Monday, June 20, 2011

What's the Big Deal About Voter ID Laws?

Today, E.J. Dionne has the usual nonsense about how voter ID laws are an attempt by the GOP to rig the 2012 elections and also to suppress minority voting (i.e. it's all about racism because all Republicans do is cackle maniacally while smoking cigars and think about ways to discriminate against African Americans).  I don't understand what's the big deal about requiring an ID in order to vote, hell you need an ID just to step on a plane.  Considering how important voting is, it seems like it is not outlandish to make sure the only people who are voting are those that can legitimately vote.  In 2008, the Supreme Court decided the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board case in which an Indiana voter ID law was upheld as constitutional, with the majority opinion written by none other than the liberal scion of the court for a generation, John Paul Stevens.  He wrote:

Because Indiana's cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk's office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners' right to the relief they seek.

So much for voter ID laws being some sort of right wing conspiracy.  But don't let logic stop Dionne, who starts putting on his tin foil hat when he claims "the rank partisanship of these measures is discouraging the media from reporting plainly on what's going on.".  Somehow the mainstream media is too afraid to report on the story of voter suppression because they are afraid of being called anti-GOP?  Seriously?  When has that every stopped them before?  Maybe they don't report on these stories because there is little to no evidence of actual voter suppression.  Dionne says there is "evidence" but then doesn't name a single study.  The only hard evidence he does cite is that Texas accepts concealed handgun licenses at the polls but not student ID's.  See it's all a conspiracy as handgun owners tend to vote for the GOP and students tend to vote Democratic.  Or it could simply be due to the fact that to get a concealed handgun license in Texas you need to provide:
  1. Social security number
  2. Valid driver license or identification card
  3. Residential and employment information for the last five years
  4. Information regarding any psychiatric, drug, alcohol, or criminal history
  5. Valid email address
  6. Valid credit card
Reading these requirements I'm a little surprised that Texas has not been sued by the liberal groups for discriminating against minorities for their onerous requirements to get a license, as gun ownership is a constitutional right.  But I guess they hate guns more than they love suing on the basis of discrimination.  But I digress. 

What does it take to get a student ID?  It really depends but at the minimum the requirement is not very high and of course there is no citizenship requirement so even illegal immigrants can have student ID's.  Even though it shouldn't, it still amazes me how liberals can cry racism without any evidence and expect the rest of us to take them seriously.