The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Poll Tax?

In an article condemning any legitimate attempt at verifying the identify of a voter before he or she casts a ballot, Charles Postel champions Attorney General Eric Holder's position:
Attorney General Eric Holder has argued that such laws are not aimed at preventing voter fraud, as supporters claim, but to make it more difficult for minorities to exercise their right to vote. The new Texas photo ID law is like the poll taxes, Holder charges, used to disfranchise generations of African-American and Mexican-American citizens.
Postel agrees wholeheartedly with Holder, suggesting that requiring identification before voting is a "poll tax." The idiocy of this position is breathtaking, but it is accepted wisdom on the political Left.

Let's look at a compendium of objections (all quotes are Postel's) and provide a few comments:
[Voter IDs] may not be much of a problem for those who drive a car, for example. But for those without a drivers’ license, tracking down the needed birth certificate or other documentation for state-issued ID can be both expensive and complicated. It can be even more complicated for those who don’t have permanent residences. For certain voters — urban, poor, unemployed and young — these can be major barriers.
Ah, the subtle racism of low expectations. These "urban, poor, unemployed and young" are prime candidates for a vast spectrum of public assistance. Getting a voter ID is certainly no more complicated than applying for any of the many programs that the government provides for people who need them. For those who are truly unable to do this on their own, local activists could provide guidance, and existing government agencies could be tasked with the issuance of IDs. But no—that isn't possible because ...
These new laws will be more onerous for some groups than others. In Pennsylvania, for example, the law may have little effect on the largely white exurban vote. But it may have a big impact on the heavily minority vote in Philadelphia, where more than 18 percent of voters now lack the necessary ID.
Okay ... but why not help that 18 percent in getting a legitimate ID? If every citizen is required to present ID prior to voting, as they are when they enter an airport concourse or visit many Federal buildings, the burden is equal on all. For example, existing IRS regulations (laws) are considerably more onerous for those who cannot afford an accountant or tax service, but that doesn't eliminate the requirement to complete a tax return. A lone citizen, unaided by an expensive tax preparer, must spend time and money compiling necessary records and sending the related tax forms to the Feds. Should we eliminate our tax collection system because it is "more onerous for some groups than others."

And then, of course, there's another prevailing meme for many on the Left: voter IDs are a form of "voter suppression" and laws have been enacted not to eliminate a system that is rife with fraud but to provide partisan advantage for the GOP.
The authors of these new voter laws make no effort to hide that they are designed for political advantage. Under the Texas law, for example, you can vote with a hunting license but not a student ID — a fact only explained by political calculation. Given the growing racial divide in U.S. politics, the larger calculation is clear: The higher the barriers to African-American, Mexican-American, poor and young voters — groups that more often support Democrats — the better the political position of the party writing these laws.
Thousands of cases of voter fraud (and worse) are documented every election cycle. The actual numbers are far, far higher. A disproportionate number of these cases occur in urban communities. Those who rail against voter IDs are correct when they suggest that there's political advantage at play—it's just that the political advantage of the status quo mitigates in favor of the Left.

I can guarantee that if urban voters skewed toward the GOP, voter IDs would be a sacrament for those on the Left. But since the urban vote skews Democrat, the common sense requirement that a voter be able to identify herself is unacceptable. After all, if dogs and dead people, felons and infants, non-citizens and multiple voters aren't allowed to cast a ballot, who knows what might happen in a fair and honest election?