Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Voter ID laws: What's the big deal?

I was at the Marriott Hotel in Alpharetta, Georgia a few years back ordering a beer at the lobby bar. Upon being asked for proof of age, I produced my driver's license and with a smirk, said "I've been 21 twice now." The bartender smiled apologetically and explained that it was a local law, and every customer had to show proof of age regardless of how old he looked. I shrugged it off. No big deal.

Today the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Indiana's voter ID law, which requires anyone showing up to vote to present positive identification. The law has already been upheld by a federal judge and the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Now to me, a law requiring a prospective voter to show identification seems perfectly reasonable, in fact, I find it somewhat shocking that it's not a universal practice. I mean, c'mon...ensuring the integrity of our elections is just a tad more important than getting a beer in Alpharetta. But sadly the Democrats don't see it that way.
The state Democratic party and civil rights groups complained that the law unfairly targets poor and minority voters, without any evidence that in-person voter fraud exists in Indiana. The party argued that those voters tend to be Democrats.
The point isn't (or at least, shouldn't be) whether voter fraud exists in Indiana. The point is to make sure that it doesn't. But where's the evidence that poor and minority voters lack proper identification in such numbers that this is really a problem for them? Why is this seen as such an onerous burden on these groups that the requirement disenfranchises them in significant numbers?

This is like Russia's protests over the planned European missile defense system. If you don't plan on launching missiles against Europe, what's the big deal? Likewise with the Dems...if you don't plan on committing mass voter fraud by hauling a bunch of proxies to the polls, what's the big deal?

The Democrats doth protest too much, methinks.

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