Yesterday the Elections Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives reported out a proposed constitutional amendment enabling a photo identification requirement for voters, as well as a bill implementing the requirement. A current Missouri or Federal photo ID would be required. The reaction has been as expected: condemnation by Democrats and approval by Republicans. Indeed the amendment and implementing bill were reported out on strictly party-line votes.
Our reaction is also as expected. We continue to be appalled at the willingness of Democrats to do whatever it might take to win an election. There may be some similarly bloody-minded Republicans, but our belief is that this issue is owned by Democrats. It reminds us of the slogan of the Oakland Raider’s Al Davis’s: “Just win, baby.”
For good introductions to the issue we suggest searching Google or Bing for the writings of Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund. An illuminating review of their recent book here is a good place to start. They and others show – convincingly – that without fradulent voting by felons the comedian Al Franken would not have been elected to the Senate in 2008. By the by, Franken was the sixtieth vote, which permitted ObamaCare to pass the Senate. Elections do indeed have consequences. Many of us would prefer that these consequences reflect legitimate votes only.
The left has always opposed even reasonable means to help guarantee electoral integrity. The old spin was based on the race card. The current spin has now shifted to the invented Republican war on women. A St-Louis Post Dispatch article reporting on the measures goes to great pains to cite reasons for disapproval of the bills. These largely depend on the argument that voter ID unfairly burdens women. Here is Rep. Stacey Newman, Democrat, according to the Post:
Newman said this would disproportionately affect women who have married, divorced or remarried and changed their names.
In an article the Columbia Daily Tribune rushed to interview Wendy Noren, pictured on the front page, the Boone County clerk in charge of elections, who opined:
I have a serious problem that this does not protect women from unequal treatment.
Now it is true that women commonly change their surnames upon marriage and men do not. This is a custom happily not yet subject to government control and regulation. The proposed legislation allows Missouri driver licenses to be used for voter ID purposes. Now do the ladies Newman and Noren find that the state of Missouri is subjecting women seeking to drive to unequal treatment? Where have we heard their objections to this unequal treatment of women drivers?
The voter ID debate has now gone beyond the ludicrous. It is clear that liberal objections to voter ID are largely offered in bad faith solely in order to preserve some kind of electoral advantage, even if fraudulent. We are saddened at the tawdriness many in our political system apparently now find acceptable.