(Tip to AmericanProgress.org)
This picture goes along with this post from Kuff, Examining the voter ID lie. It’s his take on a recent HChron article, that doesn’t go far enough, is too “fair and balanced”, if you know what I mean.
The story makes a decent effort to air the anti-voter ID perspective, but it still comes off as a dispute between partisans. It would have been nice to quote a few people who are not actively engaged in the litigation. And while I appreciate the effort to point out that the state of Texas has failed miserably to demonstrate that there are any crimes that might be deterred by its voter ID law, it’s still being said too politely. The fact is that voter ID proponents have been telling a lot of lies about the vote fraud they claim exists but can never find, and that can’t be said often enough. I come back once again to Daniel Davies’ classic post The D-Squared Digest One Minute MBA – Avoiding Projects Pursued By Morons 101, which is unfortunately now not publicly visible but which can still be seen here, in which he notes that “Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance.”
Maybe it’s too much to ask for a newspaper to call a lie a lie. If so, I guess I should be happy with what this story gives. But look, the Republican proponents of voter ID have said many ludicrously implausible and provably false things about why this legislation is supposedly needed, yet the issue is treated as a matter of partisan dispute rather than a factual one. It’s one thing to say “If you adopt policy X, then Y will happen”. It’s another to say “Because X has already happened, policy Y is needed”, especially when you cannot show any evidence that X has in fact happened. The Republicans may succeed at getting voter ID implemented, and they may succeed at their bigger goal of gutting or overturning the Voting Rights Act. But they’ll never succeed at finding an objective non-partisan justification for voter ID because there isn’t any for them to find. Ed Kilgore has more.
Here’s a little bit from the HChron article.
To sell the voter ID law, however, supporters conjured up images of “busloads of illegal immigrants being transported up from Mexico to vote straight-ticket Democratic in an election near you,” said Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. “That was the fantasy, the scary narrative.”
No one disputes some level of voting abuse, said Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston. “However, what every investigation has proven is that the kind of fraud voter ID laws would address – voter impersonation – doesn’t really exist,” Ellis said. “In fact, there are more UFO and Bigfoot sightings than documented cases of voter impersonation.”
“This is just a bad deal,” said Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston. Driver’s license offices in Houston’s inner-city communities are few and far between without convenient access, said Coleman, who counted only four such offices scattered in far-flung locations serving only some inner-city residents.
More than a half-million Houston residents have no nearby DPS driver license office in the southern part of Houston, Coleman said.
Folks who need a DPS ID card face at least a two-hour bus ride and “unconscionably long waiting lines” at driver’s license offices, Coleman said: “People who are paid by the hour lose pay standing in line to access the voter identification card. They will not do it. And that’s the reason the whole bill disenfranchises voters based on income and based on age and based on ethnicity as it combines with income.
“Unfortunately, the people who are in charge in our state have never lived a life without mobility or access,” Coleman said. [Emphasis added]
The busloads of “illegal immigrants” argument was always unbelievable, especially in this day and age, when everyone has a camera and/or camcorder on their phone. Certainly if it was true we’d have an image or video of that by now. And another part that’s never made sense is that if there’s so much voter fraud in Texas that it must be the Republicans doing it, since they’re the ones that keep winning and control our state government. And certainly, as Rep. Colemen says, those that voted for this law certainly won’t be the ones inconvenienced or disenfranchised by it.