Last Updated:July 7 @ 08:44 pm

Elder: Stop Whining About 'Racist' Voter ID - and Get Granny to the Polls

By Larry Elder

Photo voter ID laws, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, are a "poll tax." "Many of those without IDs," Holder recently told the NAACP, "would have to travel great distances to get them -- and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them."

Photo voter ID opponent Keesha Gaskins, senior counsel in the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, writes: "While these laws are allegedly passed to secure elections, they impact communities of color in ways only reflected in our Jim Crow past. Looking at voter ID laws alone, we know that although 11 percent of Americans lack government-issued photo ID, 25 percent of African-Americans, 16 percent of Hispanics and 18 percent of elderly voters do not have this form of ID. ... Hopefully our country will never again see the kind of internal bloodshed we saw during the Civil War -- but we are now seeing a war on voting that can only be compared to the dark, discriminatory past of the Jim Crow era."

Does the race disparate impact argument apply, for example, to the push for Washington, D.C., statehood? After all, a majority black city is likely to elect two liberal senators. What about the push to restore voting rights to convicted felons? Given that ex-felons are not likely to vote a straight Republican ticket, a cynic might say what drives the effort is the likelihood of a batch of new Democratic voters. What about amnesty for illegal aliens? Is the motive to bring "out of the shadows" millions of new Hispanic Democratic voters?

A "war on voting"?

Eleven states have voter photo ID laws, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, South Dakota and Kansas. Five more states may require photo voter ID by November, pending approval of their new laws by courts or the Department of Justice. And 16 states require voters to present one of several various forms of ID that do not necessarily have photos, such as a birth certificate.

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Voter ID laws are popular.

Nationwide, whites, Hispanics and blacks support them. MIT and Harvard Professor Stephen Ansolabehere studies the impact of voter ID laws. Pointing to a 2006 nationwide survey of 36,500 voters, conducted under a collaborative project by 37 universities, Ansolabehere writes: "Perhaps the most surprising demographic or political comparison arose with race. And the surprise was the lack of division. Over 70 percent of whites (77 percent), Hispanics (78 percent) and blacks (70 percent) support the requirement. Black and Hispanic voters did not express measurably less support for voter identification requirements than whites."

Voter ID laws are legal.

The Supreme Court, in a case over Indiana's voter ID law -- one of the nation's most stringent -- upheld the voter requirements 6-3. Justice John Paul Stevens, then the court's most liberal member, wrote the majority opinion: "The State has a valid interest in participating in a nationwide effort to improve and modernize election procedures that have been criticized as antiquated and inefficient."

Critics call photo voter ID a solution in search of a problem. What proof, they ask, demonstrates a problem with the integrity of voting? Popular political scientist Larry Sabato, author of the book on voter fraud called "Dirty Little Secrets," writes: "From voter fraud to election chicanery of all kinds, America teeters on the edge of scandal every November. The fact that so many people want to thwart legitimate and prudent efforts to improve ballot integrity has become a scandal in its own right."

How easy is it to commit voter fraud?

James O'Keefe, the conservative activist who caught ACORN workers on tape giving illegal advice, released video of a young bearded white man walking into the polling place of Attorney General Eric Holder on Election Day.

Young white man: Do you have an Eric Holder? (He gives an address.)

Poll worker: I do. (He repeats the address.) OK. Please sign your name there (pointing to the signature line in his huge book of precinct voter registrations).

Young white man: I actually forgot my ID.

Poll worker: You don't need it. It's all right.

Young white man: I left it in the car.

Poll worker: As long as you're in here (pointing to his voter registration book), you're on our list, and that's who you say you are, you're OK.

Young white man: I would feel more comfortable if I just had my ID. Is it all right if I go get it?

Poll worker: Sure, go back.

Young white man: I'll be back 'faster' than you can say 'furious.'

Poll worker: We're not going anywhere.

Young white man: All right, thank you. (He leaves, never actually taking Eric Holder's ballot.)

It was that easy.

Poor minority voters without government-issued ID, voter ID opponents effectively tell us, are simply too stupid to figure out how to get it. Indiana, for example, offers convenient ways of obtaining ID. If campaign workers can mount get-out-the-vote efforts, including picking up voters on Election Day and driving them to the voting precinct, why not put the same energy into helping Granny obtain ID?


Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host.



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  1. hwood007Comment by hwood007
    July 19, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    Just voted in Georgia, my military ID was not good enough, it did not have my address, only picture. Had to use driver license as it had address and picture. You register at dept of motor vehicles or court house but they will come to you if you are too old, etc, to make it on your own. How do the folks without ID pick up their drugs at CVS or where ever? All old folks like me are taking something. They should not, but many smoke and providers ask for ID to buy lots of things.

