By Dr. Thomas Patterson |
Democrats may have messed up on inflation, immigration, and Afghanistan, not to mention China, Russia, Covid, and crime, but they are determined to have a win over “voting rights.”
President Biden has declared it his number one issue, surpassing even climate change! With Americans becoming fed up with the Democrat governance, they see “voting rights” as their lifeline to future viability as a party.
So, President Biden echoes many of them when condemning voter ID. “There is an unfolding assault taking place in America today – an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in free and fair elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are as Americans.”
He further alleged that “bullies and merchants of fear and peddlers of lies are threatening the very foundations of our country.” He suggested that requiring ID is the moral equivalent of returning people to slavery.
The mantra is picked up and repeated millions of times. Outraged students conduct a hunger strike. Labor unions protest the loss of the franchise. Letters to the editor are filled with indignant condemnations of the Republican attack. Woke corporations punish Georgia for passing legislation threatening “voting rights” by moving baseball’s All-Star game to Minnesota.
But there’s one thing missing in all the heated rhetoric: any indication of what in the world they are specifically talking about, any evidence that one, even one, eligible voter would be unable to vote or be unduly inconvenienced by the election integrity legislation.
Their claims are belied by our own history and international comparisons. With 34 states involved in election integrity reforms, there are a lot of moving parts, but the sticking points are bulk mail voting and voter ID.
HR 1, the Right to Vote Act before Congress, which the Democrats and their Greek chorus in the media insist is critical to the preservation of democracy, mandates all states to allow bulk mail voting and categorically prohibits photo ID requirements.
But in 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform examined these very issues. The bipartisan commission was headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, a moderate Republican. They sensibly pointed out that absentee voting makes fraud more likely. Absentee voters are more likely to experience pressure and undue influence.
The Commission also concluded that vote buying schemes are far easier when citizens vote by mail. The commission proposed a uniform system requiring all voters to present ID as a condition of voting, like when entering the courthouse, flying in an airplane, or buying beer.
If the election integrity proposals are such a flagrant attack on democracy, then other democracies would not tolerate them, right? But the fact is the US is a distinct outlier among the world’s democracies in not requiring voter ID. Of the 47 European countries, 46 require government issued photo ID to vote, and the UK seems poised to follow suit.
By international standards, we also have shockingly loose rules for voting by mail. 35 of those 47 European countries don’t allow mail-in voting at all for citizens living in-country. 10 other countries allow absentee voting but require voters to appear in person with a photo ID to obtain their ballot. The practice of mailing out ballots in bulk either to all voters or those on a permanent list (Arizona’s practice) is unheard of.
In the US, ballots are typically mailed in bulk without requesting photo ID, no chain of evidence, no safeguards against improper influence or even selling, and then “harvested” for return to authorities.
This is tantamount to begging for fraud, even more so because perps know it would be largely undetectable. Entry-level reform, backed by 80% of voters, would require an ID to obtain any ballot, mail-in or otherwise
The wild charges about returning to Jim Crow and our democracy in peril are blatant scare tactics. Never in our history or anywhere else has there been more open access to voting.
This isn’t about stealing elections or justifying January 6. It’s about strengthening our democracy by assuring Americans they can have confidence in our elections and that their vote will count.