In the wake of America’s transfer of political power from the earners to the redistribution beneficiaries, many conservatives have wondered whether the power to vote should be connected with paying taxes, owning property, not being convicted criminals, or at the very least, not receiving benefits. Liberals, by contrast, have attempted to broaden the voting base, hoping that the more impoverished non-workers there are to vote for them, the more power they will gain.
In this week’s Rolling Stone, columnist Ari Berman attempts to paint this argument as a basic conflict between right and wrong. “Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting,” Berman writes, “a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts, and the elderly from casting ballots.”
What are those dastardly conservatives up to? Berman points out that five states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – cut short their early voting periods. Horror of horrors! What’s the problem here? Presumably, Democrats load up in the early voting. But that hasn’t been true historically – according to Gallup, those 65+ are most likely to vote early, and Republicans are more likely than Democrats to vote early by a margin of 28 percent to 23 percent. Closing up the early voting doesn’t hurt Democrats – if anything, it hurts Republicans.
What other evil plans are Republicans cooking up? They want to bar ex-felons from the polls in Florida and Iowa, “disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters.” This is an odd criticism – who wants rapists and murderers voting, exactly? Actually, liberals do— so they can stack the rolls. Plus, if you need people to commit voter fraud, what better subsection to search than the ex-felons? The Miami Herald found that during the 2000 election, 452 votes were cast in Broward County by felons not allowed to vote; in 22 counties, 1,241 ballots were cast by felons who hadn’t received clemency, and 75% of those votes went Democrat.
Finally, says Berman, “six states controlled by Republican governors and legislators – Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin – will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots.” Why is this a problem? If Berman’s statistics can be trusted, “More than 10 percent of US citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic.” Why exactly would anyone of voting age lack a government ID? We’re all issued social security cards when we’re born. If we lose them, we can get them again. The real problem Democrats have here is that those least likely to have ID are illegal immigrants – and most of those illegal immigrants are only too happy to vote if paid for by Democratic operatives. That is just as true for various groups utilized by Democrats for multiple-voting schemes – if ID is not requested, one person could vote at many different voting places on behalf of people who don’t show up.
According to Berman, the sinister Koch brothers stand behind these nefarious schemes. That in and of itself is supposed to scare Americans into precipitous action. And Bill Clinton is out whining about it: “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.” Berman argues that voter fraud is not really a concern, because the Republicans “managed to seize control of the White House in 2000 despite having lost the popular vote,” although that was in full accordance with the Constitution of the United States. But leave it to the left to lump together legitimate election results with fraudulent ones.
In essence, the left likes voter fraud, and they have ever since JFK was elected by a bunch of dead folks from Chicago. They claim it’s not a significant problem – in the words of Steven Colbert, “Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere” – but it absolutely is. According to John Fund, “In 2001, the voter rolls in many American cities included more names than the US Census listed as the total number of residents over age eighteen. CBS’ 60 Minutes created a stir in 1999 when it found people in California using mail-in forms to register fictitious people or actual pets and then obtaining absentee ballots in their names.” In Palm Beach County during the 2000 election, 60 people voted both in Florida and in New York.
The problem with voter fraud is that it is extraordinarily difficult to prove. How do you track down those who voted under false names? How do you determine that they didn’t do it accidentally? The only way to stop voter fraud is to stop it before it begins.
But liberals don’t want to do that. If they could have foreigners vote, they would – that would allow their agenda to pass. If, as President Obama said to President Calderon of Mexico, “we are not defined by our borders, but by our bonds,” why not open up the voting to everybody? After all, how we vote affects everyone else.
Conservatives, by contrast, believe in American exceptionalism, and believe that you should have bought into the compact that binds us together before you get a vote.
It’s a basic ideological difference. Whoever wins this battle will win the war when it comes to our elections.