It’s their unsustainable arguments that give away their ulterior motives, the worst gambit being this racist stuff also brought up by their supporters, many of them seemingly lost in some kind of ideological Never Never Land.
Watch out for new state voter laws, such opponents say, because, for one thing, they make you show a drivers license to vote and, boy, is that ever a deprivation of rights!
The issue, one writer says, is that many disproportionately poor minorities and some poor whites don’t have driver’s licenses because they don’t drive and don’t have to show them when taking airplane trips because they don’t take these trips — they cannot afford them.
The first point, often barely mentioned by opponents, is that the states establishing these laws also let people use non-driving state photo IDs that are sometimes free or available at minimal cost, along with a bunch of other ID possibilities.
The second point, so obvious that just about everyone favoring the laws talks about it in some fashion, is that you also need an ID to get a beer, back up a credit card or a check, get a job or, for that matter, to get welfare.
The third point is that even if some poor people do none of the above, virtually all are sufficiently competent to obtain what’s needed if they choose and that those arguing otherwise are the ones who are certifiably, indisputably racist and classist, no ID for proof required.
There’s some relevant data here. Kris Kobach — Kansas secretary of state, former law professor and former counsel to a U.S. attorney general — notes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that minorities in Georgia voted in more than average numbers in 2008 and 2010 after that state had enacted a photo ID law. He says an Arizona law on proving citizenship hardly dissuaded minorities from registering.
The people wanting to elect Democrats with illegal votes aren’t through yet, though, because they also argue that any problem with all of this is virtually non-existent, in part because non-citizens (legal and illegal aliens) are scared to death of a tough federal law that could send them to prison or get them deported.
We’re approaching truth time as we point out that, owing to the National Voter Registration Act, it became as easy as a wink and a nudge for huge numbers of non-citizens to register to vote as they were obtaining drivers licenses. They may not then have voted in comparable numbers, or have voted only after becoming citizens, but non-citizens have absolutely voted in sufficient numbers as to alter election outcomes, and we may not know the half of it.
The federal law on non-citizen voting is tough, but so what? It’s not much enforced, some observers tell us, because federal officials tend to regard this kind of illegal voting as more a careless mistake than a crime.
In refusing reform, there’s the potential for a real mess — a first-rate, awful mess affecting even a presidential election. Meanwhile, we should drop the pretense that it’s just fair play to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. It’s actually fraud by law. It used to be, in corrupt venues, you were given $5 for the “right” vote whereas now you’re given some gifts of citizenship to satisfy ideological fantasies or for the presumed right vote.
Some will end up happy — re-elected politicians and their extremist fans who further bigotry in their way of espousing the opposite and promote a phony idealism subverting the truly ideal.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.