Monday, April 28, 2008

Misplaced Voter ID Laws

This may have been the most under-reported story of the day-
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws...

...It was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. But the voter ID ruling lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.

Now, any proper cynic will tell you that these voter ID rules that the GOP has pushed in recent years-- because you know how concerned the party of Don Segretti, Katherine Harris, and the U.S. Attorney scandal is about election integrity-- are a giant scam, but the Republicans have worked hard to create a narrative of "fraud" that doesn't exist.

Yes, voters and politicians should be concerned about actual electoral fraud... that is, actual rigging of elections, hacked machines, that type of thing. But that is vote counting fraud-- ie. the type of fraud that occurs after the fact. And yet all Republicans are proposing is a solution to fraud that occurs before the fact, a completely different issue. And that is the tell.

This is the scam. The Republicans have used legitimate concerns about voter fraud in recent years to create a system in which they commit a fraud of their own. Voter ID laws put the burden on poor and elderly voters, the two groups most likely not to have a driver's license or modern government ID. And also-- gosh!-- the two groups that most reliably vote for the donkey party. They insist that these laws place no burdens on these groups. From the above article, a followup-
Indiana provides IDs free of charge to the poor and allows voters who lack photo ID 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.

Nope, nothing burdesome there.

If the GOP was really concerned about voter fraud and electoral integrity, they'd be loudly supporting tamper-proof voting machines or fighting against campaign trickery that wrongly influences voters. But they don't. Their focus has always, and solely, been on one issue... voter ID laws. And that's very revealing.

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