Robert Knight

Is it racist to require people to show a photo ID when they vote?

You need a photo ID for nearly any meaningful transaction, such as cashing checks, including government checks. If this simple requirement “suppresses” the vote, maybe we need to ask why it’s such a great idea to push for universal suffrage for every adult who is merely breathing.

Of course, even this latter requirement would suppress the vote in Chicago and New Orleans, where dead people get to vote all the time – and do so cheerfully!

In a speech Tuesday at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. warned that recent state reforms, such as requiring photo IDs, might repress the minority vote. He said the Justice Department was reviewing photo ID laws just enacted in Texas and South Carolina, and early voting procedures in Florida.

The overall implication of his otherwise elegant speech commemorating passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is that tightening voter requirements is more of a threat to the integrity of the system than voter fraud.

Recently, 115 Democratic House members signed a letter urging Mr. Holder to use his office to oppose new voter ID laws. The rhetoric has been, to put it mildly, over the top.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina called the new laws “a cynical and malicious Republican attempt to suppress minority and elderly voters who turned out in historical numbers for the ’08 elections.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge, Ohio Democrat, unabashedly played the race card, charging that “these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that “Republicans across the country have engaged in a full-scale attack on the right to vote.” She also later insisted with a straight face that unemployment has not increased since President Obama took office.

The Democrats’ contempt for the minorities that they woo with government booty is neon bright: “You need us to tell you how to eat, sleep, raise your kids, use poisoned light bulbs, and vote!”

Naturally, the media go along with the fiction that making sure that voters are who they say they are is racist and partisan.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.