[Guest post by Aaron Worthing. Follow me by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
For years combating voter fraud has been a strangely partisan issue. For instance, in the recent case of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) the court noted that “all of the Republicans in the General Assembly voted in favor of [a voter ID law] and the Democrats were unanimous in opposing it.” In that particular case, Republicans supported the common sense measure of, you know, actually having to produce a photo ID proving you are who you say you are, and Democrats responded by claiming that this was the resurrection of Jim Crow and poll taxes—claims expressed in that case and rejected by the majority. I always thought myself that if I was a minority I would find these claims fairly insulting. For instance, take the law in the Crawford decision. Justice Stevens (who voted to uphold it) summed it up as follows:
Referred to as either the “Voter ID Law” or “SEA 483,” the statute applies to in-person voting at both primary and general elections. The requirement does not apply to absentee ballots submitted by mail, and the statute contains an exception for persons living and voting in a state-licensed facility such as a nursing home…. A voter who is indigent or has a religious objection to being photographed may cast a provisional ballot that will be counted only if she executes an appropriate affidavit before the circuit court clerk within 10 days following the election…. A voter who has photo identification but is unable to present that identification on election day may file a provisional ballot that will be counted if she brings her photo identification to the circuit county clerk’s office within 10 days…. No photo identification is required in order to register to vote, and the State offers free photo identification to qualified voters able to establish their residence and identity.
(Citations omitted.) Still, despite the state fairly bending over backwards to accommodate people, the official Democrat position was that black people and other minorities were uniquely incapable of complying with these simple requirements. There was no word on whether Democrats officially thought minorities had more trouble tying their own shoes or using common eating utensils without stabbing themselves in the eyes, but given how insultingly low their estimation was of minorities’ basic functionality as reflected by their challenge to these laws, I wouldn’t put it past them. Really, these challenges rely on assumptions that frankly sound a little racist to my ears.
And so these same Democrats oppose such measures, believing we should go on the honor system, apparently. The obvious trade off, when we don’t have such measures, is a greater opportunity for fraud. And any student of history would be skeptical of the claim that protecting fraud generally is good for minorities. For instance, the practice of using secret ballots was adopted in the South precisely so that they could cover up the fact that they were throwing out black votes—unless perhaps they voted the “right” way. After all, the person engaging in voter fraud is not subject to requirements like the equal protection clause or the Twenty Fourth Amendment, so the danger of invidious discrimination entering into the process would seem to be increased, not decreased, when voter fraud occurs. And, well, if you trust the word of former Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, that is precisely what has happened:
“What I have seen in my state, in my region, is the the most aggressive practitioners of voter-fraud are local machines who are tied lock, stock and barrel to the special interests in their communities — the landfills, the casino operators — and they’re cooking the [ballot] boxes on election day, they’re manufacturing absentee ballots, they’re voting [in the names of] people named Donald Duck, because they want to control politics and thwart progress,” he told TheDC.
“People who are progressives have no business defending those individuals.”
So there you have it, liberals. If you support voter fraud, you are a raaaaaaacist!
Yes, of course I am being tongue-in-cheek about it, but here’s the brutal truth. If you are such a sad sack that you can’t comply with this generous voter ID law, then tough on you. The rest of us should not have to face even the risk of having our right to vote trampled on because of your inability to comply with such simple requirements. I believe in being very accommodating to a person’s right to vote, but when it infringes on my rights as a voter, my tolerance ends.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]