The War on Legitimate Voters has entered a new phase, as state ID laws are gathering steam, and the entire edifice of voter fraud stands threatened. Democrats and their media allies are trying to push a new counter-narrative, claiming that common-sense voter ID procedures will actually block more legitimate voters than illegitimate ones.
This boils down to the argument that limitless voter fraud must be tolerated throughout Information Age America, because we have to shape our electoral system to accommodate the careless.
When the Associated Press rolled out a new study of voter ID laws, whose “numbers suggest the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent,” they began with an anecdote about an elderly Indiana couple that had to use temporary ballots because they forgot to bring their photo IDs. (The story doesn’t say how they got to the polling place – presumably they didn’t drive without their drivers’ licenses!) Then the couple failed to follow up with the county election board, to validate their temporary ballots, so their votes didn’t count.
Using this sort of anecdote to criticize voter-ID laws represents the logical nullification of all laws. What if people decide to drive without their photo IDs? It’s just not fair that those poor, innocent souls might get into trouble with the police. Most laws require some degree of effort to comply with, but only in the case of voter registration is all effort portrayed as morally illegitimate. The people criticizing voter ID seem very comfortable with far more intrusive laws, which impose much more confusing burdens upon vastly greater numbers of innocent people.
Will any of those voter ID laws require a billion dollars per year and 16,000 IRS agents to enforce, like ObamaCare? No one who supports ObamaCare can possibly be taken seriously when they object to voter ID laws. For that matter, anyone who supports our byzantine tax code – which routinely ambushes well-meaning people for innocent failure to comply with regulations even the IRS doesn’t fully understand – has very little ground to stand on.
The elderly man “victimized” by Indiana’s voter-ID law complained to the Associated Press that “a lot of people don’t have a photo ID. They’ll be automatically disenfranchised.” This is pure, dangerous ignorance. The AP should be embarrassed to relay it without pointing out that, in fact, every state with voter ID laws includes very generous provisions for easily obtaining an ID card, at zero or minimal cost.
In the state of Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is required by law to provide a free voter ID card to anyone who presents the most basic documentation to establish their identity and state residence. “Also,” as the website of the Indiana Secretary of State explains, “if you qualify to vote absentee-by-mail or absentee-by-traveling board, and you chose to vote as such, you are not required to present photo ID.”
No one is being “automatically disenfranchised” by these policies. Attacks upon them are a demand to allow fraudulent votes, because even the most elementary attempts to validate ballots are an unbearable burden upon people who don’t place any real value upon their franchise. We must corrupt our political system to indulge people who don’t give a crap about it.
As to the assertion that vote fraud is actually a teensy, tiny problem that isn’t worth making a serious effort to combat, Florida’s much-reviled voter purge has already discovered over a hundred illegal voters, half of which already violated federal law by casting ballots in prior elections. Many of those people were caught by simply comparing sworn states of illegal residency, submitted to escape from jury duty, to the voter rolls.
Crusaders against vote fraud have repeatedly demonstrated how easy it is to accomplish, scoring fraudulent ballots with the names of dead people in New Hampshire, and easily obtaining the ballot of the Attorney General of the United States in Washington, D.C. A man in Albuquerque, New Mexico had no problem getting his dog registered to vote. But law-abiding American citizens are supposed to meekly endure such shenanigans in perpetuity, because serious efforts to prevent them might inconvenience people who think voting should be easier than ordering a pizza online?
As a Republican lawyers’ group pointed out to the AP, a great deal of voter fraud “goes unreported and unprosecuted.” Serious efforts to study the problem are denounced as racism. Local political machines prove less than enthusiastic about tracking down zombie voters.
But even if the number of legitimate voters thwarted by ID laws could be absolutely proven to exceed the number of fraud attempts prevented, that doesn’t constitute a serious argument against efficient voter registration.
Even the weak laws already on the books in most states could be struck down on the very same basis – anything short of handing a ballot to everyone who turns up at a voting booth on Election Day could well be “inconveniencing” more legitimate voters than criminals. A CNN host lectured Texas congressman Kevin Brady along these lines on Monday, arguing “there’s a balance between making sure that you’re not shutting people out because the overriding issue here has to be that someone who is an American and is eligible to vote is allowed to vote. You don’t want to put any barriers in that way.”
Really? You don’t want to put any barriers in the way? Or would it be more intellectually honest to admit we’re discussing the nature and extent of the barriers against illegal voting? Why can’t crusaders against voter ID laws ever seem to be honest about the laws they oppose, or concede a shred of honor and decency to their opponents?
Large-scale vote fraud tends to be organized, while these innocent people who supposedly just can’t be troubled to bring photo ID to the polls are random. Why should we tolerate 10,000 fraudulent votes designed to sway an election, because we fear the possibility of inadvertently nullifying 10,000, or even 20,000, votes from people who couldn’t manage to follow simple rules? The spoils from elections have increased as the size of our government has swelled, but there are continuing efforts to devalue our political currency… by people who understand, in every other sphere of hyper-regulated American life, that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, and no law can function properly if citizens make zero effort to comply with it.