… to see Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne and Secretary of State Ken Bennett stand up self-righteously with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – author of Arizona’s infamous HB1070 anti-immigration statute to demand – DEMAND – that the federal government bend to their will.
Arizona and Kansas are suing the feds to let them demand citizenship papers whenever someone registers to vote.
What’s wrong with that?
Well, the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University of Law has some inconvenient facts. They found that 15 percent of US citizens are unable to produce a valid ID. If the name “NYU” doesn’t give away their lib-ruhl bias, let me note here that I am an NYU grad – of their journalism school, not the law school. The law school is well known for producing a disproportionate number of public defenders and ACLU lawyers. What else would you expect from a college that calls Greenwich Village home?
Nonetheless, their study gives you many good reasons why a full-blooded US citizen may not have the proper ID:
- Nearly 500,000 eligible voters do not have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office open more than two days a week. Many of them live in rural areas with dwindling public transportation options.
- More than 10 million eligible voters live more than 10 miles from their nearest state ID-issuing office – which may be open no more than two days a week.
- 1.2 million eligible black voters and 500,000 eligible Hispanic voters live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office open more than two days a week. People of color are more likely to be disenfranchised by these laws since they are less likely to have photo ID than the general population.
- Many ID-issuing offices maintain limited business hours. For example, the office in Sauk City, Wisconsin is open only on the fifth Wednesday of any month. But only four months in 2012 — February, May, August, and October — have five Wednesdays. In other states — Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas — many part-time ID-issuing offices are in the rural regions with the highest concentrations of people of color and people in poverty.
I’ll add a few more:
- People who were born to a midwife, especially if they are older, may not have a birth certificate because their parents didn’t bother.
- Many Native Americans have problems. First of all it’s more likely they were born at home, maybe without any medical assistance. Within Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Reservation along the border, their reservation boundaries actually overlap the U.S.-Mexico border, although the Mexican portion has dwindled significantly.
- Older people may lack proper forms. I was born in Brooklyn, but somehow I still qualify as a US Citizen. Go figure. I have a birth certificate – but its old and faded, and apparently it’s not official enough. I’d need to write to New York State to obtain a new copy. At the moment I cannot get a US Passport because of this.
Now we all know the real purpose behind this lawsuit against the feds. It’s part of a nationwide effort to suppress voter turnout among the poor, people of color, and other troublemakers who aren’t smart enough to vote Republican. Surely I can’t be the only one who noticed that all these “voter integrity” measures were passed in states the GOP controls.
There’s one other thing. Tom Horne, our righteous law-abiding Attorney General, told The Arizona Republic today that “there were 10 prosecutions of voter fraud in 2006 .”
Back in September, 2012, Cronkite News Service reported that News21, a national reporting consortium made up of 11 universities and hosted at Arizona State University, found that seven cases of alleged election fraud were prosecuted in Arizona since 2000, four of them involved people accused of voting twice (in more than one state). Now of course we shouldn’t mention that at least one case involved a Republican candidate who apparently was casting ballots in the name of a girlfriend who had been dead more than five years.
And then there’s this, from the Green Valley News down near Tucson:
A Green Valley couple pleaded guilty in federal court for voting in Arizona and Kansas in 2008. In Maricopa County, four people were prosecuted and convicted by the Attorney General’s office for the same kind of offense. All were registered Republicans.
So yeah, maybe there are occasional instances of voter fraud.
It’s because of those darn Republicans.