April 28, 2008

ID (the Other Kind): Beginning of the Death of the Democratic Party?

Hatched by Dafydd

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court -- in a shock 6-3 decision (shocking because Justice John Paul Stevens was on the side of the angels!) -- held that states could indeed require voters to show photo-ID before voting... causing Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY, 90%) to eructate, "This decision is a body blow to what America stands for -- equal access to the polls" (for senior citizens, minorities, and the poor... most of whom, apparently, carry no identification).

The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter-identification law on Monday, declaring that a requirement to produce photo identification is not unconstitutional and that the state has a “valid interest” in improving election procedures as well as deterring fraud.

In a 6-to-3 ruling in one of the most awaited election-law cases in years, the court rejected arguments that Indiana’s law imposes unjustified burdens on people who are old, poor or members of minority groups and less likely to have driver’s licenses or other acceptable forms of identification. Because Indiana’s law is considered the strictest in the country, similar laws in the other 20 or so states that have photo-identification rules would appear to have a good chance of surviving scrutiny.

The ruling, coming just eight days before the Indiana primary and at the height of a presidential election campaign, upheld rulings by a Federal District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had thrown out challenges to the 2005 law.

It's not just Chuck Schumer who is incensed by this ruling, and more generally, by the voter-ID laws that sparked it; almost the entire Democratic party seems up in arms about the very idea of requiring government-issued photo-ID before voters are allowed to vote.

So why are they so adamant? Let's consider a few points that may edge us away from their stated reasons -- concern that "legitimate voters" will be disenfranchised -- and towards what I think is their real motivation.

  1. While I agree that the "poor or members of minority groups" are less likely to have government ID, that is entirely by their own choice (or more likely, their own apathy).

Mere lack of money can't stop a voter from getting identification; although the Times doesn't consider it the kind of news "that's fit to print," the related AP story is more forthcoming on this point:

Indiana provides IDs free of charge to people without driver's licenses. It also allows voters who lack photo ID's to cast a provisional ballot and then show up within 10 days at their county courthouse to produce identification or otherwise attest to their identity.

So money is no object; government ID is literally "priceless."

  1. Where is the evidence that registered voters who are senior citizens are less likely to have photo-ID from the government than younger voters?

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find that they're more likely, not less, to have identification. I suspect this unsourced claim is intended to broaden the pool of putative "victims" of voter-ID laws... and especially to broaden it to include as many Republicans as possible.

The Times article ends a heart-rending story about a black woman, a senior citizen, turned away from the polls in Indiana for lack of ID. The last line: "Ms. Williams, in her early 60’s, is black -- and is a Republican." (Cue melodramatic music.)

Last and most important point. When I say this decision, and the legislation it will spark, could spell the death of the Democratic Party, I don't mean because it will somehow -- metaphysically, perhaps -- make it harder for senior citizens (who are more likely to vote Republican anyway), the poor, and minorities to vote. It won't; even though the latter will still vote in lesser numbers than those who are more well off and those who are not "federally protected minorities," that has nothing to do with any supposed inability to get a photo-ID.

Rather, I think it will inflict a deep wound in the Democratic Party because:

  1. Such bills will, when fully implemented -- for example, when extended to the rest of the United States and to include absentee balloting -- make it much, much harder to commit voter fraud... and today's Democratics depend so heavily on fraud, they probably can't survive without it.

Critics of the law make much of the fact that there have been so few prosecutions for voter fraud in Indiana. But that's Indiana, where Republican election officials pretty control the elections. I doubt that voter fraud has ever been a serious problem in that state.

But how about Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York City, Compton, East L.A., New Orleans, Miami, and other cities and even entire states where Democrats control the "standards" required to vote? That is where you're going to find massive voter fraud that turns the Democratic majority into a supermajority -- and the Republican minority into political impotence.

Take Loretta Sanchez: She first won California's 46th district in 1996, beating "B-1" Bob Dornan by 984 votes. California officials threw out 124; and when Congress investigated, they found 624 more votes that were definitely fraudulent... which reduced Sanchez's lead down to 236 votes (out of about 100,000 votes cast). At that point, not being able to prove that the voter fraud Congress found was enough to flip the election, the House for political reasons voted to end the investigation.

