Back in April, in a story that did not receive the attention it deserved, a Tunica County, Miss., jury found Lessadolla Sowers, who have been identified as a member of the executive committee of the county’s NAACP chapter, guilty of 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots in the name of others.
Sowers, The Daily Caller reported Friday, received a five-year prison term for each of the ten counts—for a total of 50 years– but will be allowed to serve those terms concurrently, meaning at the same time.
The problem of voter fraud, despite what the Democrats say, is very, very real. The question is what to do about it. [Check out our editorial cartoons on the Democratic Party.]
A number of states are considering or have passed reforms that make it tougher to cheat at the polls, most of which center on requiring voters to produce a photo ID before they can cast a ballot, a seemingly simple idea taken from everyday life that most people support. After all, you have to show a government-issued photo ID to board an airplane, rent a car, cash a check, buy liquor, enter office buildings in major metropolitan areas, and even before you can get married so why not have to produce a photo ID before you can vote?
Well to many Democrats, who seem to believe that voter fraud–despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary–is merely a figment of the Republicans’ collective imagination, asking people to show a photo ID before voting is akin to the restoration of "separate by equal" schools and segregated lunch counters.
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who chairs the Democratic National Committee called photo ID an effort to "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally—and very transparently—block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates."
Once someone explained the meaning of the word "literally" to her, Wasserman Schultz backed off the analogy but not from the sentiment. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, who apparently didn’t get the memo from Wasserman Schultz, called voter ID one "of the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow."
The Reverend Jesse Jackson said photo ID was the equivalent of "a poll tax." Former President Bill Clinton said of the effort to enacted voter ID legislation that there had never been "in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today."
Others have attacked the plan because it would be too expensive to provide government-issued photo IDs to everyone who needs but does not have one, a concern that, frankly, is laughable.
Since when have Democrats ever been dissuaded from doing anything outside of the defense sector because it costs too much?
You get the picture. The rhetoric is over the top, probably because voter ID does get at the problem of voter fraud which—for some Democrats—is not so much a theory as a turn out model, a key to winning close elections. [See a slide show of who's in and out for the GOP in 2012.]
A comprehensive study by the Milwaukee Police Department found a strong possibility existed that there was "an illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome" through voter fraud of the 2004 elections in Wisconsin. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office determined that nearly 5,000 people who were not United States citizens—and therefore according to the law, ineligible to vote—voted in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. And there are plenty of other examples in the modern era including one other recent U.S. Senate race and a gubernatorial election whose outcomes were determined as a direct result of voter fraud.
Voter fraud is not imaginary. It’s real and it threatens the franchise held by ever legitimate voter in the country and needs to be addressed if the electoral process is gong to continue to mean anything. Requiring voters to show a photo ID before they can vote just makes sense.