Eric Holder & Opponents of Voter ID Laws Are the New Jim Crow

Politics & Views 7


Eric Holder
Here in South Carolina, there is a big kerfuffle over the Voter ID law that Governor Nikki Haley signed last month. Every time such a law is bandied about, out come the tiresome cries of racism. Voter fraud is no longer an issue, you see, if the race card is able to be played. Identity politics trumps all, including facts.

Eric Holder's Justice Department is always at the ready to charge in with cries of racism and it did so here as well. Funny, but Mr. Holder doesn't seem to care about Planned Parenthood's 'racist' policy of requiring a photo ID before one can obtain an abortion. Nor does he seem to care about the fact that voter fraud is rampant, even in his own voting precinct. This video shows how easy it is for anyone to walk in off the street and obtain Eric Holder's ballot. But, hey, those racist RepubliKKKans!

SC Representative James Clyburn predictably jumped in with the old "ZOMG it's the new Jim Crow!" In reality, it is those who oppose Voter ID laws who are the new Jim Crow. Opponents cite a report by the Center for American Progress that claims 25 percent of minorities do not have valid photo identification. If true, and if they care about something besides their own power (fraud works in their favor), then shouldn't they be more concerned with the fact that 25 percent of minorities cannot fully function in modern society? I had to show my driver's license to pay with my debit card at Old Navy last week, for cripes sake. You need a photo ID to board a plane. You cannot enter Eric Holder's own Justice Department without one. You cannot fully function in the modern day without a photo ID.

Which is why the Republicans, when attempting to enact such laws, always make provisions for helping people to obtain a photo ID. They will make arrangements to help you get one -- for free. You can sign an affidavit explaining hardship if you do not qualify for a free photo ID. You can still vote provisionally, regardless. As South Carolina's Attorney General said, "It doesn't disenfranchise anybody ... It treats everyone equally. People could still show up on Election Day and sign a sworn affidavit saying they are who they say they are, and they would be allowed to vote. So there’s a safety net there.”

Eric Holder's Justice Department also plays fast and loose with the numbers. In its objection letter to South Carolina, it claims that the law would have a discriminatory effect on 'non-white' voters. Heritage Foundation proves this claim false. And it's not just false on paper, it's false in practice. Georgia implemented such a law (and South Carolina's is even more lenient) six years ago. Know what happened? Voting by black voters increased from 513,700 in 2006 to 741,000 in 2010. How racist!

Yet, according to opponents of Voter ID laws, we all shouldn't bother renewing our drivers' licenses because our liberty is infringed every time we are asked to show it. Try that excuse next time you are pulled over for speeding. Somehow, I don't think it would fly and the public agrees. In opinion poll after opinion poll, nearly 75 percent of voters agree with Voter ID laws.

The real Jim Crow is the people who care more about politics than people. Instead of incessantly whining about how everyone has the right to 'access' to birth control (when everyone already does), why not make sure that everyone has access to a photo ID so that they can be fully functioning members of a modern day society?

But I guess that makes it harder for dead people to vote in Chicago.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read Do You Support Voter Identification Laws?


Image via RyanJReilly/Flickr

2012 election, discrimination, election, in the news, law, politics, polls

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nonmember avatar Megan

Thank you Lori, love this!

MsRkg MsRkg

Voter fraud is not rampant! There was 311 cases of voter fraud out of 131 MILLION voters in the 2008 election. I would hardly call that rampant as that averages to about what 6 cases per state.I don't have a problem with needing ID to be shown to vote, makes sense when you think about it, and might pull that high number of 311 down to something less scary (cue sarcasm for that last part).


What I do have a problem with, is with the timing of this. Why now, in the middle of an election year ? Are the republicans so afraid of the democrats winning that they need to do everything they can to suppress the democratic vote, or is severe limits on voter-registration drives, closing early-voting windows, strict new limits on absentee ballots, etc not enough already?


They want to change/make voter ID laws, fine , but to me, they look like scared little children doing this now. If voter fraud was as rampant as they say it was , why not institute these changes for earlier elections (i.e. 2008) or during the bush years? They want to make changes , then they should do it after the election is over for future elections and set new precedents for the following years. That's just my opinion on it.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

There were only 311 KNOWN cases of voter fraud... in the middle of an election year is the perfect time for this- we're getting ready for a big election and it SHOULD be taken care of before then.

Flori... Floridamom96

MsRKG, holy eye roll! Be informed before pontificating. The SC law passed in 2011, not an election year by any definition. Timing is irrelevant to constitutionality. Making sure no one else votes in my name is of grave importance to me and should be to all. This objection to requiring ID to vote is asinine. We have to show ID to access our bank accounts, fly on a plane, enter a federal building, use a credit card, to buy alcohol or tobacco, if a cop stops us while driving, etc., etc., ad nauseum. There is no legitimate reason to object to this common sense law.

nonmember avatar Dad

Thank you for this, Lori. Seriously, this is the best piece I've read about this issue all week. No further comment needed.

miche... micheledo

Good article and great viewpoint.  Next time someone is against a Voter ID law, I will suggest they turn their focus to helping those Americans with no ID live a quality filled life.  They obviously have no life in our country if they don't have an ID.

bills... billsfan1104

Very nicely said. To the point and you didnt attack anyone.

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