A federal judge likened Texas’ strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day, and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar Wisconsin measure . . .
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on Texas’ Gulf Coast, an appointee of President Barack Obama, never signaled during a two-week trial in September that she intended to rule on the Texas law before Election Day. But the timing could spare an estimated 13.6 million registered Texas voters from needing photo identification to cast a ballot. . . .
In the Wisconsin case, the Supreme Court used a one-page order to grant an emergency stay sought by the American Civil Liberties Union and blocked implementation of the state’s voter ID law — overturning a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals three days earlier.
The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter-identification law on Monday, declaring that a requirement to produce photo identification is not unconstitutional and that the state has a “valid interest” in improving election procedures as well as deterring fraud.
In a 6-to-3 ruling in one of the most awaited election-law cases in years, the court rejected arguments that Indiana’s law imposes unjustified burdens on people who are old, poor or members of minority groups and less likely to have driver’s licenses or other acceptable forms of identification. Because Indiana’s law is considered the strictest in the country, similar laws in the other 20 or so states that have photo-identification rules would appear to have a good chance of surviving scrutiny.
I admit to being puzzled by congressional Republicans’ strategic choices over the past few weeks. The notion that adding a defund-Obamacare provision to the continuing resolution or debt-ceiling measure would actually result in defunding Obamacare sounded too much like the strategy the “underpants gnomes” adopted in that classic episode of South Park. The kids discover that gnomes are stealing people’s underpants. The gnomes finally cop to the crime, describing it as the first of three steps to economic success. “Step 1: Collect underpants. Step 2: ???. Step 3: Profit!” Too many conservatives of my acquaintance seemed thrilled by the opportunity to stage a glorious defeat to prove their heroism. I always thought it was better to win quietly than lose loudly. Others had given into desperation — prematurely, in my view. Throwing a Hail Mary pass with seconds to go in a game you’re losing may be wise. Throwing a Hail Mary in the middle of the second quarter is foolish.
All that having been said, President Obama and congressional Democrats are defending their position poorly. For example, how many times in the past 24 hours have you heard them or their allies make the argument that Obamacare is a settled issue because 1) it was enacted by duly elected federal lawmakers and signed by a duly elected president, 2) the U.S. Supreme Court said it passed constitutional muster, and 3) it was championed by a reelected Obama and opposed by a defeated Romney? That’s not how republics work — no issue is ever truly settled — but more important it’s not how these same folks behave on other issues.
Take voter ID. Many states, including my own North Carolina, have seen voter ID became law through the actions of duly elected state lawmakers and governors. The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that voter ID passes constitutional muster. State officials enacting voter ID have subsequently been reelected. But in the eyes of the Obama administration, voter ID is about as far away from “settled” as an issue can be. Attorney General Eric Holder has just announced a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s new election law, including the photo-ID requirement. The Justice Department continues to pursue or threaten similar litigation in other states.
A fair comparison? I think so. But there is an important difference between Obamacare and voter ID. The former is unpopular. The latter is supported by the vast majority of voters, including most Democrats, independents, and minorities. So conservatives are fighting an uphill battle to defeat an unpopular law. Liberals are fighting an uphill battle (I suspect) to defeat a popular law.
Hidden-camera reporters from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas visit a few Organizing for America offices and find staffers willing to help folks register to vote in more than one state.
The first DNC staffer doesn’t quite explicitly encourage the mole to vote twice, but she certainly doesn’t discourage it, either. She giggles and laughs, and suggests, “Oh, my God, this is so funny! It’s cool, though.” Later she tells the applicant, “If anyone asks, just say, ‘I don’t know.’”
The video show other examples in Hackensack, New Jersey; New York City; and New Haven, Connecticut. In those examples, when the applicant announces their intent to vote twice, the staffers just laugh.
Watch until the end; O’Keefe himself makes an appearance and one of the volunteers laughs, “You definitely look like the guy who did the pimp video.”
If this keeps to O’Keefe tradition, the DNC will insist this is just a few isolated cases of a handful of poorly trained staffers, completely unrepresentative of their staff as a whole. And then, in coming days, O’Keefe will release additional examples from other offices . . .
Some of us are old enough to remember the New York Daily Newsfinding in 2004 that 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city and Florida, and “between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election.”
The efficiency of Wisconsin’s new voter ID law will be tested Tuesday during local primary elections. When you go to the polls expect to state your name, state your address, show your photo ID and sign the poll book, and then a voter will be issued a ballot. There are nine forms of photo ID which are acceptable, including a drivers license, passport, or student ID. There is an exemption to the photo ID requirement for people who can’t leave their homes.
Those who forget their ID can fill out a provisional ballot and have until Friday to show ID to a municipal clerk.
This is another one of those allegedly controversial moves by Governor Scott Walker, and another opportunity for a reform to be enacted, with many cries of an impending falling sky from the Left proving to be over-dramatic, Chicken Little caterwauling.
What are the odds that by the end of the day, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites realize that showing ID at the polls is no significant burden, and a common-sense move to derail any efforts at fraud?