In the recent Georgia debacle, the state’s CEOs successfully pushed MLB to punish the legislature by moving the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, after allegedly vote-suppressing legislation was passed. Senator Tim Scott asked six of the sanctimonious bullies what provisions they found offensive and why. None had a single answer.
Likewise, President Biden’s speech on “Republican anti-voting laws“ featured plenty of hyperbole. The reforms are “odious” “vicious“, “unconscionable“ and “21st-century Jim Crow“. But he failed to provide any examples for his wild accusations of anti-voting effect other than claiming they would legalize the intimidation of voters and the tossing of legal ballots.
In fairness, Biden should have his social media privileges suspended for spreading “misinformation”. Those are provable lies.
The racist voter suppression effort we keep hearing about from the left-wing echo chamber has occurred during a remarkable surge in voting nationally. According to the Census Buteau, nationwide turnout in 2020 was over 68%, the highest in 28 years, with minority voters making a particularly strong showing.
“Non-whites“ comprised a record high 29.0% of all votes cast, up from 20.8% in 2004. In Arizona, the “non-white” turn out surged 17% over 2016.
Yet Democrats insist that voter suppression is so extensive that our democracy is threatened. Photo ID requirements are exhibit A in the argument that Republicans are intentionally driving down minority turnout.
The ACLU claims “identification laws are part of an ongoing strategy to roll back decades of progress in voting rights“. A Washington Post columnist opined that “requiring ID at the polls pushes people into the absentee system, where there are plenty of real dangers“. (Roger that last observation!)
But Americans are skeptical. They know a photo ID is required for flying, drinking, entering certain buildings, picking up tickets, and other normal activities. Many blacks feel it is condescending to claim that minority citizens are less able than others to obtain ID. And for those eligible voters who truly lack photo ID, why not provide a free – oh, wait, we already do that.
Evidence strongly suggests that strict ID requirements do not depress minority voting. Long-term studies at the Universities of Delaware, Nebraska, and Missouri as well as Harvard all confirmed that “fears that strict ID requirements would disenfranchise disadvantaged populations have not materialized“.
North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa all saw increases in black voter turnout after passing photo ID laws, including a stunning 21% increase in Iowa. Maybe voters appreciate knowing their vote is taken seriously and won’t be canceled by fraud.
Undeterred, congressional Democrats this spring passed HR1, which bans all photo ID requirements, on a party-line vote. The bill federalizes election law. It is a fraudster’s dream.
It would force states to legalize ballot trafficking (a.k.a. “ballot harvesting“), to accept ballots up to 10 days after election day, to allow felons to vote, to accept ballots cast in the wrong precinct, and would bar officials from cleaning up voter rolls or reviewing voter eligibility.
By far the top priority for Pelosi and company is bulk mail voting, through which they have obtained mysteriously positive outcomes the past two elections. This practice, in which millions of ballots are mailed out to voters whether or not they were requested, is also mandated in the bill.
The effect is to remove all safeguards of voter identification and chain of custody. Elections are moved behind closed doors, beyond any supervision or security measures. When combined with ballot harvesting, political “street muscle” prevails. What could go wrong?
Americans aren’t buying the remedies for fake voter suppression. A recent Rasmussen poll found 70% of voters support photo ID, including 69% of blacks. Another survey found 87% opposed to ballot harvesting, 71% against accepting ballots after election day, and 63% listing election integrity as a top issue.
The fact is that voting has never been easier. Our voting system is one of the most accessible in the free world. Democrats don’t produce cases of actual interference with voting rights to support their frenzied claims because they are vanishingly rare.
Democrats may wish for voter suppression to exist to support their agenda, but that doesn’t make it so.
Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.