Following up on Maya Noronha's blog post yesterday, there is more to talk about on the very important article on voter ID in Rhode Island. The lengthy article defeats every point of D.C. Democrats and their partisan allegedly nonpartisan allies like the Brennan Center try to make in their efforts to oppose voter ID.
Vote Fraud Deniers Allegation #1. Voter ID hurts minorities. The left from vote fraud perpetrators such as Al Sharpton to scholarly professors all have outrageous claims that voter ID is targeted on minorities and is "Jim Crow." Rhode Island blows that out of water as the Independent Governor of Rhode Island signed the bill at the request of minorities and the key sponsors of the bill where minorities. As the article quotes (emphasis mine):
And when [Senator Harold] Metts and other minority legislators came out in favor of the bill, it provided plenty of political cover for anyone predisposed to the measure. "Senator Metts," Brien tells me, "had systematically blown up at least half the arguments about who would get disenfranchised by voter ID."
Vote Fraud Deniers Allegation #2. Voter ID is a Republican scheme to benefit Republicans at the polls. The fact is there is no Republican Party in Rhode Island. Stopping vote fraud does not benefit Republicans in Rhode Island. It does benefit honest Democrats which is why people like Metts (who carries a bible with him as his "weapon") supported ID.
And the Democrats' stranglehold on power insulates the party from traditional partisan concerns: voter ID may help Republicans, but in Rhode Island, that's all but irrelevant.
And in fairness to people like Metts, doing the right thing is its own reward which is why other Democrats and liberals support ID.
Vote Fraud Deniers Allegation #3. Rhode Island snuck past Democrats and liberal leaders and it is a weak voter ID law. The fact is Rhode Island law is stronger than the recently passed Virginia law. Rhode Island Democrats knew what they were doing. DC extremists and Democrat leaders fully made their case. The NAACP staged a press conference with 20 other groups. Even the DNC Chair was involved from Washington:
Several sources, including Brien, say Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat who serves as chair of the Democratic National Committee, called Fox the night before the vote in a bid to squash the bill.
Voter ID, by then, was peaking as a national issue. In recent weeks, a half dozen Republican governors around the country — including conservative stars Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina — had signed bills into law.
And Wasserman Schultz was in a war of words with the GOP; in mid-June, she was forced to apologize after arguing in a television interview that Republicans "want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws."
Vote Fraud Deniers Allegation #4. Voter impersonation and vote fraud are rare. Metts explained in another article that fraud prosecutions are rare but as honest liberals such as former Congressional Black Caucus Member Artur Davis and MSNBC Host Chris Matthews have admitted voter ID could stop some of the organized efforts by Democrats to steal elections. One of the Rhode Island's versions of organized vote fraud that leads to disenfranchisement of legal voters and influences elections was described by "liberal Providence Representative Anastasia Williams, who identifies as black and Panamanian-American" as follows:
Federal agents investigated, she says, and showed her a picture of the suspected fraudster. The representative says she confronted him on the street sometime later and learned he was offered a passport — use Williams' name, his handlers told him, to grease the skids — in exchange for impersonating a voter and convincing others to do the same.
Williams says her own investigation of the matter pointed to a larger world of recruiters paid to identify registered voters who cast ballots infrequently and to send impersonators in their place. She implies that this broader network of recruiters used her name improperly, too, but she declines to offer details, saying it might endanger her family.
No one should dismiss her concerns for her family. Of course, D.C. Democrats and liberal vote fraud deniers will not only dismiss her concerns but will attempt to continue to ignore Rhode Island on voter ID. They will continue to oppose voter ID to have more legal voters disenfranchised like Rep. Williams. This is the D.C. Democrats and their allies real "inconvenient truth."