Voter Suppression Real and Imagined

Robert Knight

10/31/2012 12:01:00 AM - Robert Knight

Did you know that the United Nations, whose blue-helmeted troops have been charged with everything from rape to theft in Third World countries, is going to have an affiliated organization help us run our elections?

That’s right. Forty-four international observers are going to monitor America’s Election Day on Nov. 6. On the bright side, that’s at least 44 people who won’t be busy undermining free speech by trying to stamp out anything remotely critical of Islam such as Internet videos or cartoons. It won’t stop Hillary Clinton, of course, but let’s deal with one scold at a time.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which works closely with the UN, began monitoring U.S. elections in 2002. In March, several leftwing groups went to Geneva to complain to the UN that new state laws requiring photo IDs for registration or voting constitute “suppression” of minority voters. Complaining about America to the likes of Russia, China and Cuba over elections is like whining to Don Corleone over possible cheating in a poker game down at the firehouse.

The NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) followed the Geneva trip up with a letter this month to OSCE, charging that there is “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans.”

The “disenfranchisement” and “suppression” themes are patently false. The U.S. Supreme Court dispatched these notions in no uncertain terms in 2008 when upholding Indiana’s photo ID law. Minority voting actually increased in two elections following passage of Indiana’s law and a similar one in Georgia.

In July 2012, the Heritage Foundation released a paper, “Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Kansas,” in which Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach reported that only 32 of the state’s 1.7 million voters requested free IDs from the state so they could vote in this year’s elections.

None of this has stopped liberals from chanting the “suppression” mantra loud enough to reach across to Switzerland, or at least to the UN headquarters on New York’s Upper East Side, where America’s sins edge out Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-obesity edicts as the favored topic at wine and cheese parties.

Along with the “suppression” nonsense, prominent Democrats continue to insist that vote fraud is rare or nonexistent. This is the party, you understand, that runs Chicago’s vote-rich graveyards and handed Al Franken a U.S. Senate seat in 2008 through multiple recounts in Minnesota that included ballots found in a car trunk.

If vote fraud is so rare, why is it that you can’t watch or read the news each day without learning about a new incident?

In Virginia, conservative video sting artist James O’Keefe on Oct. 8 captured on tape Democratic U.S. Rep. James Moran’s son Patrick Moran discussing with an undercover reporter ways to get around Virginia’s new voter ID law. Within days of the video’s release this past week, Patrick Moran resigned as his father’s field director.

Ironically, Rep. Moran is one of three Virginia congressmen who signed an Oct. 23rd letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. asking for an investigation of Strategic Allied Consulting and its subsidiary Pinpoint, which has Republican clients and is being investigated in Florida for 200 counts of potential registration fraud.

Also in Florida, the FBI is investigating a series of letters sent to citizens in at least 23 counties advising them that they may be ineligible to vote. A Florida TV station opines that since the recipients are “mostly big hitter Republicans,” this may be Democratic payback for Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s ongoing campaign to clean up the state’s voter rolls.

Meanwhile, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayor Bill Finch was caught on tape on Oct. 12 arguably boasting that he would guarantee Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Christopher Murphy enough Bridgeport votes for Murphy to win in November:

Mr. Murphy: “Big turnout in Bridgeport?”

Mr. Finch, laughing: “Big turnout in Bridgeport, always, always. We may come in a couple of days late. But you can be guaranteed you’re going to get the vote.”

This might be dismissed as a joke if Mayor Finch, a Democrat, had not been at the center of an election storm in 2010. Bridgeport’s vote totals “came in” three days after the election, reversing the statewide result in the governor’s race.

Prior to Election Day in 2010, the media reported widespread “chaos,” with ballot shortages because Bridgeport officials only ordered ballots for a third of the city’s registered voters. Other election irregularities included “photocopied ballots, altered hours at polling places, a mysterious bag of votes and Finch’s abuse of the city’s emergency notification system to increase turnout on Election Day,” according to the Weekly Standard.

So, when Mayor Finch jokes about vote fraud, it’s time to stop the laugh track and send in investigators. To that end, American Civil Rights Union Chairman Susan A. Carleson on Oct. 24 wrote to Attorney General Holder, asking him to look into the Bridgeport situation:

“Recently, your department monitored polling places during elections in Florida and Wisconsin, as explained in an August 13, 2012 Justice Department press release: ‘Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from Office of Personnel Management, as well as departmental staff, to monitor elections across the country.’

“In light of Bridgeport’s history in the last election, and the nature of Mr. Finch’s remarks, due diligence calls for the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to make inquiries, and for the Department itself to monitor the voting process in Bridgeport from now until Election Day.”

Given the sworn testimony from former Justice Department civil rights attorney J. Christian Adams that Justice Department employees have been told to ignore complaints from certain quarters, it will be instructive to see what kind of response Mr. Holder gives to the three congressmen – and to Mrs. Carleson, who is not holding her breath.

Inquiring men in blue helmets want to know.