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Gary is taking a break from blogging.  Today’s pinch-hitter is Thomas Mills.
Pat McCrory and some of his Republican allies are now saying they are ready to compromise on voter ID. Compromise with whom? With super-majorities in the state house and senate, Republicans can pass whatever bill they want without any Democratic support. For their part, Democrats should stand solidly against any bill that limits access to the ballot box, no matter how watered down, and let the Republicans battle over the direction of their party.
Voter ID is a trumped up issue addressing the nonexistent problem of voter fraud. In reality, the whole voter ID ploy is a pander to the GOP’s xenophobic base and a voter suppression tactic aimed at low-income and minority voters. Now, after a national defeat illustrated the evolving demographic nature of the electorate, moderate Republicans are trying move away from the more racist and homophobic tendencies that they’ve tolerated in their right flank.
In North Carolina, McCrory and his more mainstream buddies understand the state and its voters are getting browner. Hispanics made up less than 1% of the population in the 1990 census but made up about 8% in the 2010. African-Americans, who made up 18% or so of the electorate during that time period, made up more than 22% of the voters in 2008 and 2012. If Republicans in North Carolina hope to remain a competitive party in the next ten to fifteen years, they need to appeal to these segments of the population, not alienate them.
For their part Democrats have nothing to gain from compromising on Voter ID. Instead, they need to define the issue for what it is—a tactic to disenfranchise voters the GOP doesn’t like. Democrats need to make Republicans own this issue they’ve invented. Over the next decade, our Hispanic population will begin voting in large numbers. They need to remember that Republicans tried to keep them out of the ballot box. Democrats should not share the blame.
Thomas Mills is Democratic political consultant based in Carrboro, NC. 


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3 comments on “Note to Democrats: Don’t Support Voter ID

  1. dap916 says:

    First, thank you Thomas for posting under your own name and not just be called a “TAPster”.

    This Voter ID issue has been bantered around in just so many venues, it sometimes is just seen as something that is a republican vs. democratic issue. But, truth is, it’s not that at all. This is an issue about who is qualified to vote in our american elections and who isn’t. It is an issue of how we, as a state and as a country controls that.

    One of the biggest arguments against having a Voter ID requirement by the left is that there has been little-to-no incidents of “voter fraud with regard to voter identification so, as a result, there is no reason to require to ID someone that votes. What is lost in that, of course, is that with no requirement to check someone to make sure they are who they say they are when they vote, how could anyone say that someone that votes isn’t who they say they are in the first place? I mean, you can’t prove voter fraud if there’s nothing in place to prove it to begin with.

    With everything in our society that requires an ID, it isn’t unreasonable to require an ID to vote. Sure, there are “exceptions” and those can easily be dealt with. In my considered opinion, the democrats don’t want voter ID because they know that there are those that vote that don’t do it legitimately. But, hey, we have no way of knowing that because…of course…there is no voter ID law.

  2. Reaganite says:

    Showing a valid ID to vote is common in most countries of the world, including many with populations higher in poor people than the US. Those people don’t whine about it like the Democrats in the US, they get their ID’s and vote. Many of these illegal immigrants come from countries where they would have to show a valid ID to vote in their own elections, so why should they vote in ours without ID’s. If you want to know why Democrats are pushing against voter ID’s, all you have to remember is that they are the party of ACORN and fraudulent voter registration. The constituency that Democrats really want to protect is not poor voters, which are just a smokescreen, but the deceased and fictitious voters, who really would have a devil of a time getting a valid ID.

  3. clarence swinney says:

    NO WAY
    Some are projecting it.
    A wise thinker said” From abundance to selfishness is one factor.
    Our wise creators spread power to prevent it.
    Our military is civilian controlled.
    Our one power president is controlled by Congress.
    We have record inequality of wealth which is power in a few million.
    It cannot occur in America.

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