Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
by Steve Fair
In May 2008, Senator John Ford, R-Bartlesville, authored a bill that would have required anyone who voted in Oklahoma have proper identification. Ford’s bill did not even require a photo ID—a utility bill or check stub would have been sufficient for someone to vote. The bill fell one vote short of passage and it was along party lines. All twenty-four Republican Senators voted for the plan and twenty three of the Democrats voted against it. Senate Democratic leader Mike Morgan was AWOL and did not vote. If Morgan had voted no, Lt. Governor Jari Askins would have been required to cast a ballot on the issue. To justify his abstaining, Morgan said in a press release, "If you disenfranchise poor, minority and elderly voters, you can hurt Democrats."

How does requiring proper identification to cast a vote disenfranchise anyone? Why would anyone—no matter their party affiliation—be against a legitimate voter showing proper identification to vote?

Oklahoma Senate Democrats reasoning was that Ford’s bill was meant to help Republican candidates and would deter the elderly and others from voting because that demographic may not have identification readily available. To prove their point, Senator Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said he had data to prove that Republicans gained three percent in states that had voter ID. I searched and no information was readily available regarding the impact of voter ID laws in U.S. elections.

When the US Supreme Court in April 2008 upheld an Indiana law requiring proper identification to cast a ballot, then candidate Obama said he was disappointed in the Supreme Court decision, calling it "wrong." He emphasized the law could suppress turnout among minorities and poorer voters. "I am disappointed by today's Supreme Court decision upholding Indiana's photo identification law -- one of the most restrictive in the nation," Obama said.

Why do Democrats fight so hard against voter identitification? Could it be because the current system benefits Democrat candidates? Democrat “Get out to Vote” organizations such as ACORN have been in the middle of numerous investigations for voter fraud. ACORN has a record of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms. Turning in "massive numbers" of duplicate registration cards. According to a federal indictment, ACORN workers in Missouri turned in voter registration cards for fictional characters, ones filled out by children and registration cards where the signatures had been forged. According to Stanley Kurtz of the National Review Obama’s ties to ACORN are long term and intimate. Kurtz says, “If I told you Obama had close ties with or Code Pink, you’d know what I was talking about. Acorn is at least as radical as these better-known groups, arguably more so.”

ACORN has two offices in the Sooner state—in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Fellow Oklahoma blogger Andrew W Griffin of the Red Dirt Report-- an excellent piece on ACORN activity in Oklahoma back in October. Griffin was allowed to examine an abandoned ACORN office in south OKC by the landlord after the group didn’t pay their rent. The facility had documents and files that indicated the group alledgedly planned to use some “bait and switch” tactics to register voters in the poor area. The office closed before they executed their alleged plan.

Opponents of voter ID say there is no evidence of any wide spread voter fraud and there is no need for voters to show identification to vote. I would agree that Oklahoma voters are for the most part honest, ethical, principled people who would never cast a ballot in someone elses name or vote twice in an election. But just because there is no evidence that wide spread voter fraud is occuring in Oklahoma, that does not mean pro-active, preventive, logical steps to prevent voter fraud should not be taken before fraud does occur. Ford’s bill doesn’t disenfranchise voters as Democrats suggest—it protects the sanctity of the voting process. Voter ID is not a partisian issue. Senator Ford plans to file a similar bill this legislative session. With Republicans now in control of the State Senate, it’s highly likely the bill will pass both houses and go the Governor’s desk. Governer Henry will be faced with the decision to do what is right or what is politically expediate—let’s hope he does what is right and protects the intregrity of the ballot box.
In light of what has just happened in Minnesota, it's clear that Democrats are more than willing to count ballots TWICE in order to win an election. Click on the link below to read about the Franken/Coleman Senate mess in Minnesota.
Ann Colter wrote an excellent article on this race a couple of weeks ago. click on the link to read:


David Glover said...

How many cases of voter impersonation in Oklahoma have been investigated or prosecuted? How many people over 18 currently do not have a DL or Photo ID? What is the penalty for voter fraud? Answers: zero, 77,000, 5 years, $10,000 fine. We could stop every car on the road to make sure that people have a lic. we don't because that cure is worse than the fake disease. It is estimated it would cost around a million a year to make sure everyone that wants a free id has one. Is it worth a million dollars to solve a problem that does not exist, but would create hurdles for the disabled and elderly, AARP is against this new hurdle.

David Glover said...

From, and Houston Chronicle. Royal Masset, the for-
mer political director for
the Republican Party of
Texas, concisely tied all of these strands together in a 2007 Houston Chronicle article concerning a highly
controversial battle over photo identification legislation in Texas. Masset connected the inflated furor over
voter fraud to photo identification laws and their expected impact on legitimate voters:
Among Republicans it is an “article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections,”
Masset said. He doesn’t agree with that, but does believe that requiring photo IDs could cause
enough of a dropoff in legitimate Democratic voting to add 3 percent to the Republican vote.17
This remarkably candid observation underscores why it is so critical to get the facts straight on voter fraud.
The voter fraud phantom drives policy that disenfranchises actual legitimate voters, without a corresponding
actual benefit. Virtuous public policy should stand on more reliable supports.

David Glover said...

In-person voter fraud is extremely rare, and there is no evidence of it occurring in Indiana. It says a lot about the Legislature’s motives that it did not apply the new ID rules to the kind of voting where there has been documented fraud: absentee voting. It is also not a coincidence that the people likely to be disenfranchised are from groups that vote disproportionately Democratic. Voter ID laws have been pushed across the country by Republicans. Despite the anti-fraud talk, the inescapable conclusion is that the laws are an attempt to shave a few percentage points off of a Democratic turnout.

sewmary2 said...

I have been a precinct judge in a southwest Oklahoma county for many years. As the judge it is my job is voter sign in. Recalling the 2004 Presidential election long voter lines, I knew I needed a plan to help move the line faster this last election. Knowing that I could not ask for an ID to help me find the voter's name faster because I would not have to think how to spell it or ask twice because of the noise level in the room I came up with a plan that work very, very well. I posted two signs that they could read before reaching the sign-in table. They read," Your ID will help move the voting process faster. Thank you." Ninety-nine percent of the voters handed me their ID while the voter ahead of them was signing in so I was ready to flip the page to find their name within seconds. It went very smoothly and fast. Some voters, especially our brave military handed me two ID's.
Many thanked me for wanting an ID.
So what ever these Democrats say about voter ID is "ALL HOG WASH!"

Steve Fair is a political activist. said...

David & Mary:

Thank you for your comments. Texas is considering Voter ID legislation as well.

The premise of the column was that Voter ID legislation is needed BEFORE a wide spread problem exists. With the influx of illegals into Texas, I would have thought you would have been more sensitive to this issue David. The AARP is a liberal organization that never supports conservative causes or values, so their non-support is not unexpected.

Your quotation of Royal Masset about the 3% is only his opinion and is not based on any statistical data. Because Voter ID is such a new concept, there has not been sufficient data generated to detect any trend or impact to elections.

Mary makes a very important point in her comments-most voters want voter ID. Most do not understand why we don't have it. It's just makes common sense that we insure the person casting the ballot is the person who is who they say they are.

Thanks for your comments and for reading Fair & Biased.