by Chris Haire
The Right wants you to believe that the current system of voting is in danger of being manipulated by voter fraud. According to them, the Democrats will send an army of impostors to cast their votes on Election Day, tipping any and all elections in the Democratic Party's favor.
It's preposterous scenario, one that reeks of the GOP's doomsday paranoia.
The Left wants you to believe that if a Voter ID bill is signed into law — and yesterday's passage of the Voter ID bill by the state House of Representatives indicates that it's quite likely it will — then a whole host of voters will be disenfranchised, from senior citizens to college students to nurses who work 12-hour shifts to people who are balding. Or so says a press release that was sent out by George Tempel, executive chair Charleston County Democratic Party. (I'll post the email at the bottom of this rant.)
It's an equally paranoid and preposterous supposition.
The truth is, ladies and gentlemen, the Voter ID bill doesn't go far enough.
In fact, it's time we started employing stricter standards.
And for starters, we can start with the jackasses that spread either one of these bogus claims and the people who believe them.
If we do that, then maybe, just maybe, we can actually help change this great nation of ours for the better.
Here's the email from the Charleston Dems:
Charleston County Democratic Party
Call to Action: Voter Reform Bills in the House and Senate
URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED FROM VOTERS
Please read this letter to our legislators regarding
the Voter Reform bills in the House and Senate
Call your Legislators on TUESDAY or until you reach them.
(phone lists and talking points are given below)
TO OUR LEGISLATORS:
We are deeply concerned that you are about to make it much harder for your constituents to vote. The Assembly and Senate go about it in different ways, but the result is the same: your constituents will have long delays and difficulties in voting. And some might have it worse than others:
· Students can't use their student IDs as identification [both bills]. And if they want to vote absentee from their parents' address, they'll have to think ahead or write. Parents can't ask that an application be sent to their children [H.3003].
· Senior citizens won't be able to vote absentee any more - unless they're out of town on Election Day. The same goes for jurors, people caring for the sick or disabled, government employees, or voters with a death in the family [S.1].
· Those without a driver's license (178,175 registered voters) will have to get a photo ID from DMV to vote. Oh wait; they can't drive there, can they? Tough! [both bills]
· Voters who have lost hair, changed hair color, gone grey, lost or gained weight since their ID photo was taken may be stopped at the polls, made to vote provisionally, and have to prove to the Board of Elections that they're who they say are [both bills].
· Nurses with 12-hour shifts who are working Election Day wll have to get a busy supervisor to certify it before they can vote absentee. Good luck with that. The same goes for anyone else who works long hours [S.1].
· Voters with complicated lives - didn't change their driver's license when they moved, registered a boat at their summer house, have their mail sent to the office - may be challenged at the polls and have to go to a hearing to prove that they live where they say they do [both bills].
· All voters will be delayed. Poll managers will have to look at the voter, look at their ID picture, look at the voter again [both bills]. Then they'll have to turn the voting book around to compare the voter's signature with the ID signature [H.3003]. While everyone waits and waits.
We support "no excuse" early voting at up to three voting centers in S.1, but strongly oppose the extreme limits on absentee voting in the bill. H.3003 doesn't have early voting, but it drops all the limiting reasons for voting absentee, which we support.
But both bills will cost the state and counties lots of money, and both of them will make it harder for people to vote. Is that what you want to inflict on voters all over the state?
We petition you to respect the people who elected you, and reject the provisions in these bills which will make it much harder for constituents to vote. You may have certain voters in mind with these bills, but the effects will be random, and will result in chaos at the polls and a whole lot of angry constituents. Those who manage to vote despite the obstacles will not forget.