As the debate over voter identification heats up and party rhetoric becomes more inflamed, old wounds about voter disenfranchisement are being opened. Democrats are screaming all across the country that the Republicans want to return the country to the days of Jim Crow Laws in order to keep minorities, the elderly, and the poor from voting. To the Democrats, the very notion of placing any requirement on potential voters, especially those who tend to vote Democrat, is abhorrent. History though, is not on the side of the Democrat Party. The Voter ID movement is about responsible, fraud-free voting.
Jim Crow laws emerged throughout the South following the Civil War Reconstruction period. They were the blatant efforts of the reemerging Democrat Party in the south to return to the pre-civil war Black Codes. Jim Crow laws effectively kept minorities from influencing the electoral process, and eventually they were eliminated, in large measure, by the efforts of the Republican Party. Granted, Republicans were trying to break the Democratic stranglehold of the political process in most Southern states. Unable to limit voter turn-out, the Democrat Party began a new tack: increase favorable voter turn-out.
Consistent with popular socialist doctrines for taking control of a political party or movement, Democrats began the ‘noble’ cause of enfranchising oppressed elements of American society. Their goal: get more people out to vote, those who want or need whatever the Democrats are promising but who, otherwise, would not vote if it required any real effort. Same day registration, motor-voter, bus rides to the polling place, and ‘get out the vote’ campaigns such as those organized by ACORN are but a few of their programs. These efforts often were effective; yet, almost always, they were accompanied by some form of voter fraud.
Another sad reality is that, since the general election of 1936, virtually all instances of verifiable voter fraud have involved the Democrat Party and its ‘voter enfranchisement’ programs. Name the issue and some Democrat element was involved; be it ACORN, the SEIU, or the Chicago political machine. The expression “vote early, vote often,” isn’t about Republicans who support voter IDs. Dead people who vote almost never vote Republican. But it is the evil Republicans who want to deny letting every vote count? To paraphrase the Great Bard, methinks the Democrats protest too much!
This Republic works best when every vote counts; but those votes should be from eligible, qualified voters. The implementation of voter ID cards would go a long way towards ensuring the validity of every vote cast. It would ensure that only those who are properly registered are voting, that they themselves vote, and that they vote in the proper jurisdiction. There would be little left to question about how many times someone voted, or whether the dead mysteriously appeared from a grave to cast a ballot. In countries that truly value the significance of elections, such as Mexico, Voter ID cards have the voter’s picture, a fingerprint, their signature, and validation features. In some countries, voters have their thumbs stained after voting. Every qualified vote should count.
A few simple things to remember: Jim Crow was a Democrat. It took Republicans to end the Jim Crow days. Voter IDs aren’t about Jim Crow, they’re about ending fraud.