Monday, August 19, 2013

Voter ID Opponents Find More Ridiculous Plaintiffs

Indiana’s Voter ID law became the first tested a few years back when it went to the Supreme Court in the Crawford case, it came out after the case that one of the plaintiffs who did not have an Indiana ID actually had a driver license in Florida.  It seemed the “snowbird” was trying to double vote.  More recently, the lead plaintiff in the anti-Pennsylvania Voter ID effort who was labeled too old to get an ID obtained one soon after the publicity tour for the case.

But the most ridiculous anti-Voter ID plaintiff yet may have just arrived.  His burden?  Having to “rifle through boxes:”

A few weeks after moving to suburban Kansas City from the Seattle area, Aaron Belenky went online to register to vote.   . . . Belenky, a 39-year-old computer programmer, has his birth certificate and a passport but said he'd have to open and riffle through boxes in his Overland Park apartment to find them and comply with a rule that doesn't exist across most of the rest of the nation. And now, the prospective Kansas Democrat is irritated enough that he is ready to join a legal challenge.

A self described “neutral on voter ID” National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke describes:

I can’t help but feel that the anti-Voter-ID crowd is beginning to descend into self-parody. . . . Really? In order to get to his passport he might have “to open and riffle through” the boxes in his apartment? Well what a desperate imposition that would be. Presumably Belenky also considers it a serious violation of his right to leave the country that those stasi agents at the border won’t let him leave without his passport? And I’d just love to see him deal with the IRS: “I’m sorry but I won’t be filing a tax return this year because all my financial records in a drawer somewhere and I am absolutely not going to open and riffle through it.”  . . .

As I have written before, I don’t particularly care about Voter-ID either way, and yet the sheer asininity of the arguments against it are turning me in favor. Whether it is worth it or not is a reasonable question. But there really is nothing morally or constitutionally wrong with asking someone who is registering to vote to prove that they are a citizen, and Kansas seems to be absolutely within its rights to try to maintain the integrity of its elections. Moreover, contra his claims, Belenky’s “voting rights” are not “in legal limbo.” He enjoys those rights just as much as any other citizen does and nobody is attempting to take them away. (As opposed to at many points in American history when they really were.) Instead, his new state is asking for him to prove he is who he says he is — in other words to prove that he has voting rights before he puts himself on the state’s list of people who have voting rights. This is no different than having to send your birth certificate or passport in when you apply for a concealed-carry permit.

Cooke concludes on a serious note against the group sponsoring these plaintiffs.

The ACLU is effectively arguing for a system in which anybody who lives in the state of Kansas could register to vote online and never be asked to prove either residency or American citizenship. They are thus advocating for a system in which I, as a non-citizen with no right to vote, could extremely easily register to vote. This is a pretty untenable position. Were I vehemently against Voter-ID, I would be spending my time now finding some genuinely bulletproof and heartbreaking stories of difficulty and disenfranchisement to change the minds of people such as myself who are not particularly bothered either way. In the absence of such, while the claims are as poor as this one (and this one), the hysteria is starting to look a little silly.

What Cooke does not mention is some in the media are actually buying this hysteria.  It would be funny if it did not have a tragic effect of allowing vote fraud. 

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