The Justice Department on December 23 blocked a South Carolina law that requires voters to present a photo ID that prove they are who they say there are. The Justice Department says that voter fraud is rare.
Go that? Voter fraud is rare. Has anyone at the Justice Department ever heard of Cook County, Illinois? Back in 1960, Black comedian Dick Gregory said this. “I love Cook County. That’s where my vote really counts . . . and counts . . . and counts.” It has not changed.
Republicans say requiring photo identification at the polls is just a matter of common sense. But Democrats warn the move could disenfranchise voters.
“I think this is an effort to diminish minority and poor people’s involvement in the electoral policies and politics,” said Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
But David Norcross, president of the Republican National Lawyers Association, noted that a photo ID is required to enter any federal building and most office buildings, among other things. “You need it to get welfare, you need it to get on an airplane, take the SAT, buy liquor, buy cigarettes. It’s sort of ubiquitous,” he said. “And it’s crazy to exclude voting from the list of things you need it for.”
Why block the law now? Why bother.
An even stricter law in Indiana, however, was upheld years ago by the Supreme Court on a 6-3 vote. So now, 15 states require or plan to require photo IDs.
Here is the argument of South Carolina Democrats: it hurts minorities and the poor.
“They can’t get a photo ID because typically you have to have a birth certificate to get an official state ID. Many people don’t have the ability to pay the $35 here.”
This is a red herring.
If a voter claims to have had a “reasonable impediment” to getting an ID, they can vote anyway.
“When you show up to vote, you fill out an affidavit in which you swear you are who you say you are,” said Spakovsky. “And you describe what that reasonable impediment was, and your vote’s going to count — unless local election officials have some evidence that your affidavit is false and that’s a very high burden.”
Nevertheless, a website of the Democratic National Committee refers to the photo ID push as “GOP tactics” and says: “Photo ID mandates are the most pervasive new restriction on the right to vote. … They are costly and unnecessary and they disenfranchise voters.”
The site goes on to say, “voter fraud is rare.”
Voter fraud is as American as apple pie. It’s time to go on a diet. This is not a national ID. It’s a state ID. States are in charge of voting, except where federal government has passed a law that says otherwise. There is no such law prohibiting voter IDs.