Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Q Toon: Voter ID-OC

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
•Jul 18, 2012
Yeah, yeah, I know the argument. You need a photo ID to board an airplane, open a bank account, buy a house or join a country club -- all sorts of things that some of the poor, elderly, students, blind, minorities and whatnot try to get along without. The fact is that these laws have been crafted to include Republican-leaning groups (gun licenses are okay) and inconvenience Democratic-leaning groups (student IDs are not).

But it's only a photo ID, they say. And if cataracts keep your great-grandmother from schlepping out to spend a day at wherever the heck they moved the DMV these days, that's a small cost to prevent the .0000003% of voters who have no business exercising their civic responsibility.

Wisconsin voters have just been through a nasty series of recall elections, and with Democrats having eked out a narrow victory in just one election in my own State Senate District (enough to cost Republicans their senate majority), local Republicans have been literally digging through garbage dumpsters in a desperate effort to rustle up something to allege voter fraud. Our Republican dumpster diver found -- stop the presses! -- "some ripped up voter registration forms which he [placed] in a garbage bag along with a prescription bottle, a couple of bills and - get this - a MacDonald's food bag," which he duly turned over to sheriff's deputies.

After a thorough investigation, the Racine County Sheriff's report concluded:
"In summary, none of the items brought to the Sheriff's Office removed from the dumpster by Ottelien prove or even suggest voter fraud had occurred at the Cesar Chavez Center. The items discarded in the trash are just that, trash."
Aside from that, some poll workers around the state -- those nice ladies who sit in that voting room all day from before the polls open until the last vote is counted -- made occasional mistakes about which parts of the Voter ID law had and had not been stopped by judicial injunction. Republican provocateurs have highlighted a few isolated cases in which a voter did not sign a registration sheet (the only part of the law currently in effect in Wisconsin). Yet elsewhere, voters were turned away for not having the photo ID the injunction expressly said they wouldn't need.

Clearly, Republicans have their work cut out for them as they seek to level the playing field between their multimillionaire campaign contributors and the hoi polloi whose free speech under Citizens United is barely audible, but make up the other 99.99999% of voters.

There are other groups whose influence in elections Republicans would like to cut down. In the future, we can look forward to Republicans whittling down workers' ability to vote by shortening voting time to between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and require that you fill out and seal absentee ballots at the state capitol in the presence of your Congressman and FedEx them to your local elections office. In a hermetically sealed box the size of a grand piano.

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