Yesterday, my colleague and co-host of "Civil Discourse Now," Paul Ogden responded to my blog about means by which people can attempt to comply with Indiana’s restrictive Voter ID law.
First, Paul is mistaken in his statement that I am a Democrat. I always have voted in the Democratic Party primary. Usually the candidates for whom I vote are Democrats. Amongst those candidates have been people whom I believe were the best for the particular office in question. In other instances, I really have had little choice. There is no space for "None of the Above" on an Indiana ballot. While many people—not only in Vermont, the Bay Area, and New York City, Paul—favor policies in health care and energy that are socialistic, most candidates do not run on such a platform. President Obama’s health care reform omitted single payer before negotiations began. So, in some elections, one has been left with a vote either for a Dan Burton or a—Bobby Kern? If I voted for the Democratic Party in the past, I am not necessarily a Democrat. I do not carry a Democratic Party membership card, although I received my membership card for Cigar Rights of America in yesterday’s mail. In Illinois I voted for three members of the Communist Party who were on the ballot for Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. (The State of Illinois chooses some of its U of I trustees in that manner.) I did so in order to see what the commies would do in the U of I football program. If they hired a head coach who favored offense over defense, could we draw any parallels with Soviet (this was pre-1989) intent in Europe? If they went for the "long bomb" should we go for the red button? My votes for those communists (they did not win; IU’s football program was unaffected) did not make me a communist.
Second, I agree that the Democratic Party had a terrible history of voter suppression in the South. That was before LBJ and Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and other legislation that—you have to admit—did a "180" on prior Democratic Party history in that realm. So I agree with your analysis of the past, but it was a past that came to an end, on that large scale, in about 1965.
Third, the Republican Party is behind the push for these voter ID laws. There has been no evidence of massive voter fraud such as would be addressed by these laws. I agree that an ID is preferable to signature to vote. The Republican Party specifically has taken this tack to further Mitch McConnell’s number one goal: limit President Obama to one term.
Fourth, if you want to mention voter fraud, the Republican Party has been pretty active in perpetuation of certain practices like—closing polls early or not opening them until late in Ohio (2004), or stealing the 2000 election outright and dooming our economy and thousands of lives (in the unnecessary war in Iraq) via the installation of George W. Bush as president.
My suggestions were means by which we can facilitate voters to get to the polls under the laws the Republicans have passed and put in place. I do not believe you can disagree with me on that front. The next thing you know, you probably will recommend acceptable ID at polling places can be a gun-carry permit, but not a student ID. That’s the law in Texas. (That says something about Texas: guns over learning.) At least Indiana is not Texas. Yet.
ALEC even abandoned (for public consumption) its push for voter ID laws.