Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

05/12/2008 (9:45 am)

Finally, We Get to the Real Issue

Missouri Republicans proposed an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would enable election officials to demand proof of citizenship in order to obtain the right to vote. Democrats, the minority in the Missouri legislature, are ratcheting up the class rhetoric, calling the measure “an assault on voting rights.”

Missouri already passed a voter photo ID law back in 2006, but the Missouri Supreme Court struck it down as an unconstitutional burden on voting rights, since the law often required citizens to pay to obtain a birth certificate. The US Supreme Court a few weeks ago upheld a similar law in Indiana, paving the way for voter photo ID laws all over the US. Eighty percent of Americans believe requiring photo ID to vote constitutes sound policy to protect the voting process from fraud.

First of all, let’s state what this is really about: it’s about Democrats getting felons and illegal aliens to vote Democratic. Democrats have been systematically using Hispanics from Mexico to bolster their electoral results in border states since at least 1996. They show up at illegal alien rallies with voter registration posters. They routinely submit falsified voter registration information to allow illegals, felons, and other ineligibles to vote Democratic.

Voter registration poster from 2006 illegal alien rally, courtesy of Michelle Malkin.

And then, when Republicans take measures that nearly everybody agrees is a good idea to stem this flood of illegal votes, Democrats jack up the rhetoric about “disenfranchising the poor.” There could be some minor barriers created by voter ID laws, but most states recognize this and devise mechanisms to minimize that effect, like absorbing the (minimal) cost of the ID for indigent voters. Meanwhile, though, Democrats scream that Republicans are trying to keep the poor from voting, forgetting that Democrats favor photo IDs for the poor when they’re discussing improvements to the welfare system. Worse, Democrats won’t even mention the problem potentially caused by millions of illegals. It’s just another instance, like dozens of others we’ve seen, of the insane, vicious dishonesty of the left, a group that brooks no moral obstruction in its lust for political power.

I took a tour of the leftist blogs that spoke about the Missouri measure today, like Diogenes with his lantern, looking for an honest man. Like Diogenes, I did not find one. Not one of them even acknowledged that Republicans have the slightest reason to object to illegals voting. A couple mentioned that Republicans “pretend” the issue has something to do with illegals voting. Many of them cite alarmist predictions of the number of legal voters who will be “disenfranchised” by insisting that voters prove they have the right to vote. Most of them cite the meaningless statistic that there has never been “a single proven case of voter impersonation at the polls.”

Memeorandum at 9:05 AM on 5/12/2008, listing blog responses to the Missouri proposal.

What they mean by “there’s never been a proven case” is that nobody has ever been convicted of such an act in a court of law, which in fact proves that it’s ridiculously hard to secure a conviction in a voter impersonation case, not that voter impersonation never happens. It happens all the time, and everybody knows it, including the Democrats. This is why everybody but Democratic partisans favors voter photo ID laws. From the Wall Street Journal in 2007:

Last week, election officials in San Antonio, Texas determined that 330 people on their voter rolls weren’t citizens and that up to 41 of them may have voted illegally, some repeatedly. In 2004, San Antonio was the scene of a bitter dispute in which Democratic Rep. Ciro Rodriguez charged his primary opponent with voter fraud.

In Florida, a felon named Ben Miller was arrested last week for illegally voting in every state election over a period of 16 years. The Palm Beach Post discovered that in Florida’s 2000 infamous presidential recount, 5,643 voters’ names perfectly matched the names of convicted felons. They should have been disqualified but were allowed to vote anyway. “These illegal voters almost certainly influenced the down-to-the-wire presidential election,” the Post reported. By contrast, only 1,100 people were incorrectly labeled as felons by election officials, the Post estimated.

Missouri’s measure is a level more stringent that Indiana’s benign, totally charge-free voter ID requirement (to which Democrats also objected); some voters may be required to produce naturalization papers or a passport. I think we can expect a new challenge in the courts if it passes. Democrats are persistent; if they can’t cheat one way, they’ll find another way. We can only count on the fact that no matter what happens, come rain or shine, they will try to cheat.

04/29/2008 (1:47 pm)

Democrats Attack Vote Integrity — and Lose

The US Supreme Court decided yesterday that Indiana’s Voter Identification law requiring citizens to show a picture ID in order to vote does not violate the Constitution. The majority opinion in Crawford, et al, v Marion County Election board, written by Justice John Paul Stephens, argues that requiring Indiana voters to dig up a birth certificate and stand in line at the Dept of Motor Vehicles to obtain a photographic voter ID card does not unduly burden the voter or threaten to curtail voting by the poor and elderly. The Indiana voter ID is free, and Indiana allows provisional voting without the ID.

The case was decided 6-3, with Justices Stephens, Kennedy, and Roberts arguing that the petitioners (Democrats) did not manage to quantify what burden the law placed on poor voters, and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito arguing that the law was not discriminatory since all voters were treated alike. Justices Souter and Ginzberg dissented, saying that the law would probably deter tens of thousands from voting (this is nonsense, in my humble opinion) and that the state did not justify the burden on voters. Justice Breyer dissented because he felt the law unevenly burdened voters who lack a driver’s license.

I’m pleased. The Court did the right thing.

The case will severely restrict the Democratic party’s attempts to flood the polls with illegal aliens voting Democratic, and should also limit schemes to pay voters to vote more than once. The law should go a long way toward restoring public confidence in the voting process.

I have never, for a single moment, believed that Democrats were actually concerned that the poor and elderly would be unduly burdened by the requirement to show photo ID. It’s simply not intellectually plausible. Poor people are required to hold a photo ID to receive welfare benefits in some states, and the system works. Indiana’s law contains appropriate accommodations for those who have difficulty traveling, or who can’t find the documents they need in order to obtain a photo ID. In fact, as Allahpundit points out, the burden of obtaining a voter ID is not much different from the burden of voting itself; the voter has to leave home, travel, and stand in line. If that’s an undue burden, then voting itself is an undue burden.

Nor did I believe that Democrats were serious when they said that voter impersonation was rare. Perhaps it was in the past, but there are millions of illegals in the country today that can easily come up with a bill listing their name and address, but cannot qualify for a photo ID. I don’t know personally any Democrats stupid enough not to see how the law might affect the ability of illegals to vote.

In short, I believe Democrats opposed the law simply and completely because they know their ability to cheat during elections will be curtailed by photo IDs… and I sincerely hope they are correct.

The partisan divide on this issue was striking. The law was passed in the Indiana state legislature with Republicans voting unanimously for the measure, and Democrats voting unanimously against. The petitioners even attempted to use this as an argument for striking down the law, but the Court correctly observed that while the vote was partisan, the reasons given for the law were neutral. See p. 20 of Justice Stephens’ opinion.

Update: Oh, I forgot: Michelle Malkin points out that the plaintiff in this case, who was refused the right to vote in Indiana in 2006, was illegally registered to vote in two states — and taking a homestead exemption to her taxes in both states, as well.