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If You Don’t Vote, There Is No Fraud

Posted by cann0nba11 on September 23, 2012

The concept of Republican minority voter suppression is really taking off lately. Eric Holder, and now the first lady has chimed in on the subject. Somehow the requirement of a photo ID when voting is similar to segregation, Jim Crow, etc. Black Americans are pining about how their parents had to suffer and fight for equality, and therefore today’s injustices are intolerable.

It’s not even close, Pookie.

America is scarred with the ugliness and horror of the racist parts of its history. But no other country in the world has done more for equality than America, and in my humble opinion the youth of America have no clue what blacks went through in the last century. If you were born after 1969, you only have the words of your parents or grandparents to depend on. You didn’t live it yourself; the best you can do is sympathize, not empathize. People of all colors have equal opportunity in America today, countless examples exist to show who you can become if you work hard and make good decisions.

The inability to obtain a photo ID is not a racist issue, it is a personal organizational issue. It is a logistical issue. It has nothing to do with what color you are, it has everything to do with how capable (or incapable) you are. Yes. the voter registration system could use some improvements (which government programs couldn’t?). It should be easier for people to vote on election day. All people. But it is asinine to think that we can allow votes to take place when the voter cannot prove his identity.

You have to present a photo ID to get onto an airplane, or purchase medication, or vote in a union election. You often have to have photo ID just to see the president speak (same for a Michelle Obama). Those hateful racists over at the NAACP required a photo ID to see the “my people’s” Attorney General Eric Holder speak. Where was the outrage? Duh.

The press has been great at finding examples of poor, elderly people to get a photo ID. It makes for great television and podium speaking. But these articles never get to the crux of the issue. Why can’t they vote? Because of a lack of paperwork. Because they are 80 or 90 years old and were born in the country via midwife and have no documents. Because they lost their purse or their possessions were burned when their house caught on fire. I get that. But these are the exceptions, not the norm. There are always going to be examples of people lacking paperwork due to their age or life situations.  Tell me how this is a racist issue?

Simpletons for the weak argument that there are so few cases of voter fraud that it has no impact on elections. But those same people refuse to consider that elections are won at the local level. Votes are counted by district or county. Just ask Al Franken how that worked out for him. Franken won in a recount by 312 votes. Funny story the press didn’t really cover is that 1,099 felons  illegally voted in that same election. Sadly, the law does not allow us to look at their votes to see if they swayed the election, but their votes should not be counted nonetheless. This was a Senate race at a time when the Senate is nearly deadlocked; don’t tell me that voter fraud isn’t real.

Allow me to digress for a moment to talk about voter fraud in my state, Texas.

  • Over the last decade at least 400 votes were cast by non-citizens just in Dallas and Bexar County
  • In 2004, 41 dead voters requested ballots by mail in Bexar County in 2004
  • The Texas Independent reported that the King Street Patriots found nearly 20,000 registered voters shared the same address of 6 or more people in Shelia Jackson Lee’s (TX-18) district. This anomaly was 2-9 times higher than in surrounding districts. At this point in time the KSP’s have review only 3,800 of the 20,000 suspicious registered voters, but already have had over 450 voters thrown off the voter roll because of “duplicate registrations, nonexistent addresses, addresses corresponding to vacant lots, or the drivers licenses number not matching the registration.”
  • In 2004, a Beeville woman was convicted of voting for her dead mother
  • In a state auditor’s report 46% of voter registrars said they did NOT have procedures in place to identify ineligible voter applicants, such as felons, non-citizens, or voter who submitted duplicate registration(that’s not a problem is it?)
  • In 2007, The Texas Secretary of States Office also found that over 23,500 deceased registered voters but did not have the chance to take them off the voter rolls before the election
  • In Harris County over 10,000 registrations, submitted by ACORN, were tossed because of fraudulent address and personal information

“These are just a few examples where voter integrity has been jeopardized. Under current law anyone who is able to obtain a voter registration card is able to walk into the corresponding precinct and vote. With so many attempts of voter fraud and the combination of registrars not having the resources to properly vet voter rolls, a photo ID is needed to solve many of the problems.” (source)

So one point I’m trying to make is that yes, there are people that have logistical problems with voting. But unlike the meme that the press is pushing, my point is that these stories have nothing to do with race. The angst around voter ID requirements has everything to do with validity of the election, not keeping grandma from voting. If you want to find an actual example of voter suppression, take a look at how the Obama administration is suing to prevent the military vote from being counted. Here are people that can vote, people that are putting their lives on the line to defend our nation, yet the government is intentionally making it more difficult for them to vote. To my earlier point, this is another logistical problem, not a racist problem. But in this case all of the voters can easily get their votes counted. we have the technology to do this, even when our soldiers are spread all over the world.

Now for a different angle. If everyone in America voted, the possibility of not being able to vote might concern me. But the fact of the matter is that Americans have a pathetic voting record. Presidential elections rarely see participation break the 50% mark.

percentvoteBlacks vote less often than whites, but this disparity has been decreasing in recent years. I find it interesting that despite the significant racism and violence against blacks in the 60s, voter turnout in 1968 was higher then, as opposed to levels in recent elections. Why? Apathy, not paperwork or racism. It took the nomination of a charismatic and charming black man and the perceived collateral damage of a bumbling president and unpopular war to motivate the black population into action. In fact, the tide was so strong that for the first time in American history the percentage of the black population that voted was higher than the percentage of whites that voted.

But at the end of the day, less than half of Americans actually vote. And until recently, only about a third of blacks voted. So, here’s some advice to both parties. Instead of spending countless hours of your time searching for statistically insignificant examples of sad voter stories to help further divide our nation and stoke faux flames of racism, use that energy to increase the voter turnout. Wouldn’t an election with a higher participation rate be more accurate and better reflect the will of the people? Remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch about the results.

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