EDITORIAL: Knock the vote

Obama Justice is suppressing a clean count

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

The Obama administration is suppressing efforts to ensure the Nov. 6 vote tally will be fair and accurate. Several states have passed voter-identification laws so the principle of “one man, one vote” is upheld. The Justice Department is playing a legalistic version of Whack-a-Mole in trying to knock down these statutes wherever they pop up.

Pennsylvania became the most recent target of a federal investigation on July 23, when the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division demanded data on the state’s registered voters and those with ID cards. It’s one of 11 states that have adopted laws since 2010 requiring voters to present a valid ID in order to cast a ballot on Election Day. Sponsors of the measures say they are designed to prevent election fraud, but opponents contend the real intent is to suppress the vote of minorities and the elderly who might not possess proper ID. On orders from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Justice filed suit to block voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas and has launched investigations in Florida and Georgia.

State efforts to hold clean elections have been characterized as a 21st-century version of the poll tax, a tool used in the Old South to prevent blacks from casting ballots. Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires states with a history of racial-discrimination mandates to receive approval before altering their election laws, but in probing Pennsylvania, the department expanded its purview northward to a state not covered by the act.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Keystone State did see suppression mischief, but not of the sort that voter ID opponents fear. In Philadelphia, several nightstick-carrying members of the New Black Panther Party were charged with voter intimidation after threatening white voters at the polling place. Higher-ups at Justice ordered the charges dropped, leading to growing perception that the department harbors racial bias.

House Republicans are speculating that the department is more concerned with aiding Mr. Obama’s re-election. “The Department of Justice has embarrassed itself. The partisan bias is obvious,” said Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, during a July 26 House Judiciary subcommittee meeting.

The fear of voter-ID opponents that large numbers don’t have valid identification is likely misplaced. A study by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach shows that since the state’s Secure and Fair Elections Act of 2011 went into effect, only 32 of the state’s 1.7 million voters have requested a free ID — amounting to a tiny 0.002 percent of voters.

A Rasmussen survey in December showed that 70 percent of individuals polled approve of a photo-ID requirement while only 22 percent oppose such a rule. It’s clear the only vote suppression Americans favor is that of ineligible ballots. It’s equally evident that on Nov. 6, Mr. Obama would prefer re-election over a clean election.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts