WASHINGTON, March 27, 2014 – Among hot button issues that generally animate progressives and Democrats, is any attempt to shore up the system by which we establish that a potential voter is eligible to vote. They say that there is very little evidence of any voter fraud and that vote integrity efforts are partisan attempts to make casting ballots complicated for minorities. Typical of the rhetoric is this, from theAmerican Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):
“Voting rights are under attack in this country as state legislatures nationwide pass voter suppression laws under the pretext of preventing voter fraud and safeguarding election integrity. These voter suppression laws take many forms, and collectively lead to significant burdens for eligible voters trying to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right.”
What you find out when you read further, is that the ACLU bases this claim on nothing more than the estimate they provide that 11 percent of potential voters, “lack such ID, and would be required to navigate the administrative burdens to obtain it or forego the right to vote entirely.” As this is an unsubstantiated talking point in wide circulation among Democrats, the data point of 11% may be inflated or fictitious altogether.
There now is the hysterical caterwauling from partisan hacks about last week’s federal court decision giving states the go ahead to require proof of identity and further claims of disadvantaged would be voters.
Is there any reality to their claims?
Let’s start with the last contention first. Does requiring some form of valid identification at the polling place disenfranchise voters of color or the elderly? I’ve yet heard anyone making the claim, prove that claim. Most of the states adopting new rules for certifying eligibility, require a photo ID. Common sense tells us that the majority of voters are also participating in other regular activities for which such a form of identification is required.
The City of New York outlines just a few:
- Cashing a check.
- Applying for a job.
- Opening a bank account
- Getting an apartment.
- Applying for college.
- Airplane travel.
- Public Assistance.
- Hospital visits.
- Library cards.
- Memberships to a gym.
To that list could be added; using debit cards, driving a car, gaining access to a public building, verifying a theme park pass, picking up prescriptions, renting a car or hotel accommodations, and buying alcohol. You could also add Michelle Obama’s book signing at the White House and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
There are probably dozens more, but the point is that in 2014, everyday functions are inseparable from the need to positively establish one’s identity.
The reason opponents to verified voting avoid citing examples of individuals to whom a personal ID is a prohibitive barrier to casting a ballot, is because such individuals are generally non-existent. Try to think of even an elderly person in a convalescent home that doesn’t have an ID. You can’t.
But, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that such an ID challenged individual does exist. The states that have adopted the new requirements have included provisions for such people to easily and affordably obtain an identification card. The technology is here – now.
Consider the case of Mexico for instance:
Mexico, that country that liberals applaud when their leaders complain about our harsh immigration enforcement practices – doesn’t trust politicians or voters at the regional, state or federal levels. Mexico’s Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) an autonomous, non-partisan organization charged with free and fair elections contracts the manufacture of voter ID cards to a private firm from America called Digimarc. Digimarc’s Mexico-based secure ID factory began production of voter ID cards on March 29, 2004. Since then, well over 25 million credentials have been produced and Mexico’s voter ID card is now widely regarded as one of the most secure, reliable voter identification systems in the world.
So trusted is the integrity of Mexico’s voter ID credential that amid all the controversy surrounding the presidential elections there in recent years, no one questioned the security, reliability, or authenticity of Mexico’s voter identification itself. Indeed, Mexico’s voter ID has become the country’s de facto identification document and is readily accepted as positive proof-of-identity by merchants, banks, government officials, and citizens nationwide. Mexico provides this ID at a moderate cost for those of means and at no cost to the poor. The only country that illegals from Mexico have a sporting chance of unlawfully casting a vote, is in the good old Estatos De Unitos. Their own country has put the kibosh on vote fraud.
Opponents of voter ID laws, assert that virtually no voter fraud has been documented to occur. This is an amazingly deceptive claim in light of just a short list of incidents discovered by law enforcement in recent years: &
- 2003 – Of 5,379 voter registration cards ACORN submitted in St. Louis, only 2,013 of those appeared to be valid. At least 1,000 are believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.
- 2005 – Four ACORN employees submitted as many as 3,000 potentially fraudulent signatures on the group’s Albuquerque NM, ballot initiative. A local sheriff added: “It’s safe to say the forgery was widespread.”
- 2008 – ACORN activists gave Ohio residents cash and cigarettes in exchange for filling out voter registration card, according to the New York Post. Some voters claim to have registered dozens of times, and one man says he signed up on 72 cards.
- 2008 – Pennsylvania State election officials have thrown out 57,435 voter registrations, the majority of which were submitted by ACORN. The registrations were thrown out after officials found “clearly fraudulent” signatures, vacant lots listed as addresses, and other signs of fraud.
- 2008 – In Harris County (Houston, TX area), nearly 10,000 ACORN-submitted registrations were found to be invalid, including many with clearly fraudulent addresses or other personal information.
- 2007 – Three ACORN employees pleaded guilty, and four more were charged, in the worst case of voter registration fraud inWashington state history. More than 2,000 fraudulent voter registration cards were submitted by the group during a voter registration drive.
- 2008 – At least 33,000 ACORN-submitted registrations in Milwaukee have been called into question after it was found that the organizations had been using felons as registration workers, in violation of state election rules. Two people involved in the ongoing Wisconsin voter fraud investigation have been charged with felonies.
- 2009 – In November, Democratic operative Anthony DeFiglio told New York State police investigators that faking absentee ballots was a commonplace and accepted practice in political circles, all intended to swing an election.
- 2011 – 12 people have been charged in Georgia for voter fraud as they used absentee ballots to skew an in election in Georgia. The 12 people charged are ALL with the Democrat Party. The defendants include some workers in the voter registrar’s office and some school board members.
- 2012 – In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne, said election officials discovered more than 200 noncitizens on their rolls when court officials forwarded the names of people who sought exemptions from jury duty because they weren’t citizens.
True The Vote, an election integrity advocacy group has compiled research data that indicates in 2012 as many as 24 million voter registrations were invalid; more than 2.75 million people were registered to vote in more than one state; various counties in Indiana and Ohio had more registered voters than residents and 160 counties in 19 states had over 100 percent voter registration. For voter fraud being ‘virtually non-existent’, that’s a remarkable handful of incidents that looked like the real McCoy to the local election officials, state investigators, Grand Juries and prosecutors!
But no matter what Democrat party operatives think of the virtue of certifying eligibility, Americans themselves are on board and in a big way. According to national pollster Rasmussen – a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Likely U.S. voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote. That’s up from 71% a year ago.
In 2011, new voter ID laws passed in Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texastightened existing voter ID laws to require photo ID. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a page where you can view the laws in your state. In Texas, volunteers visited voters in districts where critics of voter ID said residents were most likely to be deterred by the ID requirement and the majority they spoke with for instance in Black communities, were somewhat indignant at the notion that they were so helpless as to need assistance obtaining a driver’s license or State ID. Time after time, individuals told them how absurd the idea was and took out their ID’s to make the point.
Voting integrity and voter ID’s – take away the politics from the issue and it just makes sense. After decades of having our votes canceled out by dead people, ineligible voters and fake voter registrations, this is a trend that should catch fire throughout the country.