Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pictures Worth A Thousand Votes

Pictures Worth A Thousand Votes
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 13, 2008

The night before Election Day a Republican and Democrat enter a bar – yes, together. Ordering adult beverages to celebrate ending a long, spirited campaign, the bartender requests identification.

The Democrat produces his photo-ID, but alas, the Republican has forgotten hers. The Republican is told she cannot be served. Upset, she says she understands.

The next morning, the pair meets to vote. They stood in line until their turns came. The Republican produced her voter identification card, affirmed her address and proceeded to the booth.

The Democrat had no identification allowing him to vote. He huffed and puffed like a petulant three-year-old demanding his right to vote. Is the underpaid election official supposed to allow someone who can’t produce identification to cast a ballot? How does he know the voter is who he claims to be? Perhaps the potential voter has moved and is attempting to vote in multiple precincts.

Issues like these involving potential election/voter fraud are the subjects of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita before the United States Supreme Court.

The challengers, lead by the Indiana Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), aver that requiring citizens to produce voter identification is a hardship and design by the GOP to disenfranchise poor, elderly, disabled and urban voters who traditionally vote Democratic.

Democrats claim this is a political issue, Republicans and the majority of the panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit don’t agree, calling this, a legal matter. While these cases involve the Hoosier State, make no mistake, the outcome will have lasting effects on election laws throughout the nation.

If someone lacks identification and is denied a purchase at a liquor store, why aren’t ACLU protesters picketing that establishment? If someone lacks identification and is denied purchase of a firearm, why aren’t ACLU protesters picketing that establishment? Because the Democrats, in league with the ACLU are concerned with simplifying voting and eventually enfranchise illegal immigrants.

Every voter should demand the strictest voter identification laws possible to maintain vote integrity. For every illegal vote cast, the value of legal votes is diminished even further.

Today, so few people are sans photo ID that such cases waste time and taxpayers dollars. The state of Georgia informed voters that mobile registration units would visit voters and provide them, gratis, the tools necessary to prevent disenfranchisement. The ACLU still objected.

There is nothing sinister about expecting people to arrive at polling places with  photo identification. It is needed to drink, which is a de facto government decree as the federal government mandated states raise drinking ages to 21 or lose federal funding for highways and roads. States quickly complied – as billions of dollars were at stake.

People’s priorities are warped regarding the necessity of identification. Precautions are taken ensuring the integrity of ballot boxes and voting machines. Shouldn’t it be likewise with the voters casting the very ballots determining who will lead the cities, counties, states and nation?

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.