published Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Protecting ballot integrity and voting rights

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    Staff File Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Area residents enter the Hamilton County Election Commission building for early voting.

Everyone would agree that it is unjust if the government denies a legitimate voter the right to cast a ballot.

But it is equally unjust if fraudulent voters are permitted to cast ballots, negating the votes of lawful voters.

It is for that reason that a number of states, including Tennessee, have enacted laws putting in place a commonsense requirement that voters present valid photo identification when they go to their polling places.

Such laws have not caused the widespread voting difficulties predicted by opponents. For instance, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld that state's voter ID law after finding that the law had not disenfranchised anybody even after it had been in effect for years.

Court cases around the country have yielded similar findings. Hans A. von Spakovsky, a former civil rights staff member at the U.S. Justice Department, notes the common thread running through those cases: that the plaintiffs arguing against voter ID laws couldn't produce voters who had actually been unable to vote on account of the laws.

That excellent track record is a reason for celebration, because it shows that states can protect their legitimate voters' rights while also heading off possible fraudulent voting.

And yet, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggests that voter ID laws amount to "suppression" of the vote, and he bizarrely likened them to literacy tests and poll taxes.

He is, moreover, threatening to have the Justice Department act against states that require voters to present photo ID.

That is a misguided attack on states that are protecting the integrity of the ballot box -- and that are doing so in a responsible manner that does not place undue burdens on voters.

States have good reason to insist on clean elections, and voter ID is a sensible part of that.

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Lr103 said...

@But it is equally unjust if fraudulent voters are permitted to cast ballots, negating the votes of lawful voters

The truth is, any fraudulent voting is a rarity at the polls or at the hands of the voter. Even fellow Republicans pushing these voter ID laws through admit this. In the words of Stalin, "The one who votes decides nothing. The ones who count the votes control the outcome."

December 20, 2011 at 2:44 a.m.
FREEDOM said...

SAVE OUR BALLOT The key to Democrat victory in 2012 is ballot corruption on a grand scale. ACORN, AARP,SEIU, Union money and union goons, the Race card, homosexual activists and a proliferation of criminal political activist organizations. The collusion of these government funded organization only scratches the surface of the monumental criminal activity that will accompany the election in 2012. Under present leadership, our Department of Justice has and will overlook criminal activity whose prosecution might be damaging to the present administration. Election fraud on the part of Democrats won’t be identified as such or prosecuted when discovered. We pride ourselves on being a Nation of laws. When the Department of Justice collaborates with criminals, results are capricious. When courts are capricious, or selective in prosecution, there is no law. The one institution that keeps our system of government viable is a free and fair ballot. Violate the ballot and we no longer have a Constitutional Republic.
To save our system of government we must demand that our election laws are obeyed and violators be arrested and prosecuted. To do this it is imperative that our law enforcement agencies are not hobbled by the present administration and that our courts are not stifled by the Department of Justice. Please take this seriously! Please do what you can to stop this impending catastrophe. Find out who is counting your vote. Contact your congressmen, state and local officials, your election boards and anyone you feel can help.

December 20, 2011 at 4:46 a.m.
hambone said...

Requiring a photo ID will do nothing towards stopping what little voter fraud there is.

While putting road blocks in the way of the poor and elderly who are trying to vote for a change in their future!

December 20, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
conservative said...

I have noticed that lieberals constantly argue positions using words that actually contradict or disprove their position. A photo ID will prevent FRAUD. The photo on the ID will quickly reveal whether the intended voter are the same. If they are not the same person this is an attempt of FRAUD. Yet lieberals say argue a photo ID will do nothing to prevent FRAUD. They seem to be unable to look up or even understand the meaning of words they use!

December 20, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
kinch7 said...

