Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Voter Suppression or Fraud Suppression?

The ongoing debate about voter ID laws is really beginning to stretch the limits of common sense. (I know I am already into strange territory, since common sense often seems to be totally out of place in the political arena.)
Those who favor voter ID laws say such laws are necessary to stop voter fraud. Those who oppose the laws say they are only defending voter rights and that the laws are really designed to prevent minorities from voting.
The claim is often heard that any requirement to get an ID is discriminatory and is a tremendous hardship on certain groups of people. The counter-argument to that is that an ID is required to drive a car, cash a check, rent a DVD, buy alcohol, and a multitude of other things.
A congressman recently said during a panel discussion that the arguments in favor of voter ID laws are not valid because driving a car is not a fundamental right like voting. The congressman's argument is bogus and cannot be taken seriously. Those who claim that voting is a "fundamental right" conveniently leave off a couple of words. It would be correct to say "voting is a fundamental right of citizens." If voting is a right of citizens, then it logically follows that citizenship must be proven in some way, and a picture ID is the common sense way to accomplish this. (Again, "logic" and "common sense" are not always used in political thinking.)
Generally speaking, those who favor voter ID laws do so in order to insure fair elections. Do such people want to suppress the vote? In one way, the answer is "yes," because they want to suppress the votes of dead people, fictitious people, cartoon characters, non-citizens, multiple votes by the same person, etc. Such votes absolutely should be suppressed in order to prevent election fiascos such as ending up with more votes than voters and with the last few hundred ballots conveniently discovered in the trunk of someone's car during a recount.
While there may be some who oppose voter ID laws for what they may see as noble reasons, it is hard not to believe that the general motive is to find a way to cheat in order to win elections. Someone who truly believes in fair elections will want one vote for each eligible voter. It is interesting that often those who say, "We just want everyone to vote and every vote to be counted" are those who do everything they can to suppress the votes of our military members serving in harm's way. Maybe that is just a tad hypocritical.
It is a great privilege to live in a country where we are allowed to vote. So many people in this world do not have such a privilege. We need to treat our voting rights with respect and insure that only those who are truly eligible to vote do so.
Why do we have outright lies during campaigns and voter fraud during elections? The Scriptures answer this question for us in a very pointed way. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NKJV).

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