Election Photo ID for Los Angeles?
Friday morning’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court approving photo identification at election polling places makes one wonder how long it will be before Los Angeles (and California) adopts this sensible approach to reducing voting fraud?
Don’t hold your breath. Our city may be the illegal immigrant capital of the nation, but our politicians will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, toward such a reform.
The Supremes overturned the 9th Circus (Circuit Court of Appeals) ruling two weeks ago which put Arizona’s Proposition 200, passed by voters in 2004, on hold. There is litigation presently in almost every state that requires positive proof of citizenship in order to vote.
Plaintiffs in the Arizona case were the ACLU, MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), and Inter-Tribal Council. They claim the law discourages minorities, the poor and elderly from casting ballots.
The House of Representatives passed 228 to 196, a month ago (9/20/06) legislation requiring valid photo identification in federal elections. Congresspersons voting against compared it to disenfranchising Southern Blacks in the last century. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
The so-called “Voter ID” proposal requires voters to have “picture” identification by 2008, and proof of citizenship by 2010. It was among the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former president Jimmy Carter and secretary of state James Baker. “Effective voter registration and voter identification are bedrocks of a modern election system,” they wrote.
Groups working on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens call it a “poll tax,” claiming it would put an “insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights.” A recent study by Johns Hopkins University showed that 1,500 dead people had voted among a recent sampling of ballots in Ohio.
The controversy over election fraud is as old as the Republic itself. The influx of German and Irish immigrants in the mid-19th century raised concerns that they were incapable of voting honestly, since they were “under the control of the Pope.” The 1886 Committee of One Hundred called the previous election “nothing more than an organized conspiracy to defeat the will of the people … by illegal voting, forgery and fraud.”
A 1906 report showed that a Skid Row homeless shelter population ballooned from 80 to 280 on election day, and that every one of them was registered to vote. Party hacks helped some voters “float” so they could cast multiple ballots. Jail inmates received “pardons,” in exchange for a promise to go straight to the polls and cast a “straight ticket.”
Georgia’s election board, last Tuesday, approved a letter to inform more than 300,000 voters that they can vote, without any identification, since superior court judge T. Jackson Bedford had declared the requirement unconstitutional.
Despite the fact that people need positive identification to drive a car, cash a check or use a credit card, opponents of this reform want to continue the right of headstones and illegals to vote.