Former Dem. Mayor of Philadelphia, and Gov. Ed Rendell, on Pennsylvania’s voting records.
This week a federal court REFUSED to block a voter ID law in Pennsylvania where John Kerry whipped Bush in 2004 by 150k votes out of nearly 6 million cast with an 81% margin in Phila. Now a number like that brings to mind names like, Mubarak, Chenenko, Kim, and Saddam. Nor is this as, John Fund points out, a DEMOCRATIC PARTY ISSUE.
Republicans are convinced that voter-ID laws coupled with absentee-ballot protections will cut down on fraud, and in areas like Philadelphia will lead to lower Democratic margins. The more honest among them acknowledge that the city has long been a fount of corruption, including when Republicans ran a machine that dominated it for 80 years until the 1950s. During that period, not a single Democrat was elected mayor, in part because of massive Republican-led voter fraud. All that changed after Democrats seized control of the levers of city power was that they perfected what former Democratic mayor Ed Rendell once admitted to me was “a yeasty system where the rule of law isn’t always followed.”
We can argue that ‘certain’ votes WILL be suppressed by a voter ID law, and if you have to pay for photo ID, IMHO, it IS a poll tax (unconstitutional). But in the end, there is NO ARGUMENT that more accurate control of those who should NOT VOTE only enhances the legitimacy of self rule.
In the 1990’s a court decision in PA, threw out an election which determined control of their Senate BECAUSE of voter fraud.
In 2008 the Supreme Court 6-3 upheld voter ID in Indiana.
Just because this SEEMS to be feared more by the democrats more now than the replublicans is a temporary phenomenon much like the discussions about killing the 60 vote cloture rule in the US Senate over debate (which one must notice has cooled considerably on the democratic side as republican chances to control the Senate have increased somewhat..but no way they hit 60).
However, given the idea that the vote controls the rule, the self rule of the nation, I cannot imagine a more corrosive idea to the nation than that which would result from the FEELING that an election result is illegitimate, not due to some artifice, such as what occurred in FLORIDA in 2000.
While the Supreme Court at least settled that in manner consistent with the will of the people over MANY elections (that’s who appointed the men and women via majorities elected in the Senate, and by each state for the Pres.), imagine if Richard Nixon had challenged the 1960 election because of dead people providing the margin of victory in Illinois for JFK?
Given the polarization of this nation the very last thing we need is a series of battles in close electoral college results, state by state where a large urban vote determined a different outcome than the entire rest of the state, and Ed Rendell’s personal observation of court agreed facts hangs over us all. This would occur, remember, between Nov 6th, and ~Jan 20th, the inauguration day for the next President. The court battles COULD NOT EXTEND PAST THAT DATE, and there is no tool we have for delaying that moment, nor should there be one.
Think we have divisions now? Just imagine a close electoral college result and challenges like this in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Give that about 60 seconds of thought about what would be going on here.
Voter ID is COMPULSORY before we hit that moment, and that is why.
This is not 1965 in Mississippi.