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An answer to Dewhurst on voter ID

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, in response to threatssuggestions from fellow Republicans about getting a voter ID bill through the Senate, says:

Dewhurst said he can’t understand “how anyone could be opposed to ensuring that American citizens vote in our elections.”

He expects both House and Senate to approve legislation “to ensure that we maximize the number of voters which is in all of our best interest – but that we limit our elections to American citizens.”

“I can’t imagine who could possibly be against that concept,” Dewhurst said.

David Dewhurst, meet Royal Masset, who left the following comment in my previous post on the subject:

I was a big fan of voter ID until the federal government declared my mother dead. The reason I’ve not been heavily involved in the political arena for the last three years is because I’ve been taking care of my 91 year old mother who is a complete invalid but is very much alive.

I found there was no way of proving her alive. Invalid 91 year olds do not have driver’s licenses, passports, employment badges & etc. Since I’m taking care of her in my home she has no bills with her name and address. I can’t even get her a birth certificate since she lacks the ID necessary for a notary to verify. Under HB 979 My mother, who is a registered voter in Austin, cannot vote in Texas. Anyone who says all legal voters under this bill can vote doesn’t know what they are talking about. And anyone who says that a lack of IDs won’t discriminate against otherwise legal minority voters is lying.

Well, David? Do you have a response to that?

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  1. gabe says:

    The New York Times editorial this morning on this issue of alleged voter fraud put it as clearly as it can be put:

    “In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people.”

  2. Charles,

    Bravo to you for publishing this and bravo to someone as prominent as Royal Masset for telling this story and putting a face to an argument that progressives have been making for years.

    Thank you both.

  3. Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots says:

    Brad Blog

    … referring you to an amazingly wonderful new report [PDF] on the manufactured myth of American “voter fraud” as released by and authored by Lorraine C. Minnite, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.

    Among the report’s key findings:

    * Voter fraud is extremely rare.
    * Most voter fraud allegations turn out to be something other than fraud.
    * There is a long history in America of elites using voter fraud allegations to restrict and shape the electorate.
    * The historically disenfranchised are often the target of voter fraud allegations.

    Finally, an academician thoroughly debunks — nay, eviscerates — the long-worked, well-moneyed, and invidious GOP plot to create the illusion of an American “voter fraud” epidemic (as distinct from very real election fraud concerns). The point behind the effort is solely to push for disenfranchising laws and restrictions in an effort to keep legitimate voters away from the polls in our democracy. If you read only one page of this report, “The Politics of Voter Fraud,” it will be well worth your time!




    These were “Exhibits A and B” to the Republicans’ allegations of rampant voter fraud. Only one of all the supposed examples was actually fraudulent. It was a registration application that a teenager had filled out as a prank. The testimony was clear that his name would never have appeared on the rolls because of the cross-checking that occurs with respect to every new registration, nor was there any indication that he would even have dreamed of trying to vote.

    It was this evidence – if it can be called evidence – that the Republicans presented to David Iglesias when they demanded that he appoint a federal task force to get to the bottom of the “serious voter fraud problem” facing New Mexico. Iglesias understandably blew it off. What the Republicans wanted from him, of course, was not convictions (there was no evidence of any crimes, other than the teenager’s prank), but HEADLINES! The Republicans’ theory, probably correct, is that if they can get enough headlines about voter fraud, they will be able to sell their disenfranchising voter i.d. laws to the public. Iglesias, understandably, had better things to do with his time and with our money.

    What this means, of course, is that the U.S. Attorney scandal is far worse than it now appears. The Republicans are telling the truth when they say they have been “disappointed” with Iglesias for a long time. What is not understood, however, is that the reason they’ve been disappointed with him is that before the last Presidential election Iglesias failed to obey the Republican politicians who asked him to devote his resources to publicly pursuing non-existent fraud. As we on the other side of the litigation referred to it, it was “the voter fraud fraud.” Senator Domenici and Representative Wilson should hardly be able to find any political cover in their excuse that they had been disappointed by Iglesias’ supposed failure to aggressively pursue voter fraud.

    So this is a three-pronged scandal. First, there is the scandal of the “voter fraud” fraud which the Republicans have been trying to use to help promote restrictive, disenfranchising voter i.d. legislation. Second, there is the scandal of the Republicans attempting to enlist the US Atty’s office in their voter fraud fraud by getting him, at taxpayer expense and contrary to the most elemental ethics, to use his office to generate headlines about “voter fraud” when none was occurring, for the sole purpose of shaving Democratic party margins. Third, there is the scandal of firing Iglesias for refusing to go along with this fraudulent manipulation. In other words, it’s not BETTER because the Republicans have been “disappointed” in Iglesias for some time. It’s WORSE.

    John Boyd
    Freedman, Boyd, Daniels, Hollander, Goldberg & Ives PA