To the Editor:
Hypocrisy is a vile trait, and particularly frustrating when we see it in those whom we need to trust the most, such as elected officials. Their campaign promises as candidates are too often forgotten once elected. That same hypocrisy is witnessed and has become rampant among those who rail the loudest against requiring Voter ID when casting our ballots. Those who oppose requiring proof of identify claim that the requirement is discriminatory, even though the requirement applies to all.
Consider the hypocrisy of those who organized a march and rally sponsored by the NAACP on February 12. The participants were given a list of "do's and don'ts.” The list specified: "Do wear a hat and very comfortable shoes and "DO bring photo identification (driver's license, passport or other valid photo ID) with you and keep it on your person at all times.”
Apparently the irony of demonstrating against a voter ID law, while requesting an ID to demonstrate, was totally lost on the organizers and demonstrators. All participants apparently have an ID which makes one wonder why they would oppose a law intended to assure them their legal vote is not canceled by an illegal one.
Attorney General Eric Holder is a staunch opponent of laws requiring voters to show photo ID, yet he cannot sufficiently explain why that is more difficult than showing a photo ID when cashing a check, traveling by plane or even train, renting a video, etc. Holder has called Voter ID unnecessary having blocked its implementation in Texas and South Carolina claiming discrimination against minorities, without offering proof of those claims and despite an understanding by the average voter that an ID prevents people from impersonating another.
A favorite claim by the left is that voter ID is unnecessary, because there is not a problem with fraudulent voting. However, there is growing evidence that that tired claim is wrong. The Voter Integrity Project, a local citizens' group concerned with election integrity released a report showing there were 475 cases of election fraud that were believed to merit a referral to prosecutors.
Consider that federal law requires all states to clean up their voter rolls. Yet, in 2009, the Obama Justice Department dismissed, with no explanation, a lawsuit filed by the Bush administration asking Missouri for such a clean-up. Why has the Obama Administration not enforced this requirement?
Voter ID laws are simple and easy laws to follow in those states which require a voter to show government issued photo identifications at the polling places. All states are required to meet the minimum requirement set by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 which requires photo ID for those who register by mail and did not provide identification.
As of Oct. 17, 2013, a total of 34 states have passed voter ID laws; however, not all the laws are in force either because the implementation date is in the future or because of court challenges. The 34 voter ID state laws vary as to specific requirements, such as whether or not the ID must include a photo. In some states -- Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas (not yet in effect in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) -- a voter cannot cast a valid ballot without first presenting a photo ID.
Here in Illinois the requirement to present a government-issued photo identification card to an election judge upon voting only applies to early voters. During the 98th General Assembly 20 Republican state senators supported SB2496 which required a person seeking to vote on the day of the election to present a government-issued photos identification to the election judge. Filed by State Sen. Kyle McCarter in 2011, the bill stalled and was declared "Sine Die" legislation (without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing) on Jan. 8, 2013.
In the Illinois House a similar bill HB3903 was filled by Rep. Dwight Kay also in 2011, where it likewise became Sine Die legislation on Jan. 8, 2013.
Wisconsin's latest approach that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls passed the Wisconsin State Assembly on Nov. 14, 2013. Wisconsin's prior 2011 law finally received a Court hearing last November under Act 23. Hearings had been denied twice before by the opposition who labeled the 2011 law a voter suppression law and a troubling blend of race and politics. It matters not that Wisconsin does provide a free ID to all who ask. A federal judge is expected to decide the issue (Act 23) early this year.
Carol Davis, founder and coordinator of West Suburban Patriots recently wrote the following in an email communication:
We (several tea party groups) launched a coordinated Election Integrity effort here in Illinois about 2-3 years ago, working with *"True the Vote" out of Texas, we managed to rally volunteers throughout the state, but we lacked a strong leader who had the required time to commit and keep the momentum going. I was working with Claire VanHorne of DuPage Tea Party. Jane Carrell in the Rockford area was also involved in the effort.
Does the lack of success in Illinois several years ago by Carol Davis and other Tea Party leaders mean that the efforts to establish Voter ID here in Illinois be abandoned? Although Carol and her friends realized how wonderful it would be to have voter ID enacted, they likewise realized that given Illinois' current legislators Voter ID might be a pipe dream, but one that shouldn't be dismissed.
We [Illinoisans] must be realistic and diligently keep working to defeat Michael Madigan and send him packing with all his less than honorable flunkies. Meanwhile, cleaning dead people and non-citizens from our voter rolls, and having well-trained honest election judges and poll watchers in every polling place for every election seems to be the best areas to concentrate our energies and resources.
What is needed is a strong leader and the dedication of thousands of concerned citizens and Tea Party members throughout Illinois. We need a patriot who is so disgusted with the extent of voter fraud that he or she will form a committee and work with the Registrar of Voters, and take the necessary time to clean up voting lists and develop a group of poll watchers.
Presently dead people vote, as do illegal aliens. There are easy ways to discover who needs to be taken off the list of eligible voters, and "True the Vote" can provide that information.
Chicago has been caught with boxes of ballots "found” after close elections, and thus votes were not counted the first time around. That is far less likely to happen if we have dedicated poll watchers at every voting station.
Dennis Byrne, a Chicago writer who blogs in The Barbershop on Chicagonow.com, describes the Plain truth about voter fraud in Chicago in an opinion op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on June 12, 2012. Byrne's final paragraph
When it comes down to it, a degrading assumption underlies liberal opposition to voter IDs and the updating of registration rolls. It is the assumption that minorities, the poor and even students are incapable of meeting minimal voting requirements.
Most of us understand voter fraud is occurring in our state. However, until we a prove it, which in itself requires diligence, patience, and often funding, we must do all we can to prevent fraud from changing election results. While a voter ID system makes the most sense, until we are able to enact that law, patriots throughout the state can help make a positive difference by volunteering to work and watch for any irregularities at the polls.
At the same time may the majority of Illinois citizens begin to wonder why such a simple thing as showing ID to vote is being met with an unreasonably aggressive resistance from the left.
Calling your local Registrar of Voters office for information is a good way to start getting involved.
Lake Bluff, Ill.