As we approach another presidential election, the subject of voter screening is once again emerging as a purely partisan fight. Republicans are supporting laws that require a person to identify himself before casting a ballot; Democrats oppose such laws. Democrats accuse the Repubs. of trying to “disenfranchise” the downtrodden proletariat by making them show ID when they vote. The Republicans claim, with some basis, that they are only trying to “disenfranchise” illegal aliens, cartoon characters, and dead people.
As American Thinker Magazine reported recently, there is a movement in several of the states to protect the voting process from fraud by requiring potential voters to show identification. In every case, the primary advocates of such laws are Republican. Over on the other side of the aisle, Democrats consistently oppose such laws both in the legislatures and in the pages of liberal magazines. Laws to insure that only legal voters can vote are racist, say the Democrats.
(One of these days I’m going to write a blog post about all the things that liberals call “racist.” The list includes tax cuts, a distaste for tattoos, a reluctance to increase the national debt ceiling, a fence on our national borders, and a minimum age of nineteen for National Basketball Association players.)
Back to the partisan issue of voter fraud. The 1993 “Motor Voter Act,” was literally the first bill that President Clinton signed. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal puts it “The law requires government officials to allow anyone who renews a driver’s license or applies for welfare or unemployment to register to vote on the spot, without showing ID or proof of citizenship. It also allows ID-free registration by mail. The law also makes it hard to purge voting lists of those who’ve died or moved. All this makes vote fraud a cinch, almost as easy as when Tammany Hall handed out pre-marked ballots.”
Fund doesn’t mention this, but the Motor Voter Act passed on a strict party line vote. Dems were for it, Repubs against. The partisan positions are based on a century and a half of history. From Boss Tweed and his New York Machine of the 1850’s, through Richard Daley Sr. and his Chicago machine (which famously mobilized thousands of dead voters to help defeat Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election), to Al Franken and Christine Gregoire in 2004, Democrats have benefited from voter fraud.
The Dems rightly view any attempt to restrict the franchise to living, legal voters as a threat to their power.