NPR : News

Craigslist Founder Takes On Voter ID Laws By Infographic

It's about a week after it became available on the Internet but no less interesting now than it was then is the infographic by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, which skewers voter ID laws cropping up in various states. One of his points — the cure is far worse than the disease.

The graphic notes, for instance, that from 2000 and 2007, there were 32,299 reported UFO sightings, 352 people struck dead by lightning and nine "instances of possible voter impersonation."

The infographic is just the latest broadside in the war between those who believe the voter ID laws are aimed at suppressing the votes of people more likely to vote for Democrats and those who believe that voting fraud is a real and present threat to American democracy.

As NPR correspondent Pam Fessler reported in a March 12, 2012 story for All Things Considered, a version of which also appeared on our website:

"... Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, says there's hyperbole on both sides of this debate. He's the author of a forthcoming book, The Voting Wars.

"Hasen doubts that millions of voters will be intimidated or blocked from the polls, as some have claimed. But he also says voter fraud is almost nonexistent. He's worried about the impact of all the charges and countercharges."

"This causes people to lose confidence in the process and to fight further, and that leads to a further undermining of confidence in the process, where people tend to believe that elections are not being decided fairly under the rules that are established beforehand, and it just creates a lack of legitimacy," he says.

Instead, he says, they could pursue real efforts to reform the system, like giving election officials enough money so that they can clean up the voter rolls.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


'Steve Jobs': As Ambitious As Its Title Character

Danny Boyle's new biopic, Steve Jobs, is a look at the man who made Apple mean computers, not fruit. NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it's an invigorating story told in three acts of crisis.

Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

The bees that pollinate crops are on the brink of collapse. One big reason why: a virus-carrying mite. Now, researchers think a rare fungi could boost bees' immune system and attack the mite itself.

Hillary Clinton Holds 'Tough, Candid' Meeting With Black Lives Matter Activists

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with DeRay McKesson of the group, "We The Protesters," about the meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., Friday.

Volkswagen Faces Uphill Battle In Repairing Tarnished Reputation

Volkswagen faces two enormous repair jobs: fixing its polluting diesel cars and its battered reputation. Both may be much harder to fix than anything other scandal-plagued car companies have faced.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.