The Rest of the Story: Voter ID Law

By Pat J. Merriman

In Adrian Glass-Moore’s column, Fairfield continues to criticize Jaeger over voter ID law, in the Dickinson Press on Friday, September 26th, it was reported that Democrat candidate for ND Secretary of State (April Fairfield) continued to whine about the state’s Voter ID Law. The crux of the complaint…one (that’s right uno) elderly voter in Stutsman County was not allowed to vote in the June Primary this year because his driver’s license was expired and, therefore, “invalid”. WOW!

Fear not, Secretary of State Al Jaeger has clarified the issue for November! Rest assured that even if you cannot drive legally in North Dakota, you can still use your expired driver’s license to vote on November 4th. “This is a significant victory for the elderly, the disabled, rural citizens and every eligible voter in North Dakota that has been and would have been turned away at the polls,” Fairfield said. Really? How exactly? The Voter ID Law passed last year only requires one of the following valid ID’s on November 4th:

•North Dakota driver’s license;

•North Dakota non-driver ID;

•Tribal-issued ID;

•Student ID; or a

•Long-term care ID.

Taking a line from the Democrat Handbook, Fairfield immediately attempted to exploit the adjective “valid” in the Secretary of State’s definition of these ID’s by claiming that certain voting blocks would be adversely affected if the state of North Dakota somehow required that persons, wishing to vote in a particular county, had to prove they actually lived there by producing a non-expired, current, government-issued ID. What’s the big deal? Well, here in Dunn County (like others in the oil patch), local residents say that we  have a lot of transient workers who do not actually live here or contribute one, darned thing to this state except, perhaps, state Income tax at the end of the year. Those who live in temporary housing and merely take from the oil patch back to their actual out-of-state home and that rankles local voters who don’t believe that these people should be affecting local elections just so they can work, drink, carouse and raise a ruckus! In fact that has been a common theme for DUI arrestees who claim that their candidate is going to “set things right” when he is elected by giving them another freebie–the right to drink and drive under the influence! At least one subject even tried to call his candidate on his cell phone to keep from being arrested this past summer.

In fact, recently, one disgruntled, long-time Dunn County resident complained about a local Dunn County race and his perception that one of the candidates (I’m not going to comment on which one) has been encouraging these carpetbaggers to get their North Dakota drivers license (with a Dunn County address on it) before the deadline to vote for him. The local citizen was furious “because these people  had no business voting for our [office withheld].” The facebook posts that rankled this voter weren’t as offensive to him as the public musings of the candidate’s supporters about those posts. True or not, this upset this long-time voter and, that was his interpretation of both the postings and other comments that he had heard others make. And, agree or disagree with this local criticism, one must admit that it is certainly a valid concern for local residents to resent outsiders trying to influence national or local elections. Isn’t that the rally cry whenever “campaign spending limits” are tossed about?

Do illegal voters (people who don’t really live in a given precinct) actually affect local, federal and state elections? Consider the following complaints about Democrats (the lone political party which vehemently objects to Voter ID laws) and their loyal minions’ shenanigans by NBC News–not known for its conservative, right-wing Republican leanings. See, Fraud: Local NBC Investigation Discovers Dozens of Illegal Voters in Florida, by Guy Benson (Mar 19, 2014):

It is an article of faith on the Left that voter fraud does not exist beyond the imaginations of racist right-wingers, hell-bent on imposing “unconstitutional” voter ID laws fashioned to “suppress” minority turnout in elections. These objections are race-baiting nonsense; they’re unsupported by both empirical evidence and Supreme Court precedent. The high court upheld Indiana’s law in a 6-3 decision in 2008. The ruling was authored by uber-liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. And after Georgia implemented its own law in 2007 (which survived a legal challenge), minority voter participation increased in the next two election cycles.

ABC News has called voter fraud a “rare but real” phenomenon, evidenced by a number of relatively high-profile convictions in recent years. Congress de-funded the left-wing group ACORN (for whom Barack Obama once organized) over widespread voter registration fraud and other outrages. The watchdog group True the Vote — whose founder’s businesses and family have been harassed by the IRS and other federal agencies — documents voter fraud prosecutions in 46 states since 2000. Which brings us to a report that aired earlier this month on NBC’s local affiliate in Ft. Myers, Florida. WBBH-TV reporter Andy Pierrotti managed to track down dozens of local residents who were (a) both non-US citizens and (b) registered to vote in the swing state. Many of them had illegally voted in recent elections…

The investigation began by examining state forms on which residents had declined jury duty by checking a box indicating that they weren’t US citizens, and were therefore ineligible to serve. Pierrotti then cross-referenced those results with local voter rolls, identifying at least 94 people who were registered to vote in the state of Florida.

Next, he visited some of these people at their homes, where they admitted that they weren’t citizens and professed ignorance as to how they were registered to vote in the first place. But voting records confirmed that they’d exercised their “right” to vote that, as non-citizens, they do not actually possess. The NBC 2 team interviewed a number of these illegal voters on camera, including a Jamaican national who simply attested that he was a US citizen on a voter registration form, and — voila! — he joined the American electorate. It was a felony, but it was that easy. And if a news crew hadn’t connected the dots, no one would have ever known. This passage in the report is crucial:

REPORTER: County supervisors of elections tell me they have no way to verify citizenship. Under the 1992 “Motor Voter” law, they’re not required to ask for proof.

HARRINGTON: We have no policing authority. We don’t have any way of bouncing that information off of any other database.

REPORTER: The only way supervisors of elections can investigate voter fraud is if they get a tip, so that’s what our list became.

HARRINGTON: It could be very serious. It could change the whole complexion of an election.

Here’s the problem: This handful of wrongs are now being looked at and dealt with, but it took an enterprising and creative journalist to uncover them. These are 94 cases he uncovered in his own backyard alone, using just one narrow method. How many people in this country are registered to vote, and actually do vote, who are not US citizens? We don’t know.

It is lunacy that election supervisors “have no way to verify citizenship” in many places, even at the point of registration. It’s further lunacy that we would not require every potential voter to produce valid proof of citizenship before casting a ballot, from coast to coast. These steps are so basic, so fundamentally fair, and so rudimentary that it’s difficult to accept that an entire political party is dead-set against these voter integrity efforts for reasons that are not nefarious. Only US citizens are allowed to participate in US elections under the law. Citizens who don’t have proper identification ought to be able to obtain them quickly and easily. That’s the reasonable recourse for the “suppression” non-problem. But every single person who wants to vote should prove that they’re doing so legally. That’s not racism; that’s painfully basic common sense. Oh, and it’s overwhelmingly supported by Americans of all political stripes.

Parting thought: A quick calculation, as a point of reference. This local reporter found 94 illegally registered voters in one small region using one narrow verification method. If you extrapolate his number over Florida’s 67 counties, that’s nearly 6,300 people. In 2000, the United States Presidency was determined by 537 Florida votes.

So, to Ms. Fairfield and her loyal band of pandering pundits, nice try! But, the truth is that if you are so incompetent that you can’t produce a valid, current, properly-issued government ID that shows you actually live in Dunn County, North Dakota, maybe you shouldn’t be voting here. Thoughts??

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