Political analyst John Fund tells Newsmax that Attorney General Eric Holder is flat wrong in accusing Republicans of using voter ID laws to suppress the black vote.
“We have two examples of states that have had photo ID laws now for seven or eight years — Georgia and Indiana,” the election expert told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview. “They’re very tough requirements, but voting has gone up in those states, including minority voting. And not just the election that Barack Obama ran in, but even in the 2010 midterm election.”
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More than a dozen states, including Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, passed laws this year aimed mostly at reducing voter fraud by requiring that voters show a driver’s license or another state-issued photo ID.
Holder said in a speech in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday that ballot access “must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative.” He announced that the Justice Department is scrutinizing the new state voter ID laws and looking at filing lawsuits under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Fund, author of the 2004 book “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy”
scoffed at Holder’s plans to investigate.
“Let’s be clear,” said Fund, now a senior editor at The American Spectator. “Whenever an American applies for a job, whenever anyone applies for a job in America, they have to prove their citizenship, they have to produce papers. As for photo ID, photo ID has become an ingrained part of our life. If you board a plane, you show photo ID. If you cash a check, you show photo ID. If you rent a video, you show photo ID. If you board a train, you often have to show photo ID. Check into a hotel room, you often have to show photo ID.”
Fund, who noted in “Stealing Elections” that Mexico has stricter voting ID requirements than the United States, said: “Mexico had a long history of voter fraud and the only way they bring credibility to their elections was to have these special identification cards made with holograms on them and various other anti-fraud devices.
“You have to present your fingerprint. You get an ink stain on your finger to make sure that you can’t vote twice. Mexico has much cleaner, clearer, sharper, simpler election laws than we do, and they’ve cut down fraud dramatically. We should learn from their example, because they’re doing it right.”
Compare Mexico’s voting requirements with those of the United States.
“The Motor Voter law was the first law Bill Clinton passed and signed into law in 1993, and it basically mandated that every state had to allow people to register using a postcard and you didn’t even have to show up anywhere,” Fund said. “You just had to send in the postcard, you didn’t have to prove you were a real, live human being and they basically didn’t check any of the information on it. So you can put in an empty lot, you could put that you were a homeless person.”
In many states, 10 to 15 percent of the names on the voter rolls are not eligible to cast ballots because they have moved or died, Fund said, adding that some are felons who are ineligible to vote.
Democrats oppose voter ID requirements. Maria Cardona, a former spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, contends that “ballot security and preventing voter fraud are just code words for voter intimidation and suppression.” California Rep. Barbara Lee, onetime chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, argues that Republicans use voter ID laws to deny blacks the right to vote.
Asked about Lee’s allegation, Fund responded with bemusement, saying, “It’s an interesting theory. But I agree with Congressman Artur Davis from Alabama who broke with his party a couple of months ago and said, ‘I not only support photo ID, but I think the biggest form of voter suppression is the transfer of illegal votes into the election system, thereby nullifying some of the results and swinging some close elections.’”
The prime example cited about close elections is the 2000 presidential contest in Florida, where George Bush and Al Gore were within 300 votes of each other, and Democrats alleged that the minority vote had been “suppressed.”
“The one piece of evidence that they always throw out is that there was a list of felons circulated through the state of Florida in 2000, some of whom had actually had their voting rights restored or were not felons,” Fund told Newsmax.TV. “And there were a few people who were denied the right to vote, or perhaps intimidated from voting. But far more people who were felons and ineligible to vote ended up voting in that election.”
“The recounts we had by news organizations showed that George W. Bush almost assuredly won Florida, but it did show also that there were enormous gaps, degrees of incompetence, and problems in the election system . . . we’ve cleaned up some of those, but others remain.”
Combating voter fraud shouldn’t be a partisan issue, Fund said, noting that Rhode Island’s Democratic-controlled Legislature also had to pass an ID law.
“Rhode Island last summer passed a photo ID law,” Fund said. “And the reason was there was compelling evidence that, in Democratic primaries and in some general elections, reform candidates were having the election stolen out from under them by machine hacks who were rigging the ballot — especially with absentee votes — and they were preventing legitimate candidates from replacing machine candidates.”
The chief sponsor of the bill, Fund said, was the only black senator in the state.
“What we have to have is not only a campaign against voter fraud, but we also have to have a set of laws that are clear, understandable, transparent, and not subject to vague interpretations of the courts,” Fund said. “If we don’t do something to make sure that voter fraud is contained and voting incompetence by election officials is minimized, we’re going to have a situation just like Florida 2000 — except it could be across the whole country.”
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