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  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    July 19, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Requiring voters to produce a valid I.D. before casting a ballot is only a Poll Tax to a person who has the manipulative mindset of a Polecat.

    Definition Polecat: – any of several small skunks or weasels, usually having anal glands that eject foul-smelling fluid when the animal is in danger, esp. one (Mustela putorius) that is known as a “ferret”,,,,like that ferret faced Holder who would stink up out voting booths with foul smelling regulations which compromise the integrity and outcome of our elections.

    Frankly if you are too lazy or too stupid to go pickup your free government I.D. that allows you to vote, then you have not earned a place at the table of Democracy.

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  3. LAPhilComment by LAPhil
    July 19, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    I think I may have just come up with a solution to this entire problem. Why not have a photo taken at the time of registration so that it would automatically be on your voter registration card? That way the Democrats would have to stop their whining about “discrimination” and “disenfranchisement” once and for all. And another thing, are the poll workers in any way responsible if voter fraud is found to have occurred in their polling place? I would assume not under the current system, but if this policy were to be implemented and they were to be held responsible you can be sure they would be checking everyone’s ID.

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  4. Comment by AcadGrad81
    July 19, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    You can bet your last nickel, that those crying about voter IDs have probably had direct experience with their local welfare office, how they must provide a lot more information to verify eligibility to receive state benefits. Those who are admitted to Obama rallies have to show some ID for security purposes, don’t they? Larry Elder is spot on about pandering to add and keep Democrat dependency voters on the rolls.

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  5. ScottLComment by ScottL
    July 19, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I think Elder is right that greater effort should be expended registering people to vote instead of complaining about voter ID laws, but we are naive if we think that the motivation of these laws is not to reduce the number of poor people who vote, which will undoubtedly benefit Republicans. Poor people are more likely to vote Democratic and also less likely to have (and/or obtain) these IDs, regardless of whether there is a good reason/excuse for this. In a close election which, like 2000, might come down to hundreds of votes, this kind of law can make the difference, and the shrewd political operatives know this. The kind of voter fraud that these laws are meant to protect against is actually much less of a threat than voter fraud carried out by politicians and bureaucrats in charge of counting the votes. That is the real threat (as recent scandals have exposed) that is not being properly addressed.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 19, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      ScottL, you’re making the same false argument that the liberals make, which is that the purpose of voter ID laws is to keep poor people and minorities from voting. This is pure BS! How can requiring voter ID possible penalize anyone? It’s not only simple to get a photo ID, but it’s also required for various other things which no one complains their use is discriminatory. It’s all a bunch of **** made up by liberal politicians who don’t care if illegal aliens vote, among other reasons, because it means more Democratic votes. If there’s some reason why it constitutes a hardship for the poor and minorities to obtain a photo ID, please tell us. I don’t know of any state which no longer requires one for a drivers license, and there probably aren’t too many people, even poor and minorities, who don’t have a driver’s license.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 19, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

      Sometimes a voter I.D. is desired to keep the dead people from voting,,,like the 100,000 dead people that Mayor Daley raised from the dead in Chicago back in 1960 and put John Kennedy over the top.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 19, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

      Yes, that too. I understand that the Democrats also pulled that in the governor’s race in Washington state to put Christine Gregoire over the top after Dino Rossi had the initial lead before the recount a few years ago.

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    • joereinhartComment by joereinhart
      July 19, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      I agree with all of you who said, basically, if a person is too unconnected to the system to have any valid ID, they are not connected enough to vote.
      As strange as it seems, we have come far enough along the road in Democracy to see clearly that some people are too self-centered, too criminal, or just too poor and stupid to vote. When a man knows nothing about the workings of the issues, and is only voting for a party because it will fill his pockets, either with free things or with extraordinary benefits denied to others,(Read; Bail-outs!) they should be barred from voting.

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      July 20, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      Scotti, I was a poll watcher in the Florida 2000 election. In the Precinct I was watching and recording, the following fraud occured in Pinellas county at 30 Precincts I know of.
      The voter lists were frozen 4 days before the vote. The lists of registered voter were printed out and given to the voting locations. During the day 248 Republicans voted, 278 Democrats, 127 Independents AND 124 VOTED who were NOT on the registered voter list. The final tally was 368 Bush, 467 Gore.
      At the other 29 monitored locations, approxitmately the same 120+- NON-On the Voter registration List showed up and were allow to vote. Every time 1 of the NON-Registerd voters showed up a Call to the Election Chairman Office was called and asked if the voter was indeed a registered voter… the answer was always YES and they were allowed to vote. The Elections Chair was maned by Democrats…
      Seems to me the FLorida vote would not have been so close if the election was not rigged. I know of many other counties in Florida where similar FRAUD as allowed.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 20, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      And the liberals like to keep repeating the same canard about how few instances of voter fraud have been proven. They’re something else.