But look here... according to a column by Wall Street Journal writer John Fund, the INS subsequently found that as many as 4,023 ballots were cast in the 46th district by "illegal voters." But since there was no way to know for sure whether these four thousand Hispanic non-citizens and unregistered Hispanic voters voted for Loretta Sanchez or Bob Dornan, that could not be used in the investigation of her "victory."

(Much of this work was done after the House voted to terminate the investigation, and the full House finally shut down the committee and INS investigation before it could find even more voter fraud, thus embarassing Newt Gingrich even further.)

But there is more in that same John Fund column:

In 2002, Dean Gardner, a losing GOP candidate for California's state legislature, sent out a survey to 14,000 first-time voters. A total of 1,691 surveys came back. The results were startling: 76 people admitted that they weren't citizens but had voted, while 49 claimed not to have registered at their correct residence, as the law requires. Gardner lost by only 266 votes.

In the 2000 election, as the Missouri secretary of state later discovered, 56,000 St. Louis-area voters held multiple voter registrations. No one knows how much actual fraud took place, but it may have played a role in the Democratic defeats of incumbent Republican senator John Ashcroft, who lost his seat by 49,000 votes, and gubernatorial candidate Jim Talent, who lost by 21,000 votes....

A Post analysis [of the 2000 presidential election vote in Florida] discovered that 5,600 people voted whose names matched those of convicted felons. "These illegal voters almost certainly influenced the down-to-the-wire presidential election," the Post reported. "Of the likely felons identified by the Post, 68 percent were registered Democrats."

Note that this only counts actual, bona-fide election fraud; Democrats also have an array of legal or quasi-legal ways to prevent enemy votes from being counted, ranging from closing polls in Republican-leaning districts earlier than those in Democrat-leaning districts, to hypercritical challenging of Republican votes by elections boards, to selective recounts, all the way to actually filing lawsuits attempting to suppress the Republican vote (as in the Florida cases filed in Martin and Seminole counties in 2000, seeking to disenfranchise 25,000 absentee voters). None of these would be affected by voter-ID laws.

I believe that voter fraud increased substantially after President Bill Clinton signed the motor-voter bill in 1993 -- which I vigorously opposed from the very beginning: If a person has so little interest in the franchise that he won't bestir himself to register unless he's practically forced, then I don't want him voting at all. Fund evidently agrees:

Why is such activity proliferating? It flows from the success of Democratic lawmakers in pushing aside clear, orderly, and rigorous voting procedures in favor of elastic and "inclusive" election rules that invite manipulation. A machine for corruption is the 1993 "Motor Voter Act," the first bill that President Clinton signed. The law requires government officials to allow anyone who renews a driver's license or applies for welfare or unemployment to register to vote on the spot, without showing ID or proof of citizenship. It also allows ID-free registration by mail. The law also makes it hard to purge voting lists of those who've died or moved. All this makes vote fraud a cinch, almost as easy as when Tammany Hall handed out pre-marked ballots.

In California, it is actually against state law for polling places to demand any form of ID that indicates citizenship. Not even Democrats try to defend that on its own grounds; it was simply pushed through the legislature in a power play. There can be no other purpose for such a bill than to make committing voter fraud as easy as taking a pie in the face.

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a socialist group that agitates for various left-wing causes, is the king of registration fraud, I suspect, having registered thousands and thousands of fake voters. But they have many competitors, including the Public Interest Research Group and Project Vote... nearly all of whom lean very far to the left.

I am convinced that it is this fact -- not weird speculation about the poor and certain minorities and their lack of interest in obtaining IDs -- that actually animates and drives the intense Democratic opposition to voter-ID laws across the country. But why would Democrats be so anxious to lock into place a system that practically begs for fraudulent voting -- unless they believe they really and truly need election fraud to stay in power?

I take their own obvious opinion of themselves and their election strategy very seriously. Thus I say again: If voter-ID bills sweep the rest of the country (the 30 states, plus D.C., that have no requirement to show a photo-ID before voting), and especially if it is extended to absentee balloting, then the Democratic Party as we know it today could collapse. It would most probably be replaced by a new and much more moderate Democratic Party. (It's much less likely to be replaced by a different party, since we have been stuck with these two for more than 150 years.)

