Monday, May 5, 2014

Politicizing Election Administration and Voter ID

We thought we would highlight a few paragraphs from a recent editorial in the Washington Times calling the Democrats and liberals out for playing politics with Voter ID.  It does not seem to be arguable that the judge in Wisconsin at a minimum in writing his decision was playing politics. 

“It is more likely to burden those voters with the cost of obtaining a photo ID that they would not otherwise obtain,” wrote Judge Adelman. “This burden is significant not only because it is likely to deter blacks and Latinos from voting even if they could obtain IDs without much difficulty, but also because blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to have difficulty obtaining IDs.”

This, it seems to us, is an old-fashioned view of minorities. All citizens, regardless of race, are required by federal law to obtain Social Security cards. In a “your papers, please” society, no one can board a plane or conduct a financial transaction without a driver’s license or state-issued identity card. It’s a burden, but a burden everyone has to bear, regardless of race or color.

The ruling bears the whiff of raw partisanship. Judge Adelman spent two decades as a Democratic state senator in the Wisconsin Legislature before he was appointed to the federal bench in 1997

We would add in some states you cannot obtain welfare assistance without an ID or many other government services.  Would the left want to deny such governmental assistance to the poor?  Ironically all, or almost all, voter ID laws require providing of a free ID for those who cannot otherwise afford one.  Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina even offered free rides to obtain the ID.  It would seem the left should support efforts to get the poor free IDs to ensure that all are receiving the services to which they are eligible. 

This is not the only example of partisanship on voter ID.  It is unfortunate that state Attorneys General are taking their cues from Eric Holder and ignoring the laws for political purposes as the Times notes.  Pennsylvania may be the worst example where the AG is not even pursuing a case where legislators were accused of taking bribes to oppose voter ID.  An impeachment hearing on this and other issues will take place tomorrow.

To think the next to last major commission on elections, the Carter-Baker commission, supported voter ID as have Democrats in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and more.  It is sad that Democrats and the left value politics more than the integrity of our elections.  

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