January 16, 2012
The Left's War on Voter Fraud ReformBy Robert Knight
Pretty soon, the right to cast a meaningful vote might be just a memory.
The issue at hand is ensuring that American citizens can exercise the most fundamental civil right of being an American -- casting a vote with the assurance that it will count and not be canceled by an illegitimate vote.
The ACLU has filed three lawsuits seeking to overturn a new Florida law that tightens the integrity of the ballot box, while the Obama Justice Department has scotched South Carolina's new photo ID law. It's part of a nationwide campaign by the left to overturn numerous recently enacted laws designed to defeat voter fraud.
The ACLU claims that the Florida law, enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, will suppress participation by minority, young, and elderly voters.
Actually, the new rules adopted by Florida, South Carolina, and other states are aimed at Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Elmer Fudd, who work out of former ACORN offices and whose names turn up on registration rolls and recall petitions.
The ACORN people, perhaps deploying Alvin and the Chipmunks with clipboards, seem to have little trouble signing up Mickey and his friends when elections roll around.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, video sting artist James O'Keefe and his team have exposed the fact that dead people's names were readily accepted by poll workers during Tuesday's presidential primary election.
Although Democrats insist that little or no voter fraud is occurring, at least 55 former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) employees or associates have been convicted of some form of voter fraud in 11 states, according to the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum.
Voter integrity rules are long overdue to prevent fraud, and Democrats seem to think that minority, young, and elderly people are morons who can't play by the same rules as everyone else.
The left's strategy is simple: energize the base with false fears while depicting Republicans as barely disguised Klansmen with pitchforks and torches.
In December, Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. ordered a halt to South Carolina's new photo ID law. Several of his fellow Democrats have compared voter fraud prevention to Jim Crow laws like poll taxes. But the state provides free photo IDs, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has even offered to drive people to the polls who could not get there otherwise.
At a January 10 press conference in Columbia, Haley and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the state will sue the Justice Department within the next week or two.
State Sen. Kevin Bryant said from the podium, "When I'm not here, I'm a pharmacist. When you come in my store, and you refill a narcotic prescription, I have to take and look at a picture ID to verify that you're getting your prescription. Let's talk about voter suppression. If you vote, and someone else votes fraudulently, they've suppressed your vote. It's exactly the opposite of what the Obama administration has accused us of."
Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, any changes to voting law or redistricting in nine states, including South Carolina and Florida, must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department or a three-judge U.S. District Court panel in the District of Columbia.
That panel is reviewing four Florida provisions that "cut the number of early voting days, put new restrictions on organizations that conduct voter registration drives, require voters who change out-of-county addresses at the polls on Election Day to cast provisional ballots and reduce the shelf life of citizen initiative petition signatures from four to two years," according to the Associated Press.
"The Justice Department has cleared the rest of the law, but Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning chose to have the court, instead, rule on the most controversial provisions. Browning, a Scott appointee, said he wanted the decision to be free of 'outside influence'," the AP reported. Indeed.
The ACLU also assisted with a separate lawsuit in Tallahassee by the "non-partisan" League of Women Voters against the law's registration provision. A hearing is set for Jan. 26. Yet another ACLU lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in Miami.
Seven states passed laws in 2011 requiring photo IDs, and others shortened early voting timeframes and tightened requirements for absentee ballots. All but 13 states had legislation introduced in 2011 dealing with the critical issue of voter integrity.
Five states (Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina) enacted photo ID laws that were vetoed by Democratic governors.
Speaking of such, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue was caught on tape last September wishing that elections could be suspended so that lawmakers wouldn't have to worry about what voters thought.
If you can't fix the election, why not just cancel it?
Then Mickey, Donald, and Elmer can get back to dodging cream pies and falling anvils.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.
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