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Monday, April 28, 2008

SCOTUS Gets it Right

The Supreme Court got something right today, in upholding Indiana's voter ID law. This is a big deal for voter ID proponents across the country, as Indiana had the toughest law on the books.

(From the Washington Post)
The widely awaited election-year case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, was the most sharply partisan voting rights issue the court has considered since Bush v. Gore decided the 2000 presidential election.

But the divisive nature of the 2000 decision was diminished yesterday, as the usually liberal Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the main opinion and said the state law is a reasonable reaction to the threat of voter fraud.

Steven's reaction is exactly what conservatives have been saying about ID requirements for years. Milwaukee's recent problems with vote fraud, those found in Missouri over the last few elections, and in other places have dimished peoples thoughts that their vote counts.

Living in Illinois, and the Chicago area specifically, the idea that laws that prevent the Daly mantra of "vote early, vote often" are a welcome thing. For Democrats, though, it is a bad thing, remember, Illinois is the state that "found" the 200,000 votes that put JFK over the top in 1960.

To the folks who claim voter fraud is a myth, explain the 2005 finding that 4609 more ballots were cast in Milwaukee than there are registered voters. The total discrepancy was actually 7000+, but because of sloppy records they had to toss 2400 of them out. That included 200 cases of convicted felons voting, 100 cases of double voting and dead voting. That was just from the 2004 election.

If similar numbers were true in 2000 that would mean that the margin of votes cast illegally would have surpassed the number of votes Al Gore won by in the state. Yeah, that gives you confidence in the system.

For those screaming "disenfranchisment", I say bunk! You need an ID to cash a check at a payday loan office, open a bank account, to buy OTC cold medicines in many states, to get on an airplane, or into a federal and many state buildings.

The Brennan Center did a study in 2006, and claimed that by canvassing 987 people, they can extrapolate that 13 million voting age citizens (nationwide) don't have picture ID. Considering that the average turnout for federal elections is about 50-55% of late, that means that 6 million, or less than 5% of voting age people don't have a current form of government issued ID.

Since the poor and elderly seem to be the folks least likely to have the needed ID, here's a thought, give it to them free. If you are eligible for food stamps, get a free ID. Getting social security? Get a free ID. Kill those birds with a giveaway stone. Hell, the House is getting ready to debate another round of "stimulus" checks, they should be able to come up with the money for 13 million ID cards, right?

Good job Supreme Court, and especially Justice Stevens, who walked away from the liberal side of the bench to write a majority opinion steeped in common sense, not political bickering.

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