Human Events Blog

Rhode Island Democrats Enact Voter ID Law

In a surprising development, the state of Rhode Island has joined a host of other states in passing a voter ID bill, which will implement the humiliating and demeaning necessity of actually having voters identify themselves before casting a ballot. Well, that’s how opponents of such a common sense would have you think such laws are. But in a deviation from other states recently passing such legislation, such as Texas and Wisconsin, this time the action comes in a state controlled entirely by Democrats, with a nominal independent–Governor Lincoln Chafee–signing the legislation.

Proponents of voter fraud, naturally, aren’t happy.

The fight over Rhode Island’s new voter identification law continued for three days after Governor Chafee quietly signed the legislation, with opponents saying they were led by the governor’s office to believe they still had a fighting chance.

A week earlier, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a voter-ID bill passed by her state’s Republican-controlled legislature, saying it would “unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters.”

But there was no such opposition from Chafee in Rhode Island, where Democrats overwhelmingly control the House and Senate. Democratic House Speaker Gordon D. Fox was one of the co-sponsors of the new voter-identification law, along with Democrat Jon Brien, of Woonsocket, and Republicans Joseph Trillo, of Warwick, and Doreen Costa, of North Kingstown. The Senate version was sponsored by Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence Democrat.

The contention that anyone is disenfranchised has no merit. You need identification for virtually anything else in life, and these weak claims people won’t be able to vote have no merit. You can be assured if someone is living off the government–collecting food stamps and welfare, for example–they would surely be presenting identification if it meant collecting their freebies. And in Rhode Island’s case, the state will even supply the identification for you, although one wonders what kind of ID you must show to get it.

The secretary of state’s office will begin issuing free identification cards next year to people who need them.

Even with that, the typical caterwauling has commenced.

“From Ocean State Action came this statement: “On the last day of the session, after an hour and a half of debate and, against the strong objections of progressive legislators, the General Assembly passed a voter-identification bill that will disenfranchise low-income voters, communities of color, the elderly and students across the State of Rhode Island.

So are we supposed to believe there are great swaths of Rhode Island where people are walking around without identification? How do these people drive and get jobs if they’re unable to identify themselves? Heck, I recently visted a new physician for the first time the other day and was asked for both my insurance card and driver’s license. You can be assured if these “communities of color” are going to get their “free” ObamaCare then it stands to reason they’ll have to identify themselves, right? Not only that, the notion there are unidentified students meandering about is hogwash. College students avail themselves to a host of activities and benefits on campus, but you need to show a student ID.

The arguments against voter ID laws hold no merit, but this doesn’t stop national Democrats from shamefully demagoguing the issue. Making specious claims that so many people do not have valid ID does not negate the need to have such laws. If people are so damn helpless they can’t identify themselves then they have enough problems outside of the inability to vote.

 


Sign Up