Voter “Suppression” Laws, and Other Myths
Of all the Big Lies told by Democrats in the last few years, not many come close to the magnitude that requiring a photo ID to vote is somehow “voter suppression”. Unless you affix a single word in front of it: “Illegal”. Good citizens really have no problem with the concept of suppressing illegal votes.
There is nothing in a requirement to show a valid ID at a polling place that is “racist” or substantially different than there is at a bank when you cash a check, an airport where you board a plane or entry to a federal courthouse.
In fact, to me, it is at least mildly to downright insulting, to claim that “minorities” are disproportionately less likely to have or to be able to obtain a photo ID, and therefore their votes would be “suppressed”. This sounds very much like that form of colonial paternalism, that “these people” cannot fend for themselves, therefore the Great White Father must do their thinking for them. Balderdash!
And since the photo ID is the ‘lingua franca” of identification, as it were, opening avenues of commerce, prosperity and success, why isn’t the focus to help the disadvantaged, whatever their race, creed or color, to obtain the very document that will help to garner a measure of prosperity for themselves. How many successful people do you know who do not have at least one photo ID?
I vaguely remember back in the misty recesses of time, obtaining my first driver’s license. As I recall, I needed to bring my birth certificate and possibly one or two other documents to the DMV. After that, it was always much easier to show my driver’s license than to carry my birth certificate with me everywhere. When I moved to Ohio, I needed a photo ID and a Social Security card to get a driver’s license. Since I couldn’t find my SS card after a cross country move, I had to go down to the SS office, where they required a photo ID to get a new card. At this point I yelled “racist!” and stormed out of the office! Well, no, actually, I showed them the California DL I had gotten so many years before. Problem solved.
Was it a hassle? A minor one, yes. I had to make about three or four trips, typically during my lunch break, so that I could meet the requirements of driving legally in Ohio. I then took my newly minted Ohio driver’s license and registered to vote.
At this point, I want to touch on the myth of the absolute right of a citizen to vote, because it is “Constitutionally protected”, unlike driving a car, boarding a plane, etc. It is Constitutionally protected. And though some zealots say it as if “ConstitutionallyProtectedRightToVote” was all one word, it is not and it is not, by the way, absolute.
I say that, because I spent part of an afternoon last week, listening to a fellow on the radio, who was convinced that one’s ConstitutionallyProtectedRightToVote was an absolute, and therefore could not be restricted in any way by any of the fifty states. After all, he argued, it was a
So by what right could the states restrict it in any way? In fact, he was so sure of his “logic” that he posited that the reason advocates for voter ID had not brought the matter before the Supreme Court, was that “they knew they’d lose”. After all, the right is absolutely protected by the Federal Constitution, right?
Well, as he imagined it…not so much. I’ve got a few questions for him to ponder: Question number one: Can sixteen year old citizens vote? No. So there’s your first restriction. Voting is not absolutely to every citizen without restriction. There is a legal age requirement. Strike one.
Question number two: Can convicted felons vote? Here it gets a little trickier. It is my understanding that, while in some states convicted felons lose their right to vote, other states have been more “progressive” in allowing felons to vote. So, it would appear that some states can and have placed restrictions on who can vote, not based on race, color or creed, but on their criminal activity. Still a citizen, but not a voter. Strike two.
And even more importantly, to my mind, is that you have to register to vote. Voting may be a right conferred upon you at birth, but if you do not accept your responsibility as a citizen and register, you are not eligible to vote. Period. Strike three. (You’re out!)
If I were to cross the border into Nevada this November, and walk into the nearest polling place and tell them I want to vote, they would ask me my name (whether I showed them an ID or not). And when they did not find it on the rolls, they might ask me if I were registered within their district. At which point, I tell them it doesn’t matter whether or not I am registered, I have a Constitutionally protected right to vote! (I would say this in a big, booming voice, so they would know I have the power of Right on my side!)
I’m taking bets – do you think the next phone call they would make would be to the looney bin or the cops? I’d say about even money.
And having moved across the country several times, I am also cognizant of time restrictions on registrations. If the state I move into has a deadline 90 days before an election, to register to vote in the next election, and I register 85 days before the election, I can’t legally vote…in that election.
And in the bigger scheme of things, there may be people who through neglect or forgetfulness because of all the things involved in a move, big or small, may disenfranchise themselves..for a single election. That doesn’t mean forever banned, it just means they might have to sit one out. The system relies on the responsibility of the citizens to keep themselves informed and do what is necessary, so as not to restrict their franchise.
Just for grins, I went online to see what the state of California currently requires for voter registration:
Your California driver license or identification number, if you have one, or the last four digits of your social security number, if you have one. If you do not have any of these numbers, the state will assign you a unique identification number.
Three out of four either are, or require a photo ID to obtain. The fourth, I don’t know how they verify that you are who you say your are.
Those on the Left are on the record as favoring “One man, one vote.” I agree. But I would add, “One man, only one vote.” The idea that a vote is so precious there should be no restrictions on casting one, rings hollow if it is not so precious as to be protected against counterfeits. As counterfeit money devalues legitimate currency, so counterfeit votes devalue legitimate ones.
In a sharply divided society, people have to be able to trust in the integrity of our electoral system, in order for them to accept being on the losing end of the popular vote. The alternatives are unacceptable.
Update : I was thinking of asking one of the liberal commenters for a list of all those “minorities” who are too incompetent to obtain a photo ID for themselves, then I remembered our friends at Moooove On did it for them. From an email Steven Biel sent me:
“…voter suppression laws passed by Republicans in battleground states to make it as hard as possible for students, poor people, African-Americans, and Latinos to vote.”
Stop laughing! Yes, he said “students”. I may not remember the DMV, but I remember high school, and I did not know a kid who was sixteen years old or older who wasn’t doing everything in his or her power to obtain their driver’s license.
Please Steven, send me a list of all the students you know who are old enough to vote, but don’t have a driver’s license. Note: Sheldon Cooper doesn’t count because he’s fictional, much like most of your objections.
Cross posted at Proof PositiveTags: Domestic Issues, election 2012, Politics