Robert Knight

In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which authorizes the U.S. Attorney General or a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to review changes to voting procedures or redistricting in nine states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia), some counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some townships in Michigan and New Hampshire.

Congress did so to counter clearly established patterns of voter intimidation of blacks. Now, the Justice Department, which, under Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. could be renamed the Retribution Department, looks the other way depending on the race of the parties involved.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s 2005 photo ID law, which the Democratic Party and several interest groups had challenged as a “severe burden.”

But, as American Civil Rights Union attorney Peter Ferrara noted in the ACRU’s friend of the court brief:

“No one has been denied the right to vote by the Indiana Voter ID Law. The record clearly establishes without challenge that 99% of the Voting Age Population in Indiana already has the required ID, in the form of driver’s licenses, passports, or other identification. Of the remaining 1%, senior citizens and the disabled are automatically eligible to vote by absentee ballot, and such absentee voting is exempt from the Voter ID Law.”

Does that sound “severe” to you? As Ferrara notes, “the slight burden of additional paperwork for a fraction of 1%, to show who they are and thereby prove their eligibility to vote, cannot come close to outweighing the interests of all legitimate legal voters in maintaining their effective vote.”

In 2005, a bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III found no evidence that requiring photo IDs would suppress the minority vote. The panel recommended a national photo ID system and a campaign to register voters.

In a 2008 column, Mssrs. Carter and Baker cited a study by American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management that echoed the election commission. Among other things, researchers found that in three states— Indiana, Mississippi and Maryland — about 1.2 percent of registered voters had no photo ID.

The Obama Administration is playing the same race card that Democrats have played for decades. But this is not about race; it’s about whether legitimately cast votes will be wiped out by illegally cast votes.

In Chicago, a federal investigation of the 1982 gubernatorial election estimated that at least 100,000 illegal votes had been cast and that voter fraud had been routine for many years. In 1960, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Chicago Democrat machine almost certainly sealed John F. Kennedy’s presidential election by delaying reporting by Democratically-controlled precincts and counting them for Kennedy.

Republican Richard Nixon had a compelling case for a challenge, but chose not to do so. The media would have crucified him as a sore loser without seriously investigating fraud allegations.

Conversely, in 2000, when Democrat Al Gore challenged George W. Bush’s razor-thin victory in Florida, the media flogged Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris because she refused to overlook “hanging chads” and other questionable vote-counting.

Since the GOP took a majority of governorships and legislatures in 2010 and continued enacting voting safeguards, you can feel the panic in Democratic strongholds.

The stakes are enormous, and the Obama Administration is quite aware of the danger posed by an aroused electorate on a level playing field.

With the economy in a ditch, their only hope of stemming the conservative tide might be to rig the returns, especially where political machines still prevail.


Robert Knight

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