But either way, the heyday of the contemporary, ultra-leftist Democratic Party of 2008 -- that can dither between nominating Hillary Clinton (left) or Barack Obama (lefter); that can openly call for America to declare defeat and go home from a war we're winning; that responds to a possible recession by proposing staggering tax increases (economic policy which even John Maynard Keynes rejected); that is willing to ally itself with America's enemies (and Islamic religious fundamentalists), applauds Communists like Oogo Chavez and Raul Castro, and argues that the CIA cannot interrogate captured foreign terrorists held abroad any harsher than police can interrogate an American citizen suspected of robbing a convenience store; that is so radical, it cannot gain power except through voter fraud -- that kind of Democratic Party is soon to pass from history.

It will not be missed.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 28, 2008, at the time of 5:49 PM

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» IDs for voting from Maggie's Farm
Big Lizards has a good take on the Supremes' decision. Everywhere I have lived - except in NYC - an ID was required to vote. Hmmm. [Read More]

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» Submitted for Your Approval from Watcher of Weasels
First off...  any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here,  and here.  Die spambots, die!  And now...  here are all the links submitted by members of the Watcher's Council for this week's vote. Council link... [Read More]

Tracked on April 29, 2008 6:35 PM

» The Council Has Spoken! from Watcher of Weasels
First off...  any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here,  and here.  Die spambots, die!  And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are The Total Witlessness of Obama Apol... [Read More]

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» Watcher's Council Results from Rhymes With Right
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Comments

The following hissed in response by: MerryMaven

I feel hurt. You failed to mention Washington's last governor's race wherein the Democratic machine in King County (Seattle) stole the election out from under the Republican candidate. We had the same problem with the fraudulent votes: because it was impossible to prove how they voted, the judge decided they couldn't be considered. It took the Dems three recounts to finally make up enough votes to steal the election, but they managed.

The above hissed in response by: MerryMaven [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 28, 2008 6:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: MarkJM

Bravo Dafydd. THAT is exactly why democrats fear voter ID. They have been cheating for decades and proudly blame those evil Republicans for it. If fact EVERY dishonorable action the dems blame on conservatives is nothing more than projection of their own tactics which unfortunately happen to be at least 10 times worse than what they accuse. We are all now witnessing the rabid racism, sexism and bigotry for all to see. The most prevelent characteristic of the modern democrat party. Oh what a summer! Unfortunately, the Republican party has become impotent due to a pavlovic response to at least 4 decades of abuse. God help America!

The above hissed in response by: MarkJM [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 28, 2008 6:59 PM

The following hissed in response by: madconductor

I don't blindly support the Republican Party. It's just that nearly all the candidates I vote for wind up being there. But it is a good feeling in my bones to find another reason for the dumocrats to self-immolate out of existence. I also think that as long as dumocrats cater to the designer kids crowd (only having one or none)- and believe in abortion so strongly - that they'll be extinct in 40 years anyway.

Excellent post.

The above hissed in response by: madconductor [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 28, 2008 10:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

The problem is this:
The dhimmies are going to claim in every race they lose that their voters were kept away because of the wicked requirement for ID.
And sue, sue, sue.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 7:10 AM

The following hissed in response by: AMR

I witnessed the buying of votes by the Democrats in the 1964 presidential election in Philly. Anyone was paid 5 bucks to go in and vote. Some of our under 21 (the voting age then) Goldwater crowd found out about it and went down, received their $5 and voted for Goldwater. The pols thought that the $5 bought you so completely that they even allowed them a secret ballot. I keep hearing reports that it still goes on there. The voter ID requirements may help, but when the election officials are that corrupt and the Republicans so inept, I fear it will continue.

Now this really, really torqued me off and no one did anything about it from what I know. During the 2000 election in Florida, it was reported that in two counties the absentee military votes were thrown out even though Florida had agreed after a federal lawsuit to accept such ballots even if they did not totally meet the state’s requirements. But, hey, the majority of the evil, baby killing military vote is Republican like this old veteran, so their votes shouldn’t count, right? I mean those military types just don’t have the right attitude according to the Democrats! If anyone’s right to vote aught to be protected to the nth degree, it should be those in the military like my son who voted in the primary from Iraq. If I found out his vote was cast aside, there would be heck to pay.

The above hissed in response by: AMR [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 9:10 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

I believe you are correct Dafydd - the only explanation for the Democratic reaction to a relatively benign concept is because it interferes with their ability to steal elections. And the only reason for Republicans to push it is to prevent the theft. But neither side wants to admit the truth, because it would cast doubt on the legitimacy of all elected officials, both D and R. So we get this court case were neither side can admit there is any harm to anyone.

