Americans Affirm Voter ID Laws
If photo ID laws are the bane to minority voting rights that leftists and assorted federal judges claim, you’d expect the public to agree. Not even close.
Eighty percent of Americans, white and nonwhite across party lines support photo ID laws, according to a Gallup poll taken Aug. 15-16:
- Nonwhite: 77%
- Republicans: 93%
- Independents: 83%
- Democrats: 63%
Last July, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Texas’ “strict photo ID law” discriminated against or disproportionately affected black and Latino voters who allegedly face hardships in obtaining the necessary documents, which include any of the following:
- Election identification certificate
- Dept. of Public Safety personal ID card
- U.S. military ID
- U.S. citizenship certificate
- U.S. passport
- License to carry a concealed handgun issued by the Department of Public Safety
The National Conference of State Legislatures website provides detailed information on each state’s voter ID law as of Aug. 19.
While waiting in line to vote in 2014, in one of the most conservative counties in Texas, I observed a diverse group of adults of all ages and various income brackets, including whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians, some disabled, produce a photo ID and proceed to vote without the slightest hitch.
While writing this, I got a phone call from a doctor’s office, advising me to bring my photo ID to my appointment. This is becoming oppressive. I had to show my photo ID last week to get a mammogram and to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance a few weeks ago.
Have they not learned from the Obama administration that health care is a right? Is it because I’m a woman? Hillary, call the foundation. Your check’s in the mail.
Back to Gallup. Thirty-six percent of respondents think that voter fraud will be a “major problem” across the country. Apparently, they didn’t poll the 5th Circuit.
Back in 2008, six of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, including John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy, who could find invidious discrimination among the Muppets, concluded that Indiana’s photo ID requirement was closely related to Indiana's legitimate state interests in preventing voter fraud. The slight burden the law imposed on voters' rights did not outweigh these interests, which the Court characterized as "neutral and nondiscriminatory."
Contrary to claims of opponents, minority voter participation has increased in states with photo ID laws.
Nonetheless, President Obama’s Department of Justice, the ACLU, and a host of leftist organizations continue their crusade against photo ID laws, which they liken to images of KKK thugs with billy clubs menacing a polling place in Dixie, circa 1960.
But when it came to billy-club-armed New Black Panthers menacing a Philadelphia precinct in 2008, not to worry. Obama’s DOJ dismissed the voter-intimidation case against the Panthers in 2009, as recounted by J. Christian Adams, one of the DOJ attorneys who prosecuted the case and resigned in protest when it was dismissed.
As an aside, catch the irony when the Panther with a billy club asks a reporter for his ID. It’s just so special.
Speaking of felons, Hillary Clinton’s former consigliere, Terry McAuliffe, governor of Virginia, is on a mission to restore the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons in time for the November election. He claims to be reviewing each of their cases individually, after the Virginia Supreme Court held that he violated the Virginia Constitution by issuing an executive order covering 206,000 ex-felons. According to McAuliffe:
"These individuals are gainfully employed, they send their children and their grandchildren to our schools, they shop in our grocery stores and they pay taxes. I am not content to condemn them for eternity as inferior, second-class citizens."
It matters not to McAuliffe if any of them are dead, committed murder or rape, are behind in spousal or child support, are wanted for a new crime, here illegally, or belong to a criminal gang. By the way, McAuliffe says he doesn’t have the constitutional authority to restore their right to own a firearm.
Here’s a sticky wicket for McAuliffe mentioned by John R. Lott, a crime research expert. Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution states that voting rights can’t be restored unless civil rights are restored:
No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.
How long before a McAuliffe-favored-felon seeks a court order restoring his right to own a gun?
Tell us, Governor. Will you disenfranchise them or arm them? Maybe Gallup can take a poll of Virginians.
Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.