Jonathan Alter has a column up at the Investor’s Business Daily site advancing the claim that Republicans are involved in an organized effort to suppress votes, something he calls the “Voter Suppression Project”:
Mitt Romney was in Michigan last week trying to make it competitive in the presidential election. It’s a steep climb for the native Michigander because President Obama’s auto bailout, which Romney opposed, has helped bring the state’s unemployment rate down by 5.7 points since 2009.
But Romney has a strong ally there: legislation being pushed this month by his fellow Republicans aimed at preventing the nonpartisan League of Women Voters from undertaking the voter-registration drives it has sponsored for nearly a century.
Across the country, the Republicans’ carefully orchestrated plan to make voting harder — let’s call it the Voter Suppression Project — may keep just enough young people and minorities from the polls that Republicans will soon be in charge of all three branches of the federal government.
Yes, both sides try to change voting laws to favor their team. The 1993 “motor voter” law that made voting more convenient by extending registration to the Department of Motor Vehicles helped mostly Democrats. That was at least in the long American tradition of expanding the franchise.
Alter uses these as ammunition for his anti-Republican Nerf gun:
- …efforts during the George W. Bush administration by Karl Rove and Justice Department officials to get rid of U.S. attorneys who refused to pursue bogus voter-fraud cases.
- Crawford v. Marion County – the 2008 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory photo-identification laws were constitutional on the basis of ballot protection.
- Since 2011, 18 states have enacted voter-suppression bills, with similar ones pending in 12 more.
Wow. Bush wanted to get rid of DOJ officials who refused to investigate the violation of laws…from a group of people who serve entirely at the pleasure of the President. Like other presidents before him, Bush sought to replace government employees who disagreed with, and were actively engaged in disrupting, the enforcement of federal law. George W. Bush fired 8 U.S. attorneys and it was a scandal (made far worse by Bush’s attempts a executive privilege); Clinton fired 92 of the 93 after asking for the resignation of all 93 of them and nary a peep from the media or the left (but I repeat myself).
Alter assumes that the voter-fraud cases are “bogus” because, by his own admission, if there are no verifiable requirements, it is hard to have convictions on the books – but in all fairness, Alter is a “progressive” journalist, so he must have missed these cases in his rigorous pursuit of journalistic integrity:
- The notorious Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has been fined the legal maximum of $5,000 by a Nevada state judge for its role in a massive voter fraud case.
- Alter misses more ACORN hijinks here and here.
- Not to be outdone, Kevin L. Clancy of Milwaukee pleaded guilty last week to participating “in a scheme to submit fraudulent voter registration applications,” according to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Clancy admitted to filing multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals and registering himself and other voter registration canvassers to vote multiple times while working on an ACORN voter drive
- The DOJ is suing Florida, yet the Florida voter roll examinations are finding large discrepancies and evidence of illegal vote activity.
- Even local media investigations in Florida have found fraud and voting by another key Democrat constituency – illegal aliens:
Two elections supervisors are taking action after an NBC2 investigation uncovers flawed record keeping and human error allowing people who are not citizens of the United States to vote.
No one knows how widespread this problem is, because county election supervisors have no way to track non-citizens who live here.
So NBC2 did something election officials never thought to do, and found them on our own.
“I vote every year,” Hinako Dennett told NBC2.
The Cape Coral resident is not a US citizen, yet she’s registered to vote
- Even in my home state of Mississippi, a NAACP official, Lessadolla Sowers, was convicted on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots. The Daily Caller notes:
Sowers is identified on an NAACP website as a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee.
Sowers received a five-year prison term for each of the 10 counts, but Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster permitted Sowers to serve those terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times, the only media outlet to cover the sentencing.
Maybe that is why Alter continues to claim that there is no evidence of fraud – and if there is, it isn’t enough to worry about – Democrat malfeasance is so commonplace and expected that it simply isn’t news… but remember Florida in 2000? Bush won Florida’s electoral votes by a margin of 537 votes out of 5,963,110 votes cast – that is a difference of 0.009% – if fraudulent votes had accounted for even on tenth of one percent (5,936 votes), we could have had a President Gore.
In Crawford v. Marion, perhaps the best reply to Alter’s false assertion comes from SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote that “flagrant examples of voter fraud … have been documented throughout this Nation’s history” (majority opinion, Crawford v. Marion County, 2008).
Alter’s claim that “18 states have enacted voter-suppression bills” rest entirely on his false premise that there are no instances of fraud and to require the same identification to vote that is required to enter Michelle Obama’s book signings or President Obama’s own campaign events will generate the same fear in voters as a train ticket to Auschwitz.
Alter’s big finish:
The Obama campaign is obviously concerned about these ballot-access issues for political reasons. But even those with no dog in this fight should recognize that a great democracy doesn’t sully itself by suppressing the precious right to vote.
How is tripe like this presented by Alter treated as anything except wasted breath? How can we require more proof of eligibility to sign a kid up for Little League, to participate in high school sports, to board an airplane, or apply for a mortgage than we do to vote?
The “suppression” argument is ludicrous on its face. When, as part of the state’s laws is to provide free ID’s, the Democrats automatically whine about the crushing inconvenience required for people to go get one. The proposition that the elderly simply can’t be expected to do for voting exactly what they have to do to get their Social Security or Medicare benefits is laughable. Stating that there is no evidence of vote law violation when the laws aren’t enforced is illegitimate.
It isn’t like elections take place on the spur of the moment and the need for an ID is immediate – unless there is a special election, they happen with precise regularity on 2 and 4 year cycles and even in the case of a special election there are legally mandated waiting periods.
All you have to know about Alter’s fretting over his imagined “voter suppression” is explained by asking one question – which party benefits from voter fraud? Answer that and it is a simple matter to comprehend why the Democrats fight so hard to preserve the status quo.