screwed out of an inherent right for no good reason.

Also because Last Week Tonight is Last Week Tonight, they found a rarely discussed wrinkle in the “voter fraud” story.

Oh, what’s that? The legislators most interested in preventing voter fraud are also the ones committing it within their voting bodies? Sure. Makes sense.

And before anyone points out that this kind of voting for other members is common, often done at the absentee’s request and necessary as a part of their busy schedules, I say: bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Do you think that the five or so people who might have committed impersonation voter fraud didn’t also have a compelling reason for it? Like voting for an elderly relative who has trouble leaving the house? Or covering for a close friend who forgot to complete their early voting? Or any of the other excuses as to why a people’s representative wouldn’t feel a moment of hesitation before voting under someone else’s name?

We justify our own shit all the time, but it’s still a stark reminder of the hypocrisy inherent in such rationalizations when you have to see the justifications unspooled. At least the citizens committing voter fraud have the decency to seem to be ashamed of it.