On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice, operating under antiquated "preclearance" provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, blocked Texas's recently passed Voter ID law, claiming that the law was targeting Hispanics and aimed at suppressing minority voter turnout in the state.
The DOJ recently made a similarrulingin South Carolina, ostensibly to protect black voters there.
These decisions are purely political, as Texas Senator JohnCornyn, former Texas Attorney General and member of the Texas Supreme Court, put it: "Today's decision reeks of politics and appears to be an effort by the Department of Justice to carry water for the President's reelection campaign."
Eric Holder and his DOJ henchmen are explicitly racist, which is to say anti-white, as convincingly demonstrated by former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams in his must-read book,Injustice. It is an agency run by people who have said that they only intend to enforce voting law if the victim of a violation of the law is not white. For example, Adams quotes his "assigned mentor," Avner Shapiro, who opposed bringing a case against Ike Brown, a notorious black Democrat election fraudster in Mississippi: "I didn't come to work in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to sue black people."
Regarding Monday's DOJ decision, Adams told this reporter that "It is the latest radical decision by Eric Holder to please racial interest groups like the NAACP before the election. The objection is based on flimsy legal reasoning that exaggerates the statistical disparities and misrepresents the law regarding voter fraud. Jenniffer Maranzano, a former Advancement Project lawyer was deliberately assigned to the case to get this outcome."
The DOJ is run by a man, Eric Holder, who explained (while in his prior position as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia) a not-so-subtly racist paragraph (written by a Harlem preacher) that he carries in his wallet, in these terms:
It really says that… I am not the tall U.S. Attorney, I am not the thin United States Attorney. I am the black United States attorney. And he was saying that no matter how successful you are, there's a common cause that bonds the black United States Attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person.
Demonstrating the need for Texas's law, a Texas-based group calledTrue the Votehas found many instances of the very voter registration irregularities that Voter ID is designed to prevent from turning into fraudulent votes, and thus to shield our elections from some of the easiest to perpetrate forms of corruption. They found particularproblemsin the Houston-area district of Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who, as usual, cried "racist!"
The efforts of the left's "well-funded industry of voter fraud deniers that provides an intellectual smokescreen for this lawlessness" are, unfortunately, somewhat effective in convincing Americans that voter fraud is a myth despite widespread evidence of its existence and importance, and that efforts to combat voter fraud are naked racism.
Part of the reason for the fraud-deniers' existence is that voter fraud tends to benefit Democrats disproportionately. And for that same reason, the media goes along, playing down important stories and creating moral equivalence where there is none.
For example, recent news reports covered both Democrat and Republican "voter fraud," often in the same broadcast. However, the Democrats' frauds included falsifying records and altering ballots (inTroy, NY) while the Republican "fraud" was a charge against the former secretary of state of Indiana, Charlie White, for illegally using his ex-wife's address as his address of record; White was found guilty and sentenced to one year of home detention. These are hardly birds of a feather, yet the media routinely treat them as such.
Ironically, the state chairman of Indiana's Democratic Partyresignedin December after investigators found forged signatures on petitions used to put Barack Obama on that state's ballot in 2008's Democratic primary election. This of course received much less media attention than did the Charlie White case, despite its much greater significance.
The left's constant refrain is that Voter ID laws suppress voter turnout, especially of lower-income and minority voters. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultzofferedthis gem of race-baiting: "you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally -- and very transparently -- block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates." Bill Clinton has made similar inflammatoryremarks.
Despite the fraud-supporting industry's claims of voter suppression, there is little credible data to support Democrats' "sky is falling" rhetoric. For example, astudyby Columbia University professors who say in their paper that "our sympathies lie with the plaintiffs in the voter ID cases" concludes that "the existing science regarding vote suppression [is] incomplete and inconclusive."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the claims of minority voter suppression are not borne out by thefacts: "In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required."
A 2009studyby researchers from the University of Delaware and University of Nebraska determined that "voter-ID laws should have little to no effect on aggregate or individual-level turnout, particularly after considering political motivations for voting."
And further: "At every level of analysis, and with multiple forms of data, we have consistently demonstrated that voter-identification laws appear to be a much smaller piece to the voting behavior puzzle than are factors such as the kinds of issues on a state ballot, the competitiveness of campaigns, the institutional structures of a particular election, socioeconomic factors, and individual-level motivational factors such as interest in politics."
Indiana passed a Voter ID law in 2005 requiring photo ID for all voters. It was challenged in court and was decided by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling (which included the former liberal lion John Paul Stevens writing the pluralityopinion) upholding the law.
Stevens noted that "There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of a State's interest in counting only eligible voters' votes. Finally, Indiana's interest in protecting public confidence in elections, while closely related to its interest in preventing voter fraud, has independent significance, because such confidence encourages citizen participation in the democratic process."
He added that the burden on eligible voters to get a Voter ID card, which the state provides for free, "does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burden of voting."
According to the Delaware/Nebraska study, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) "estimates that the average visit time [to receive a free state-issued Voter ID card] to one of the 146 statewide BMV offices is eight minutes with the longest average visit time in the state at 14 minutes…. Therefore, the biggest impediment to acquiring identification is a trip to the BMV; a trip that is likely to be a bit further than the distance travelled to a polling place, but made only once every six years."
Similarly,the Texas law allows voters to present one of seven different accepted forms of state- or federally-issued identification. It also allows someone who arrives at the polling place without ID to cast a provisional ballot and return to the registrar's office with valid ID within six days to have the ballot counted. Furthermore, voters who are 65 and older, or sick or disabled, can vote by mail, which requires no ID, and the state will provide residents who do not have other valid ID with free voter identification cards for those who cannot afford the standard $16 fee ($5 for those 60 and over).
One question that opponents of Voter ID laws never broach is whether it is a bigger problem to exclude a legal voter (who did not meet the ID requirements) or include a fraudulent vote. The left would argue that the former is paramount, but they intentionally miss the point that most such exclusions could have been prevented by the voters themselves, but that casting a fraudulent ballot is and should be a serious crime.
Last year, former Congressman Artur Davis, a black Democrat from Alabama, wrote amea culpaapologizing for his long-held opposition to Voter ID laws: "I've changed my mind on voter ID laws -- I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one -- and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office."
He adds damning insight from his own experience: "Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights -- that's suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don't; I've heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I've been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results."
Despite being on the wrong side of the data, of common sense, and of Supreme Court precedent, the Obama/Holder Justice Department is attempting to block Voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas using authority based on a 47-year-old law designed to address true voter suppression in the South in the middle of the 20th century.
Instead, the Obama administration, usingbogusstatistical arguments and baseless assumptions of a "discriminatory purpose" to block rational andpopular(including amongHispanics) Voter ID laws, is protecting voter fraud and eroding the electoral bedrock of our republic, for the obvious purpose of benefiting Democrats at the polls. Never has Justice been less blind than under the hyper-partisan leadership of Eric Holder.
Ross Kaminsky is a self-employed trader and investor and is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute. He blogs at Rossputin.comand is the host of The Ross Kaminsky Show on Denver's NewsRadio 850 KOA on Sundays from 11 AM to 2 PM.