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  6. roscoebonifitucciComment by Roscoe Bonifitucci
    July 19, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    Larry Elder is a Patriot. He does not pander to the Democrat Slave Master. He tells the Truth and is committed to our Constitution. It is the Constitution that guarantees that ALL Americans – White, Black, Red, Yellow and Brown – Rise on an Incoming Tide of Prosperity and have Equal Protection under the Law.

    The Marxist Dems have Protection and Prosperity for those who are politically connected or are pandered to. Just look at the Loser Obama and Creep Eric Holder…Racist Maximus All.

    God Bless Larry Elder and out Black Patriots who face fire from the Evil Progressives. Larry would make the first American killed in the Boston Massacre Proud – Crispus Attuks. Crispus died for his country. He was Black. May God Save and Bless America from the Marxist.

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  7. dave7507Comment by dave7507
    July 19, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    How easy would it be to commit voter fraud in Texas without a photo ID ?
    My mother recently passed away.When going through her papers we found her new, unsigned, voter registration card.We destroyed the card.But,what if we chose to comit voter fraud insted?
    The card has name, address,sex,and year(not date)of birth on the card.Anyone could sign the card,and assuming that election workers actually paid attention to the year of birth,and was within a few years of her age,could vote in her name.The card doesn’t even list the voters race.
    What if someone moves and doesn’t update their registation? They could afect an race which they have no right to vote in,or even vote in multiple locations(states are not very efficent at purging the voter rolls).
    Picture IDs ARE neccesary!

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      July 19, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

      How true. My son was still on the voter roles 20 years after he had left Nebraska and voted first in NY and then in CA. Not only should voters show ID, but the voter rolls should be purged of those who’ve left the precinct. I’ve often wondered if my son had requested absentee ballots, if he could have cast 3 votes.

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      July 20, 2012 @ 9:49 am

      Response to middleground, In Florida for the 2000 elections DADE County (Miami) there were about 19,000 registered voters who were also registered to vote in New York State. Seems very likely many of those voters did vote in both states.

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  8. vevaComment by veva
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    Good idea to take photo ID at time of voter registration! Actually, its excellent. Senator Cornyn, Texas says that Photo ID’s are FREE in Texas. And I suspect in other places. If the State Gov. is going to spend money on something useful, THIS is IT!

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  9. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    The latest argument being used by the liberals who are fighting voter photo IDs is that to get a valid photo ID requires, of all things, a valid birth certificate, and that may cost $22, or some amount, to have made for those that “lost” their birth certificate. Those “poor” people who do not have an approved birth certificate do not have the money to pay to have one made, according to those arguing against photo IDs. Here is what is going on at this time.

    There are a few states that are required to have ANY changes made to their voting requirements approved by the DOJ ahead of time. This goes back to when southern states were discriminating against minority voters…many years ago, and behind us. However, this requirement has never been updated to our more modern times as it should have been. So, it is being used to stop the implementation of the photo ID in those particular states. Most other states have voter ID requirements and the DOJ cannot challenge them, and it has been in place and an accepted requirement in those states. This is all political maneuvering by Obama and Holder. They know that in the end, their law suits are going to be thrown out and the states will prevail, but, they are hoping they can keep it from happening until after the elections in November.

    There is obviously something “smelly” in these large voter minority districts that are run by Democrats for them to fight so hard to avoid requiring photo IDs. They must have a unique voter registration and voting process that they are afraid is going to be disrupted by a photo ID requirement, otherwise it should be a slam dunk.

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  10. middlegroundComment by middleground
    July 19, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    A friend of mine who’d retired after 39 years with the rank of Lt. Col. found that the driver’s licence people would not accept his military ID or papers. They wanted a birth certificate or nothing. Earlier he’d had the same trouble getting the local draft board to accept that a Lt. serving as a FO in the front lines in Korea wasn’t really the draft dogger the local board had reported. As a SAC pilot and one of LeMays men, he’d had a top secret clearance, but he’d never had a real birth certificate because he’d been adopted. When I’d received a similar report for induction notice, I went into that same draft board in uniform with active duty ID and they wouldn’t accept that I also wasn’t a draft dogger. It is just the way officialdom works and it will get worse as government takes more control of our lives.

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  11. NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
    July 20, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    If there is no integrity in our election system, nothing else matters. If voter fraud is not reduced to a minimum, we will never have faith in the results of an election. Our entire representative republic hinges on confidence in the voting system.

    Perhaps these “poor” people who can’t afford their photo ID should be allowed to bring other proof of identity: their food stamp card, cable bill, welfare check, cell phone bill, credit card statements etc. Please excuse my cynicism.

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