Honestly...I don't want anyone voting who doesn't have an ID. You need an ID to travel on a plane, drive a car, cash a check, use a credit card for many purchases. You can't rent a bloody movie at blockbuster video without one. So those without IDs don't travel, don't get paid, and don't have credit.

People without IDs are disengaged both financially and socially from our society, and have no business in the voting booth.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 10:20 AM

The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn

It's so unfair. Do you realize how much it will cost to buy photo IDs for all those dead people?

The above hissed in response by: Ken Hahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 12:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: unrepentant

Just a curiosity question: if Democrats are the primary beneficiaries of no-ID vote fraud and have used that to gain control of the various state legislatures, why on earth would they pass laws which require ID to be shown? I'm completely in favor of such laws, but getting the very people who would be disadvantaged by those laws to pass them seems to me to be optimistic.

The above hissed in response by: unrepentant [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 3:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

unrepentant,

You're mostly right. It won't happen in Illinois where the Democrats are in control. But it will prevent Democrats from stealing Indiana.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 8:11 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Unrepentent:

And it's also hard sometimes to resist demands for reform that are so clearly beneficial with little downside, from the perspective of the ordinary voter.

What would the Democrats argue, that they favor election fraud?

Where Democrats have total control with no hope of losing it, there is probably nothing that can be done. Look at the Massachusetts state legislature and its (so far successful) effort to prevent the citizens from getting to vote on same-sex marriage.

But in most Democratic states, Republicans have more than a token presence; and it's always possible for them to capture seats when the Democrats get too arrogant.

Once the voter-ID bill passes -- whether by Republicans or bipartisanly with the help of moderate Democrats -- they can't go back to the corrupt, old way again. So each victory is permanent.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2008 9:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: AMR

While reflecting on the voter ID situation, I heard on TV another lawyer in a series say that it was not shown during the SCOTUS orals that in Indiana there had been any voter fraud. I remembered a story I came across and searched Google. I found it. One of the two examples used by the anti voter ID block was of an elderly lady who was denied her right to vote because of voter ID requirements in Indiana. As it turned out she presented a Florida ID and was registered to vote in Indiana and Florida. See http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2008/01/voter-id-poster-child-busted.html. Also I read elsewhere that Mr. Obama working with ACORN filed a brief supporting the anti group.

The above hissed in response by: AMR [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2008 4:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Neo

Indiana provides IDs free of charge to people without driver's licenses.

I seem to recall that Photo ID is required in order to buy food stamps.

Why do the feds put this onerous burden on po fok ?

The above hissed in response by: Neo [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2008 8:05 AM

The following hissed in response by: unrepentant

Dafydd and NK -

Thanks for the responses and I really hope that you're correct, especially about it being a one-way trip towards a more honest system.

I'm perhaps a little more cynical what with being a resident of the Great State of Washington. We've had a couple of recent elections that would seem to me to cry out for more accountability - Cantwell/Gorton in 2000 and Gregoire/Rossi in 2004 - and yet our state and county governments don't seem exactly committed to a more transparent process.

This also doesn't seem to have much resonance with the voters once you get a couple of months past the elections. Where I live on the west side, the prevailing attitudes seem to be "What else can you expect?" or "It may be illegal but as long as it gives the right results...". I would like to believe that one day voters will take enough interest to make sure the votes are counted properly, but I'm half-convinced we've gone so far down the path to Daley's Chicago that the only thing people will really, truly fight for is to avoid being taxed for Seattle's benefit.

The above hissed in response by: unrepentant [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2008 2:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: karrde

WRT the comment that Detroit is a regular hotbed of voter dishonesty:

The photo-ID laws of Indiana were recently duplicated by Michigan.

They were passed by the Republican-majority State House/Senate in 2006, and signed by Dem Gov. Granholm.

They took effect in any election that occurred after Jan., 2007.

Curiously, this kept the photo-ID law from being a big issue in 2006, and it appears to have been accepted tacitly in all the municipal elections of 2007, as well as the Bungled Presidential Primary of Jan. 2008.

I hope that this will clean up any fraud present in Detroit elections, as well as State elections (which are often dominated by the Detroit Metro area voting).

Of course, there are other signs of fraud in Detroit politics...but that appears to be inside-City-Hall fraud, rather than ballot-box fraud.

The above hissed in response by: karrde [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2008 6:18 AM

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