Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who Should Vote?

The presidential election could very well hinge on the Hispanic vote. They voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers in 2008 and the Obama campaign has said many times that it expects to carry any state that has a large Hispanic population. In order to court this group, President Obama rewrote immigration law through an executive order allowing people under 30 who came here illegally but have not been caught committing a crime and who have met some educational requirements to stay as quasi-legal residents.

The big question in the next election is how many of the estimated 10 million Hispanics who are in this country illegally will vote? Any attempt to answer this is immediately labeled "voter suppression". The claims from the left are:

  • Poor people, especially minorities lack proper identification so efforts at voter identification are aimed at them. This assumes that the poor are stupid (and implies that stupid people disproportionately vote Democrat).
  • In some states there is a charge for an identification card so this amounts to a poll tax (a tax that has to be paid to vote, aimed at disenfranchising the poor). A $10 license fee is hardly on the same level as a poll tax and several states that require ID have a free version for the poor. "Not good enough," the Left says. The poor still have to pay for bus fare to get the ID so it is still a poll tax. The Supreme Court disagrees but that has not stopped talk about a revival of Jim Crow (laws enacted in the early 20th century to keep minorities from voting).
  • There is no voter fraud. This is repeated constantly but only one study is ever cited and that was conducted by a liberal advocacy group specifically to prove that voter fraud does not happen. It was based on convictions and ignored the inherent difficulty in prosecuting a case where someone used a false identity. Unless that person was recognized and detained at the time it is nearly impossible to every find the false voter again. In many states the system seems to be set up to encourage voter fraud where someone can register and vote in one step with little or no documentation. Despite this, there have been a number of voter fraud convictions in the past few years. We can assume that the ones that were caught were the tip of the iceberg. Regardless, none of this addresses the issue of voting by non-citizens.
  • Attempts at preventing fraud are racist. Florida sent a list of people for country registrars to check. This list was created by cross-indexing voter registration against driver's licenses and flagging people whose driver's license indicated a non-resident. While the effort did find some non-citizens who were registered to vote the process was discontinued because of inaccuracies on the list. Florida officials complained that the federal government had refused to give them access to a much more accurate list so they had been forced to make-do. When the list first came out it was denounced as racists because of the high percentage of Hispanic names it contained. This ignored the high percentage of Florida immigrants (legal and illegal) who came to Florida from Spanish-speaking countries.

Following up on the Democrats' line of attack, Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson speculates that a Romney win would be invalid because it would be based on voter suppression. The obvious flip side to this is to wonder how valid an Obama win would be if it contained a large number of votes from non-citizens?

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