Why GOP's Southern Strategy Moved North

The scariest voter-ID laws might be the ones that aren't in solidly red states.

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In Ohio a statewide survey found only four instances of ineligible voting, out of more than 9 million votes cast in 2002 and 2004. This amounts to a ratio of 0.00004 percent -- which is statistically negligible and mathematically almost nonexistent. Yet in March, the state's Republican-led House of Representatives passed one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, which could affect as many as 900,000 Ohioans. In particular, early voting, which has served as a stalwart in African-American communities, was severely limited.

The past doesn't always repeat itself, but it can echo quite loudly in the events of the present. And as the nation's farmlands suffer devastating drought, it seems that Jim Crow has found fertile Northern soil in which to thrive.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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