South Carolina vs the Obama administration, Round Two

South Carolina has long been battling with the National Labor Relations Board over the North Charleston Boeing plant. Just as the state seemed to finally have this issue behind them, the Justice Department opened up a new battle when it rejected the state's recently-adopted Voter ID law.

In discussing their concerns about a recent move by the Justice Department to deny pre-clearance to the new law, the Charleston Post and Courier criticized the move as part of a vendetta by the Obama administration against South Carolina, asking "where is the "justice" in the Obama administration's apparent animus against our state?

There's not much logical support for Justice's objections to the new law. In fact, there are valid concerns behind the calls for requiring voters to present photo ID when voting, as well as plenty of support for adopting such laws. Thus when a major news media outlet calls the Obama adminstration out for having a hate trip for South Carolina, we can't help but think they've got a point.


The fact is that other states have adopted similar laws without receiving flak from the Justice Department. Rhode Island, which has an overwhelming Democratic majority in their legislature, enacted similar legislation, as did Georgia, whose law received Justice Department approval and was used to help craft South Carolina's law.

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters. South Carolina's legislation will require the state issue free identification cards, thus making the requirement less burdensome upon voters.

Keep in mind that the feds have long required officially-issued identification to be presented in order to work in the United States, as well as to buy firearms. So why the double-standard?

Polling has shown overwhelming support for Voter ID laws. Several conducted by the Rasmussen polling firm in recent years have shown strong support for the law, with seventy percent or better of respondents expressing support: October 2008 - 76 percent, August 2010 - 82 percent, July 2011 - 75 percent and December 2011 - 70 percent.

Not only is there a lot of support for these laws, Last month, the director of the Indiana Democratic Party resigned in the face of an ongoing state investigation in widespread allegations of voter fraud. The website Rotten Acorn lists numerous incidents of voter fraud across the country. Also of concern is a survey of New Mexico voters which found that "More than 43 percent said that in the past 10 years they had witnessed voter fraud" as well as that "50.2 percent say election fraud has changed the outcome of elections in which they have participated." The concern was bi-partisan, as the number of those who fingered one party over the other were equal and 44 percent saying both parties engaged in voter fraud.

Another person who has alleged voter fraud is Artur Davis, a former Alabama Democratic Congressman, who cited instances of voter fraud in his 2010 bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor in Alabama in an op-ed he penned last year calling for the adoption of Voter ID laws:
I was disappointed to see Bill Clinton, a very good president and an even greater ex-president, compare voter ID to Jim Crow, and it is chilling to see the intimidation tactics brought to bear on African American, Democratic legislators in Rhode Island who had the nerve to support a voter ID law in that very liberal state.
Congressional Black Caucus chair Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) "was frustrated" by Davis' call for Voter ID. We're not sure why, as it's been found that minority voter turnout actually increased after other states adopted Voter ID laws, leading researchers at the Universities of Delaware and Nebraska to conclude that "Concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing." No wonder 69 percent of respondents in a survey taken last month by Rasmussen did not see Voter ID laws as discriminatory.

Critics who say those without ID will be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote on Election Day are misleading. Per the new law, voters without identification will be allowed to vote via a provisional ballot, which will be counted if the person obtains identification before the election is certified.

Providing free identification cards and even allowing provisional ballots to be cast seem pretty reasonable safeguards to ensure those who want to vote can vote - provided they can produce identification.

A law that protects against fraudulent voting protects everyone's right to vote, regardless of their ethnicity. Those few who disagree would do well to do their homework on this issue and the Obama administration would do well to drop their obsession with South Carolina, especially on issues where there is plenty of evidence and public support for taking action.

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