Voter Watchdog Engelbrecht: Obama's Assault on ID Laws 'Politically Motivated'

Thursday, 15 Dec 2011 04:05 PM

By Michelle Lopata and Kathleen Walter

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The Obama administration’s moves to suppress state voter identification laws are based on “race baiting and victimization,” voter watchdog Catherine Engelbrecht tells Newsmax.

“What we are seeing is a politically motivated ploy that has become very reliant on the unfortunately oft-played card of race baiting and victimization in order to achieve the outcome that they’re looking for, and we’re seeing them turn a blind eye to issues states are having with regard to the accuracy of their polls,” Engelbrecht, president of the grassroots voter integrity project True the Vote, alleged in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.

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Engelbrecht faulted the Department of Justice (DOJ) for not applying voting laws and using “hyper-charged language” to pit one side against the other, which she denounced as “cause for extreme concern.”

“They are seeming to put an awful lot of emphasis on the inclusion of everyone that can possibly vote,” she said. “But in that same spirit, we need to be applying the laws, and that is where we see the DOJ continuing to fail.”

Engelbrecht rejected as “preposterous” Democrats’ allegations that requiring would-be voters to show a valid ID to vote is really a Republican attempt to suppress minority votes and get better results in 2012.

“The fact of the matter is, in the society that we live in, you have to have an ID. If you don’t, the fact that the states are giving you free IDs by way of voter identification, that’s a plus. That should be considered as a real asset to someone who doesn’t have any form of identification,” said Engelbrecht, a family business owner and political newcomer.

“I find this curious that our government finds identity theft enough of a problem that they would devote a whole department to it under the SEC ... and yet when it comes to the issue of photo voter identification they lead as their card that there is no such thing as identity theft. It just doesn’t jibe.”

True the Vote is a Houston-based project founded to help fight the ACORN voter fraud fiasco in 2008. The group says it believes in “citizen ownership of election legitimacy.”

Engelbrecht spoke to Newsmax Wednesday after organizing a protest at the Lyndon Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, where Attorney General Eric Holder laid out an assault on state laws that require government-issued ID before allowing people to vote.

If the voter ID laws disappeared completely, there would be no system of checks and balances, she said.

“In fact, in some of our states, that’s the case right now. You have voters who don’t have to show anything in order to vote and it is so illogical. It’s hard to wrap your brain around the thought that someone could just come in and cast a vote that will ultimately go on to determine the direction that our country takes and have no accountability for that.

“It is a disservice not only to the sanctity of the vote, but to the people that it disenfranchises because those of us that are casting legitimate votes have our votes diluted by those who should not be a part of the process.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming presidential election, Engelbrecht said people should be concerned with the country’s direction, specifically with the DOJ.

“This week, the NAACP is in Geneva, Switzerland, petitioning the U.N. to become involved in U.S. elections. The concerning thing in that is certainly not only that the U.N. would be involved, but that the DOJ is aligning itself with the NAACP in this effort. They are fully supportive of the NAACP’s efforts to engage an international, foreign entity into an American process. If that doesn’t cause alarm, I don’t know what will.”

From registration to casting ballots, there are signs of system failure, however, when it comes to steps Americans can take to ensure their own voter identity safety, Engelbrecht says there is a lot we can do.

“There are so many places along the process that lend themselves to subversion. Our whole system is based on honor and where there is no honor, you’re going to have problems and sadly that is where we are headed.

“At every step of the way, though, there are places where citizens can be involved. Oftentimes we don’t recognize that. Our elections were always designed to be run, fundamentally, at our most-base level, by American citizens.”


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