Ashley Martella and Margaret Menge, Newsmax, December 18, 2011
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.
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.