We can all resort to clever word play, e.g., ”lieberal,” “CONservative,” or “confascistative.” Further-more, we can all turn up the rhetorical heat such as we see in "Freedom's" Beck-wannabe-blather. However, the issue is not being discussed with a view towards understanding and finding the truth when insults are bandied about; unless, of course, that is the point of this forum; in which case, we are seeking nothing except aspersion home runs.
We Southerners, especially those who are conservative among us, do not like to be reminded about how expert we have been in the past when it comes to legally disenfranchising citizens deemed to be undesirable voters. For example, poll taxes, registration changes, new residency requirements, and literacy tests have been used historically to keep citizens away from the polls. Of course, I am thinking of what Democrats once did before their Southern constituents fled to the Republicans after the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Nonetheless, it is understandable that people might be afraid that photo IDs are just another trick to deceive voters or at the very least a tactic to slow down any voting opposition. Quite recently, it was reported that citizens who were known supporters for one candidate received phone calls telling them that the voting was over hours before polls closed on an election night. An investigation showed that the fraudulent calls were instigated by the opposing side. Surely, we have all read of dirty tricks resorted to by both sides in order to affect an election's outcome.
Concerning photo IDs, they may prevent what little fraud there has been, but they could also encourage fraud. What am I going to do if a precinct worker looks at my ID and tells me that I can't vote because the picture does not look like me? I may eventually win my day in court, but my vote for that election was taken away; so I doubt seriously that the system has been improved.
In Tennessee and Georgia the law has been changed. Therefore, we have no choice but to wait and see what happens. If photo IDs do not work, the law can be changed: unless there's a referendum. In which case, if the ones counting the votes are willing to cheat, then disenfranchisement will prevail a little longer.

December 20, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
Rational1 said...

Conspicuously absent in your editorial are the real crimes that constitute voter fraud: 1. Initiating robo-calls to voters telling them that their voting precinct has changed. 2. Promulgating misinformation that the election has been rescheduled. 3. Using law enforcement to selectively restrict access to the polls. 4. Reducing the number of voting machines in targeted precincts. 5. Voter machine tampering. 6. Poll watchers challenging and intimidating voters. Those doubting that these collective efforts are not a concerted strategy to taint the Democratic process are living in a make-believe world. Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the threat of being dis-enfranchised is a reality. America is a nation still in crisis.

December 20, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
hambone said...

Most all examples of voter fraud that I have heard use to justify requiring of photo ID have been done by rouge poll workers.

Requiring a photo ID will not stop dishonest poll workers from casting fraudulant votes.

December 20, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
Plato said...

There are going to be thousands of honest people denied the opportunity to vote becasue of these laws. A much more reasonable approach would be to grandfather-in the photo ID requirement so that people moving to a new location or registering to vote for the first time, would get a photo ID at that time, but people who were issued the older style card without a photo, would still be entitled to vote.

December 20, 2011 at 1:38 p.m.
conservative said...

People have a YEAR to get a FREE (I'm a Demoncrat,sign me up) ID card. It would not take a YEAR to buy their favorite drug, alcoholic beverage, tobacco, buy food, pick up that unemployment check, or get food stamps, so why couldn't they pick up a FREE ID in the same outing? They have a YEAR!

December 20, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.
chet123 said...

CONSERVATIVE.....I NOTICE ALL THE REPUBLICANS ARE FOR IT...Hmmmmm..NOW THI THE PARTY THAT STOLE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2000 AND 2004 HA HA HA

REPUBLICAN ARE TRYING TO STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION...SINCE THEY GOY AWAY WITH STEALING 2 ELECTIONS THEY ARE NOW GOING FOR 3

REPUBLICANS HAVE TARGET ALL SEGMENT THAT HEAVILY VOTES DEMOCRATS....THE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS,THE URBAN BLACKS THAT USE MASS TRANSIT SO THEY DONT HAVE DRIVER LICENSE.....THE ELDERS THAT VOTES....THIS SEGMENT DONT HAVE DRIVER LICENSE--THEY ALSO HEAVILY VOTES DEMOCRATS(AARP)

ALSO THEY HAVE MADE IT DIFFERCULT FOR ID'S TO BE OBTAIN

NOTICE HOW THEY TRYIG TO RUSH IT THROUGH INSTEAD OF PHASING IT THROUGH....THIS IS BECAUSE THEY TRYING TO INVOKE IT IN TIME FOR THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.....THEY WANT TO DEFEAT OBAMA!!!

WHAT A LOW LIFE PLAN!!!!THE REPUBICANS WILL NEVER RECOVER IF THEY PUSH THIS UNJUST LAW THROUGH..IT WILL BE THE END OF THEIR PARTY....

CAMPAIGE REFORM WILL BE JUSTIFIED....AND ALL THE BOUGHT POLITICIAN WILL BE CHALLENGED!!!!

A THIRD PARTY WILL EMERGE

December 30, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
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