Today we want to spotlight the effort for photo ID in Ohio and what that can mean to the poor. Ohio State Rep. John Becker wrote an op-ed for Clevland.com on the need for voter ID:
You present your photo ID to open a bank account, cash a check, apply for a job, unemployment, welfare, Medicaid and Social Security, to drive a car, buy or rent a car, apply for a mortgage, buy a house, get married, purchase alcohol or cigarettes, get on an airplane, adopt a pet, purchase a gun, apply for a hunting or fishing license, rent a hotel room, go to a casino, buy a cell phone, sign up for a rewards card, give a blood donation, pick up a prescription, purchase certain cold medications, and the list goes on and on. After considering all of these daily activities, does it sound irrational to require a photo ID to vote?
The arguments are well known to supporters of Voter ID. However, it is interesting to see the reasons that Rep. Becker lists for voter ID:
It is my belief that by requiring a valid photo ID at the polls, we could significantly discourage and defeat voter fraud of all types whether that is voting under false names, voting twice by individuals registered in more than one state, voting by persons who are in the United States illegally, etc.
This is noteworthy because Rep. Becker does not even list the area that the left claims is the only purpose of Voter ID, stopping voter impersonation, or a person trying to vote as another person. Of course the left’s claims on that issue are not just laughable but tragic. As John Fund pointed out in a recent article the irony of the left’s opposition to Voter ID is hurting the very poor they claim to be putting first:
Last year, guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe sent hidden cameras into polling places around the country to demonstrate just how easy it is to commit voter fraud and how hard it is to ever know it happened. In Washington, D.C., one of his assistants was able to obtain Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot even though Holder is 62 years old and bears no resemblance to the 22-year-old white man who obtained it by merely asking if Holder was on the rolls. In New Hampshire, poll workers handed his assistants ballots in the names of ten dead people. After a public outcry, New Hampshire’s legislature passed a photo-ID law over the veto of the state’s Democratic governor.
But opponents of photo-ID laws scoffed at O’Keefe’s revelations. The Department of Justice, which is currently suing Texas to block that state’s photo-ID law, dismissed the Holder ballot incident as “manufactured.” The irony was lost on them that Holder, a staunch opponent of voter-ID laws, could have himself been disenfranchised by a white man because Washington, D.C., has no voter-ID law. Polls consistently show that more than 70 percent of Americans — including clear majorities of African Americans and Hispanics — support such laws.
An even richer irony is that it is the people Attorney General Holder purports to speak for — the poor, often minority, inner-city residents — who suffer the most from voter fraud.
As law professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit noted: “Many of America’s largest and worst-governed cities suffer from entrenched and corrupt political machines that maintain their position in no small part via voter fraud. Corrupt machines (like that of Detroit’s disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) siphon off money that should go to essential services and instead divert it to political fatcats and their supporters.”
The left has to decide who is more important: Democrat party “fatcats” whose corrupt machines would be hurt by Voter ID or the poor. Rep. Becker bill is a great start to insure open, fair and honest elections for all Ohioans.