John Oliver on states' voter ID laws

John Oliver hosts his first show of the new season — and his first-ever election-season episode — and as you might expect, it's amazing.

Last night's show dealt with states' voter ID laws, which Republican legislatures insist are not about suppressing the votes of people of color and poor people, even though all the research shows that those are the groups that are usually disenfranchised by such measures. It's clearly just a coincidence that these rules primarily effect blocs that traditionally vote Democratic.

Oliver destroys claims that getting sufficient voter ID is easy — in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, the appropriate offices are only open the fifth Wednesday of every month (!), and only four months in 2016 have five Wednesdays.

But that's just for openers. As always with John Oliver, there's a sting in the tail of every pithy observation and wry joke. This time, it's the widespread voter fraud in state legislatures, where "ghost voting" is commonplace: that's when lawmakers press voting buttons for absent colleagues, casting votes on their behalf, without their necessary consent, even for dead lawmakers whose buzzers haven't been removed yet.