Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zombie Voters

Rick Perry is a piece of work.  And, frankly, so was the recent US Supreme Court changes to the Voting Rights Act.  Under the Act, certain jurisdictions had to get permission from the federal government before they could change their rules for voting.  This was because those places had a proven history of voter disenfranchisement.  Yes, there was a good reason for the Act.  Governor Perry argued that it was unfair, that times had changed.  That there was no longer any need to place this unfair burden on Texas.

Rick Perry

The effects of these changes in the Voting Rights Act were predictable and immediately played out the way we knew they would.  Not a moment passed before Texas (and other states) enacted measures to prevent freedom to vote.

Texas will "immediately" enact a voter ID law that a panel of federal judges ruled last year would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor," a top state official said… ( 

Photo identification requirements restrict segments of our population from voting.  It is as simple and scary as that.  These same politicians who constantly claim that the Federal Government is interfering in the lives of citizens are all about a requirement that will necessarily prevent some from voting.  And, there is not even an attempt to veil the reason.  Requiring photo identification makes it more difficult for the young, the elderly and the poor to vote.  Changing the voter identification requirements reduces voter turnout for Hispanics, African Americans and poorer Americans.  It isn’t a coincidence that these people tend to vote Democratic. 

We have heard over and over that voter fraud is the reason to have photo ID requirements. And over and over these claims have been proven false.  But this is one of those cases where if lies are repeated long enough and loudly enough, some people reason that they must be true.  

It is Simply…  Not… True.

Study after study makes clear that voter fraud is extremely rare, and impersonation fraud—the kind of fraud used to justify tighter voter ID requirements and other voting restrictions—is even rarer. You are more likely to be struck by lightning than commit impersonation fraud, according to our exhaustive research. This makes sense, because impersonation fraud is a singularly stupid crime. You can't affect an election unless you do it thousands of times, there are lots of ways to get caught, and the punishment is severe. (

For five years the Bush Justice Department pushed hard for election prosecutions across the U.S., and came up with no impersonation fraud conspiracies. Same with Texas. And at the recent Pennsylvania trial over its new voter id law, the state conceded it knew of no cases of impersonation voter fraud. (  

No cases.  Sorry Texas.  

Recently, right here in SC, our Governor, Nikki Haley, made headlines when she announced that nearly 1,000 “dead people” had cast ballots in our state.  Naturally, South Carolinians were outraged.  Studies were commissioned, Our Attorney General Alan Wilson (son of Congressman Joe “YOU LIE!” Wilson) announced on national TV that, “We know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina.”  (  

We know this?  For a fact?  Hmm.

Turns out there were no dead voters. Nope.  None. …[W]hen election authorities conducted a painstaking study of 207 of those allegations, they discovered nothing more than clerical errors, bad data matching, and stray marks on scanners. They found not one instance of an actual dead person voting.  (  

Not one instance.

So it turns out, there are no zombie voters here in SC.  While there was sure a lot of chest thumping and grandstanding, lots of face time on TV and lots of, “We’ll get to the bottom of this,” don’t hold your breath for the same politicians to apologize for the fear mongering and fake claims of voter fraud.  I sincerely doubt that SC Rep. Alan Clemmons who is a vocal supporter of our new voter ID laws, who declared that “we must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren’t voting,” will recant his bizarre claim and change his tune about voter ID.  

Because it wasn’t about voter fraud in the first place.  

You know what the real voter fraud is in our country?  It is passing baseless laws designed to disenfranchise citizens.  We should all be outraged by that.  

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