The Charlotte Observer’s Jim Morrill is hyperventilating on the front page about a Republican plan to require voters to present valid photo-ID before they are allowed to vote. Morrill editorializes, “Skeptics fear it would dampen turnout, particularly among the elderly and disadvantaged, who tend to vote Democratic. Some say it’s simply unnecessary.” According to the left, the requirement is a crazy scheme by Republicans to drive down turnout because, according to Curtis Gans, “A lot of Republicans believe they have a better chance of winning if the turnout’s low.” You see, Republicans could never have pure motives like the Democrats. In the real world, Al Franken “won” his Senate seat in an election that saw 17,000 more ballots cast than there were elligible voters. In our own state, after Liberal Democrat incumbent Bob Etheridge lost his reelection bid just one month ago, he magically “found” just enough votes to force a recount. Thankfully, he lost again.
So, Democrats, what’s wrong with requiring voters to demonstrate that they are citizens before voting? What’s wrong with making sure people are who they claim to be? And if a signature alone is sufficient to vote, then why do I need to present a license to buy alcohol, and—to go even a step further—why does my license need to be scanned, my identity verified, and my purchase history tracked because I’ve got a cold and want to buy some Sudafed? While it’s okay to vote for governor without an ID check, don’t plan on stopping by the capitol building. A valid photo-ID and sign-in with the building’s security is required before you can even head through the metal detector.
It’s ludicrous that there is no ID requirement for voting. I was actually shocked the first time I voted when I realized there was no need for me to have my license out and ready. Just tell the poll-worker who you want to be, and sign on the dotted line. Chris Kromm claims, however, that requiring an ID to vote is “largely addressing a problem that doesn’t exist.” Kromm also touts his contributions to The Huffington Post, Salon, and The Nation, which still features “Bush’s Lies” as primary topic page in U.S. politics. In the Huffington Post, Kromm recently wrote:
The modern crusade against voter fraud started in the civil rights era of the 1960s, with growing anxieties among white politicians and voters over the growing power of black and urban voters. As historian Rick Perlstein documents, Republicans tapped into — and inflamed — these fears with outrageous claims of black voter fraud, which not only riled up the conservative base, but also laid the groundwork for “anti-fraud” campaigns that could depress Democratic turnout. [emphasis mine]
In other words, if you’re against voter fraud, you’re a racist; also, Republicans are racist. In the same article, Kromm cites Media Matters “research” which slanders the Texas groups, True the Vote and King Street Patriots, which began investigating the voter rolls after allegations of voter fraud in the 2008 elections. The group discovered that of 25,000 registrations filed by the SEIU-affiliated Houston Votes in a single district, over 23,000 appeared blatantly fraudulent. The evidence was accepted by the state, and sent to the Attorney General for further investigation. Unsurprisingly, the Texas Democrat Party sued the group, and accused them of targeting minorities to suppress their voice.
Kromm also attacks True the Vote for engaging in “partisan activity” despite having applied for 501(c)3 status. He conveniently ignores both the litany of left-wing organizations that dedicate resources to open, partisan campaigning despite actually having 501(c)3 status, and the law’s requirements. In fact, the word partisan never appears in 501(c)3. The actual restrictions are clear: companies with 501(c)3 status are not allowed to directly campaign for or against specific candidates and are limited in their lobbying expenditures—essentially meaning they can’t set up phone banks and encourage supporters to call their Congressmen about specific legislation. Purging the voter rolls of fraudulent registrations hardly qualifies as campaigning or influencing legislation, so it wouldn’t violate the statute.
Of course, Kromm has no choice but to attack True the Vote and similar organizations. To admit the potential existence of 23,000 fraudulent registrations in a single district would greatly deflate his theory that the new law is “largely addressing a problem that doesn’t exist.” There may be few voter-fraud convictions per election, but that doesn’t mean fraud doesn’t occur. Voter fraud is extremely difficult to prosecute, even NPR admits this.
Finally, back to Morrison’s claim that the ID requirement “would dampen turnout, particularly among the elderly and disadvantaged, who tend to vote Democratic.” I’ll believe that when “the elderly and disadvantaged” stop buying liquor and over-the-counter allergy medicines.