This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published February 20, 2012 in The Washington Times.
Did you know that according to a new Pew study, more than 1.8 million dead people are registered to vote? And that leading Democrats are fiercely opposing new laws that tighten voting requirements?
This tells us, just as we suspected, that the zombie population is becoming a major Democratic constituency.
No wonder the leading lights of the left contend – without a shred of evidence – that Republican-led legislatures are enacting photo ID laws to “suppress” the minority vote. Zombies have rights, too, you know. And minorities can’t be expected to do the same simple things everyone else does in order to vote, such as show a photo ID. They’re just, well, incapable, according to Democrats, who accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being racist.
The report from the Pew Center on the States titled “Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient” also says 2.68 million people are registered to vote in at least two states, 68,725 are registered in three states, and 1,807 are registered in four or more states.
The Pew report’s signature finding is that 51 million people who are eligible to vote are unregistered and 24 million registrations are “no longer valid” or are “significantly inaccurate.” Hence, Pew wants to make it easier to register and vote and recommends making everything electronic. That might work, unless the Service Employees International Union keeps getting contracts to service voting machines, like it did in Sen. Harry Reid’s Nevada in 2010, where some early voters in Clark County reported that their ballots already had been checked for “Harry Reid.”
The Pew findings, considered another way, are a clear directive to reform the system by requiring photo IDs to discourage voter fraud.
It’s hard to tell how this will play in the precincts of Chicago, where ballot stuffing is routine and queued-up voters are not the slightest bit surprised when zombies lurch up and butt into line. But you can bet that the left’s shameless, false charges about voter “suppression” will get only shriller.
Facts do not seem to matter. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 found no evidence of voter suppression – none – in a ruling upholding Indiana’s photo-ID law. A liberal federal judge in Georgia appointed by Jimmy Carter similarly found no evidence of voter suppression under Georgia’s photo-ID law. Plus, minority participation actually rose sharply in subsequent elections.
“Despite the claims of the plaintiffs’ lawyers that there were hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters who did not have a photo ID and could not obtain one, over the course of the next two years of litigation, they were unable to produce a single voter who was disenfranchised by the Georgia law,” John Fund writes in his book Stealing Elections.
Mr. Fund notes that several plaintiffs were disqualified because they admitted in depositions that they could get photo IDs easily. One of them even worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles. In the Indiana case, a 72-year-old woman cited in an amicus brief by the League of Women Voters turned out to be a Florida homeowner registered to vote in Florida who had tried to use a Florida driver’s license to vote in Indiana. Oops.
But the narrative is just too good to give up. Earlier this month, former NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Chavis accused Virginia Republicans promoting a state photo ID law of trying to “lynch democracy.”
On June 5, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told CNN: “[N]ow you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws.”
After Republicans cried foul, she backed off a bit, saying, “Jim Crow was the wrong analogy to use,” but she continued to make the charge.
In a review of the dust-up, the Tampa Bay Times‘ PolitiFact included the following in for-and-against arguments for photo IDS: “Like Jim Crow laws, the new laws are likely to diminish the voter pool. Though the extent is uncertain, most experts agree that some people who would otherwise want to vote will be disenfranchised. And many agree that minorities will be hit disproportionately.”
Really?”Most experts?” Where is the proof for this? Even a little bit?
PolitiFact also offered arguments from the other side, including this mild rebuke:
“‘Jim Crow regimes involved relentless efforts to stop all African Americans from voting and included brutal intimidation tactics, like lynching,’ said Heather Gerken, a Yale Law School professor who specializes in election law. ‘I don’t think photo ID rises to that level, and I don’t think [Rep. Wasserman Schultz] thinks so either.'”
Well, that’s a relief.
There’s one more thing to keep in mind as the year unfolds. When he was a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s and early ’90s, Barack Obama litigated cases for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and conducted ACORN training sessions. ACORN hatched the 1993 Motor Voter law, which has weakened accountability significantly and invited voter fraud.
In 1995, Mr. Obama represented ACORN in suing the state of Illinois for not implementing Motor Voter. Republican Gov. Jim Edgar had blocked it, citing the provision barring the state from purging voter rolls. Taking a risk of alienating zombies, Mr. Edgar said that not purging the rolls would invite voter fraud. Precisely.
In the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama was the leading opponent of voter law reform, Mr. Fund reports. Mr. Obama even put a hold on former Justice Department attorney Hans von Spakovsky’s nomination to the Federal Election Commission over Mr. von Spakovsky’s “quixotic attempts to attack voter fraud” in defense of Georgia’s photo-ID law.
Mr. von Spakovsky has since moved on to the Heritage Foundation, where he publishes well-documented reports of government misdeeds, including the recurring problem of voter fraud.
Mr. Obama, holed up in the White House theater room watching “Dawn of the Dead,” can’t be amused.