Photo IDs can protect elections, let dead rest

Friday , January 27, 2012 - 12:29 PM

Deroy Murdock

Liberals love to laugh off voter fraud. It's "a made-up problem invented by GOP operatives," Robert Koehler, a self-termed "peace journalist," snickered in the Jan. 5 Huffington Post. Regarding ballot hijinks, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz chuckled: "There is almost none."

But recent news is not so funny. One probe caught on tape how easily anybody can vote on behalf of dead Americans. Elsewhere, the total ballots cast by the dead exceeded the winning margins in several high-profile elections. These cases confirm the urgent need for all voters to prove they are alive and to correctly identify themselves via photo ID -- just as Americans do on non-election days.

James O'Keefe, the conservative video journalist whose hidden-camera sting operation doomed the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), struck again during the New Hampshire primary. O'Keefe's organization, Project Veritas, dispatched three videographers to the Granite State. On Jan. 10, they visited precincts in Manchester and Nashua and asked poll workers, one by one, if their voter rolls bore the names of several deceased people. Believing that O'Keefe's collaborators were those registered, the poll workers handed out 10 ballots, never once asking for a photo ID.

"Live Free or Die," a poll worker reassured one investigator she thought was Reynold Caron, who died Oct. 14, 2011. "This is New Hampshire. No ID needed."

O'Keefe's men immediately gave back each ballot and insisted that they wanted to leave each precinct and return with a photo ID, although none was required. O'Keefe's team members never cast these ballots. They returned them, unmarked, to precinct workers.

All of this is available on videotape at ProjectVeritas.com.

New Hampshire Democrats seem unconcerned that their voter rolls contain the names of dead people and, absent ID rules, fraudsters conveniently could vote the ballots of the expired. Instead, Democrats want to indict these whistleblowers.

"They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they're found guilty of some criminal act," Democratic Gov. John Lynch told WMUR-TV.

Republicans, however, consider this deadly serious.

"Despite the governor's veto of the photo ID bill last year, the House will begin again this year to restore confidence in our elections by passing legislation to require a photo ID," its speaker, Republican William O'Brien, said Jan. 13. Following Project Veritas' revelations, Granite State legislators recently began debating two photo ID bills.

Meanwhile, South Carolina's attorney general, Alan Wilson, informed the U.S. Justice Department on Jan. 19 that 953 ballots had been cast by dead voters in recent Palmetto State elections. Democrats can giggle, but 953 is a potentially game-changing number of votes.

Recall that Willard Mitt Romney originally won the Iowa caucuses by just eight votes, only to have a closer count reveal that Rick Santorum actually prevailed by 34 votes.

After an indecisive November 2008 election, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., eventually won a final recount in which he defeated GOP incumbent Norm Coleman by 312 votes.

And 537 ballots gave George W. Bush Florida's electoral votes and, consequently, the White House in 2000.

Thus, 953 haunted ballots could have reversed any of these races. Perhaps they did.

The easiest way to disenfranchise the dead is to require every voter to show photo ID. Those who lack identification should get it for free. Reasonable accommodations can be made for the infirm.

Let's not hear liberals' scratched record about how mandating a photo ID for voters is step one on the road to lynching. If true, then demanding a photo ID at America's airports would make the TSA equivalent to the KKK. Liberals' oft-cited claim that blacks are too befuddled to possess or acquire photo ID is pure racial profiling. Just how lame do they think black Americans really are?

ID cards would help cleanse America's increasingly soiled voting system. Photo IDs also would allow dead people to rest in peace rather than rush to the polls every Election Day.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford University's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Email Deroy.Murdock@gmail.com.

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