Common Sense . . . Not “Hatred”. . . Key to Voter ID Laws

February 27th, 2014

Joe Biden is doing it again—saying stupid things.

At a Black History Month event, the Vice-President decided to weigh in on the issue of state requirements for voter identification. Using his well-known way with words, he declared any attempt to require someone to actually prove who he is to vote as motivated my “hatred.”

Referring to those who advocate passage of Voter ID laws, he said, “These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away.  The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.” His hope is that Congress can “modernize” the Voting Rights Act so that these sorts of “hateful,” “bigoted” requirements are put to rest once and for all.

Voting is a sacred honor granted under the Constitution to all citizens of a certain age.  It’s a precious right and one that should not be taken lightly.

What Biden is saying, however, is that any attempt to permit only those entitled to exercise this right to do so is motivated somehow by hatred and bigotry.  That just doesn’t make sense for lots of reasons.

Voter identification laws are designed to prevent voter fraud.  That’s not a small thing.  I worked on the Bush presidential campaign in 2000 and the fighting and scratching at the end over every dangling and hanging chad in the Florida recount should give pause to anyone who might think that fraudulent votes can’t possibly make a difference.  Some people argue that there just isn’t enough proof of massive fraud out there to warrant inconveniencing people with obtaining proper identification.  As Florida proves, even a little fraud can potentially have huge consequences.

Biden also seems to suggest that requiring someone to identify himself can be nothing more than an exercise in hate and discrimination.

If that’s the case, then I’m outraged and truly offended.

Each time I attempt to board an airplane, I’m required by the federal government to show a picture ID.  Not only do I have to show it, but the TSA agent inspecting it appears to always carefully look and see that my face matches the one on the identification card.

Why do they do this?

It’s routine because they want to assure that I’m not a terrorist. The fact that I not only have to show the ID card but additionally I must present everything on my person and in my possession for inspection in order to further prove that I’m not a terrorist turns the notion of innocent until proven guilty on its head.

To fly to Miami for a little fun in the sun, for example, I must first establish with the federal government that I’m most likely not a criminal. If I don’t like it, I can drive.

There’s also the little matter of showing ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and some over the counter medications.

How “hateful” is this?

The ID card to purchase alcohol is particularly fraught with potentially “hateful” or at the very least offensive scenarios.  It also can cause a few socially awkward situations.

I’ll never forget years ago when I went out for drinks with a few of my younger colleagues at work.  I was the only person at the table who didn’t have to show my identification.  I really wanted to crawl under the table and die.  Talk about age discrimination.

It’s one thing to have some disagreement over an identification requirement, but why ascribe evil motives to those who disagree with you?

Here’s the bottom line. No one should be permitted to vote who isn’t eligible to vote.  That’s just common sense.  Anything else is just . . .well . . .stupid.

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