A picture prevents a thousand votes
By Frank Salvato
It sparked several black elected officials to break into 1960's civil rights era protest songs. When the issue was debated some wrapped themselves in shackles intimating a return to the era of slavery and oppression. Still many more openly wept and, as if all of this weren't already completely "over the top," Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory and Harry Bellefonte showed up to make it an officially race-baited issue. What could possibly have brought about all of this racially induced ire? Was Jesse Helms appointed to the Civil Rights Commission? No, not even close.
The State of Georgia recently joined five other states in enacting a law that would require those wishing to cast a ballot in any election to present government-issued photo identification to prove they are who they say they are. Georgia's governor, Sonny Perdue, signed the bill into law in April but, because of what can arguably be considered a modern day bias against the State of Georgia for the sins of its forefathers, the legislation must be reviewed and approved under the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 because Georgia has a history of vote suppression.
Proponents of the legislation contend – and rightfully so – that requiring government-issued identification at the polls will help to stem the epidemic of voter fraud that has plagued recent elections, at both the national and state levels. With ballots being cast by Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson in the last two elections, it is easy to see how this measure, when employed, would be an effective barrier to those who would want to rape our electoral process.
But those opposed to the measure raise many issues and contend that it will – are you ready for it? – disenfranchise voters, especially minority voters, the poor and the elderly. Georgia's Senate Democratic Leader said the legislation announces "that the state is designed to look more like 1954 than 2005. It cuts to the core of the progress we're making in Georgia."
Jesse Jackson, probably the biggest profiteer from the civil rights movement, said that if the Justice Department approves the measure it could "spread like a virus" to other states.
Imagine that, providing proper identification in order to get a ballot to vote for who gets elected to government office. How on earth are illegal aliens going to be able to vote?
It is interesting to note that if a state has been proven to have suppressed the vote the federal government and civil rights activists leap into action under the guise of preserving the sanctity of the electoral process. Meanwhile, dead people in Chicago are electing Democratic presidents to office by the slimmest of margins and the civil rights leaders remain mute, their apathy silently endorsing the bastardization of our electoral process.
But we shouldn't be surprised that Jackson, Bellefonte – who referred to black appointees in the Bush Administration as tyrants – and Dick Gregory would embrace this blatant double standard or denounce sound legislation that would help to eliminate voter fraud. We shouldn't be surprised because they and their political cronies benefit from it.
The American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund recently released a 368-page report based on the 2004 presidential election with regard to voter fraud. Their findings were very illuminating, and quite embarrassing if you are one of those liberal Democrats who insist in ignorance that the Republicans stole the 2004 presidential election.
The ACVR Legislative Fund found that "paid Democrat operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression activities than were their Republican counterparts during the 2004 presidential election." It was also discovered that Democratic and liberal operatives had "illegally cast votes," and that there was "a coordinated effort by members of certain ‘nonpartisan' organizations to rig the election system through voter registration fraud in more than a dozen states."
Perhaps the most damning revelation came from an ACORN worker (ACORN was/is a decidedly liberal 527 group who screamed the loudest about GOP voter fraud in the 2004 election) who said, "there was ‘a lot of fraud committed' by [the] group in Florida. ACORN workers submitted thousands of fraudulent registrations in a dozen states across the country, resulting in a statewide investigation of the group in Florida and multiple indictments and convictions of ACORN/Project Vote workers for voter registration fraud in several states."
The "racially oppressive" voter identification law in Georgia reduces the number of acceptable forms of identification from 17 to the six that include a photo, the most common being a driver's license and passport. Georgians who do not carry these forms of photo identification can obtain – at no cost – state ID cards at certain government offices. Voters can also submit provisional ballots and return within 48 hours with an acceptable form of ID. The measure also loosens restrictions on acquiring absentee ballots by dropping a requirement that voters explain their need to vote absentee.
Perhaps the most accommodating provision of the new Georgia law is if a voter wants to acquire a government-issued photo ID for the purpose of voting but is unable to make the trip to any of the conveniently located government offices issuing them, the State of Georgia will send someone to their house to make sure they get one. It simply doesn't get any easier than that.
So called civil rights leaders like Jesse, Harry and Dick will pontificate on the horrors of inequity as they conjure up the ghosts of Civil Rights Era Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama but they do so for their own political gain. They perpetuate division along the lines of race and poverty. Their slavery histrionics do little to repudiate the fact that a United States devoid of racism, their proclaimed goal, is also their greatest fear.
Legislation requiring specific forms of identification in order to attain a ballot and vote in an election in the United States is protecting the rights of US citizenry. In an age where liberals are all too keen on giving away the rights of American citizenship to any illegal who can pay a mule to get them across the Rio Grande we need voter verification measures more than ever.
Face it, Blockbuster requires more proof of who you are in order to rent a videotape than most polling places require for a ballot.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for TheRant.us. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, socio-political education project. His pieces are regularly featured in Townhall.com. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and numerous radio shows. His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention and are periodically featured in The Washington Times as well as other national and international publications. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2005 Frank Salvato
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