Republican efforts to curtail early voting... disproportionately hurt racial minorities.... The problem, of course, is that limiting Democratic voting means limiting African-American voting. And in a country that for much of its history denied African Americans the right to vote, pushing laws that make it harder for African Americans to exercise that right touches the rawest of nerves. As long as many African Americans feel the GOP doesn’t want them to vote, it’s unlikely anything the GOP says to African Americans is going to have much positive impact.
The good news for Republicans is that changing their views on early voting, voter ID, and the voting rights of ex-prisoners doesn’t mean changing their stated ideals.... When it comes to... members of the military serving overseas, Republicans are quite happy to defend the principle that it should be easier to vote.... The choice Republicans must make isn’t ideological. It’s strategic. They can either keep trying to make the electorate more white, or they can begin, seriously, to try to make the GOP more black (and brown). In the short term, the former is a safer bet. In the longer term, given the way America is changing demographically, it’s suicide. So far, for all their much-hyped African-American outreach, Republicans are still choosing door number one.