How the Mayweather-Pacquiao Saga Reminds Us of the Voter ID Game

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 This week boxing champ Floyd Mayweather was ordered by a judge to pay over $113,000 for refusing to answer questions in boxer Manny Pacquiao’s defamation lawsuit against him. Even if you don’t follow boxing you’ve probably heard this story since it involves the last two popular boxers on the planet: What would be the fight of the century is not happening because Mayweather has made random needle-drawn blood tests a condition for fighting, though such tests are not standard policy in professional boxing. Pacquiao has refused these terms, but has consented to unlimited urine tests.

The reason for Mayweather’s insistence on a specific form of drug testing is that he believes Pacquiao uses performance-enhancing drugs. This is why Pacquiao sued him for defamation — though Mayweather has repeated this accusation repeatedly in public, Pacquiao has never tested positive for any kind of drugs. And so Pacquiao, in Mayweather’s mind, is guilty until proven innocent, and all Pacquiao can do in the meantime is at least clear his name through the lawsuit.

It’s in this way that somehow the vote game reminds me of the boxing game, and not just because of all the theater and drama. In states like Pennsylvania they have made displaying a state-issued photo voter ID card a condition for voting. Reason being: They — and by “they” I mean people who tend to be Republicans — believe that rampant voter fraud is afoot. In their minds, voters are guilty of fraud until showing ID proves them innocent. Civil rights organizations such as The Advancement Project, ACLU, and the NAACP have had to sue these voter ID states for violating the fundamental rights of eligible voters. Read more here.