by Steve Fair
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 MoveOn.org 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--http://www.reddirtreport.com/--did 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.