I began a recent posting by saying
It is frequently claimed that concern over vote fraud is unwarranted, that there are few or no false or fraudulent voter registrations, and that little or no vote fraud actually takes place.In an Albuquerque Journal guest column (subscription/registration required for link), Lisa Chavez, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Valencia County here in New Mexico, made precisely these claims. She also claims, in the words of the headline on her piece, that "Voter ID Talk Just a Cynical Effort by GOP to Limit Votes". She makes the same claims in the oolumn's text. She claims, for example, that
The real issue here is that both nationally and locally, the GOP knows that they have to stop intimidated and disenfranchised groups from voting if they want to stand a chance in the 2012 elections.She rails against the new state voter fraud investigation, triggered by apparent findings of non-citizens who registered to vote and actually voted, calling it a waste of millions of dollars and again asserting its purpose is voter suppression. She thinks we should ignore the evidence and pretend it doesn't exist, as she does, and simply push the story that everything is fine.
It's that simple.
Ms Chavez must know her claims are false. And she must know her claimes about Republican motives involve malicious projection, just like the recent charges by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-FL) that the Republicans want to bring back the Jim Crow laws, a charge so flagrant and reckless she had to retract it.
It seems to me that, if one wants to follow Ms Chavez and Ms Wasserman Schulz into conspiracy theories, one would note the close cooperation between the Democratic Party and ACORN, ACORN's nationwide voter registration fraud activity (including their insistence on registering voters only as Democrats), and the ACORN vote fraud activity already proven in several states. It appears to me the party trying to mess with our electoral system is the party that's protesting so much -- the Democrats.
In the meantime, I have a few questions for Ms Chavez and her fellow travelers. These include
- Where are all the people you claim have no photo ID and no ability to get one? Where are their complaints that they can't buy a beer, cash a check, or rent a video, or enter a federal building, or travel around the country by most modes of transportation, or drive a car, or get a job, or . . . (so many other things), or even buy Sudafed over the counter? The evidence seems to say there are not large numbers of people without photo IDs the notion that there are is false, it's a myth. And even if it weren't a myth, every voter ID law I've ever heard of includes a provision for free IDs for such people, just in case there really are some. Why do you ignore that?
- With all the things an ID is required for, how is it that an ID requirement is only discriminatory in voting? How could asking for ID be discriminatory only when it comes to voting? If it is discriminatory in voting, then it is discriminatory in all those other areas, and we have a major national need to take action to end these vestiges of discrimination that are occurring throughout our society. If it is not discriminatory in all these other areas, then it is not discriminatory in voting, either, and the claims to the contrary are simply dishonest. Or, paraphrasing James Taranto,
Our answer is that their claim of discrimination is a dishonest and divisive partisan appeal to blacks' [and other minorities'] fears of racism fears that, in this instance, do not appear to have any basis in contemporary reality.
- How can you claim voter ID bills are sinister plots to suppress minority and Democrat votes when reality shows they haven't worked that way?
Some opponents of election security laws also declare that they are part of a sinister plot to depress voter registration and turnout, especially among minority voters who are more likely to vote Democrat. Here too the facts do not support the claim. Georgia's photo ID requirement was in place for both the 2008 and 2010 elections, when turnout among minority voters was higher than average. Likewise, Arizona's proof-of-citizenship requirement for registration has not impeded minority voters from registering.
- Why do you ignore the evidence? Even I have seen it reported repeatedly, even in our local newspapers (see, for example, links cited here and here and here). Others have noticed, as well, as noted (for example) here and here. And that doesn't include the voter fraud and voter registration fraud proven in other states (through convictions and guilty pleas) and not prosecuted here. Explain to me how this evidence doesn't really exist.
- Why aren't you welcoming this probe? If there really is no vote fraud, as you claim, the probe will show that. You only have something to worry about if your claims are wrong or dishonest.
It appears to me that Ms Lisa Chavez, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Valencia County in New Mexico, probably (1) knows vote fraud is a significant problem, (2) knows or has a good idea what the vote fraud investigation is likely to find, and so (3) has written a cynical rant to try to divert our attention and if she's lucky derail the investigation so the vote fraud status quo can continue. In reality, she's just "pounding the table"*.
UPDATE: The Albuquerque Journal has published a guest column today (July 7) by Victor S Contreras, Jr. Mr Contreras is Chairman of Hispanos Unidos. Mr Contreras is a supporter of strong voter ID laws. And he really destroys the testimony of Daniel Ivey-Soto, a paid lobbyist for the New Mexico Association of County Clerks Affiliate. He points out that Ivey-Soto has said absolutely contradictory things at different times, all depending on what claims needed to be made to derail the current voter ID bill. His opposition to any kind of voter ID requirement is his only constant. He supports laws allowing people to register and vote on the same day. No photo ID required. As Mr Contreras notes, this would be "Hit-and-run voting, with no way to detect it."
While Mr Ivey-Soto now asserts there is no solid evidence of voter fraud, he previously sang a different tune.
Additionally, Ivey-Soto’s current stand that there is no fraud contradicts a statement he made when he was the New Mexico elections director in 2007 [emphasis added]. He was asked at a meeting of the state’s county clerks how same-day registration would not enable voter fraud. The Albuquerque Tribune printed his response: “I can’t. But I can’t guarantee there isn’t fraud going on now. … I know people who have gone on Election Day and voted multiple times because they knew people who weren’t going to vote. I’ve never participated in that, but I know people who have.”In other words, like many other opponents of voter ID requirements, he knows there is a large vote fraud problem. It's just that, for whatever reason, he doesn't care.
As I have said before, anyone who opposes a serious voter identification requirement is objectively promoting vote fraud. That's why a large majority of New Mexico voters (apparently 85%) favor a voter ID law, but that doesn't matter since that 85% obviously doesn't include the Democrats serving in the legislature. I wonder why the Democrats are insisting on killing any and all voter ID proposals. (Maybe I shouldn't wonder.)
* "If you don't have the facts,
and you don't have the law,
then pound the table."