Voter ID: a racist tool?

(The great majority of democracies require voter ID. The most notable exception is the United States where most citizens want voter ID. All Republicans want voter ID, and so do many Democrats. Who does not want voter ID? That would be almost exclusively apparatchiks of the Democrat Party.

(The following guest post was written by John R. Lott Jr. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from UCLA and has held research or teaching positions at the University of Chicago, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Yale University, and Rice University. He has written for many publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.)

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Sixteen years ago, in 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report that proposed a uniform system of requiring a photo ID in order to vote in U.S. elections.

The report also pointed out that widespread absentee voting makes vote fraud more likely. Voter files contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional, and deceased voters, a fact easily exploited using absentee ballots to commit fraud. Citizens who vote absentee are more susceptible to pressure and intimidation. And vote-buying schemes are far easier when citizens vote by mail. 

Who was behind the Carter-Baker Commission? Donald Trump? Ted Cruz? No. The commission’s two ranking members were former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James Baker III, a Republican.

Other Democrats on the commission were former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton. It was a truly bipartisan commission that made what seemed at the time to be common sense proposals.

How things have changed.

Some of the commission’s members, Jimmy Carter for one, came out last year to disavow the commission’s work. And despite surveys showing that Americans overwhelmingly support measures to ensure election integrity — a recent Rasmussen survey found that 80 percent of Americans support a voter ID requirement — Democratic leaders across the board oppose such measures in the strongest terms. 

Voter IDs are “an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are.”

Joe Biden

Here, for instance, is President Biden speaking recently in Philadelphia, condemning the idea of voter IDs: “There is an unfolding assault taking place in America today — an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are — who we are as Americans. For, make no mistake, bullies and merchants of fear and peddlers of lies are threatening the very foundation of our country.”

But the fact is that the U.S. is an outlier among the world’s democracies in not requiring voter ID. Of the 47 countries in Europe today, 46 of them currently require government-issued photo IDs to vote.

The odd man out is the United Kingdom, in which Northern Ireland and many localities require voter IDs, but the requirement is not nationwide. The British Parliament, however, is considering a nationwide requirement, so very soon all 47 European countries will likely have adopted this common-sense policy.

When it comes to absentee voting, we Americans, accustomed as we are to very loose rules, are often shocked to learn that 35 of the 47 European countries — ncluding France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden — don’t allow absentee voting for citizens living in country.

Another ten European countries — including England, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, and Spain — allow absentee voting, but require voters to show up in person and present a photo ID to pick up their ballots. It isn’t like in the U.S., where a person can say he’s going to be out of town and have a ballot mailed to him.

England used to have absentee voting rules similar to ours in the U.S. But in 2004, in the city of Birmingham, officials uncovered a massive vote fraud scheme in the city council races. The six winning Labor candidates had fraudulently acquired about 40,000 absentee votes, mainly from Muslim areas of the city.

As a result, England ended the practice of mailing absentee ballots and required voters to pick up their ballots in person with a photo ID. 

Up until 1975, France also had loose absentee voting rules. But when massive vote fraud was discovered on the island of Corsica — where hundreds of thousands of dead people were found to be voting, and even larger-scale vote-buying operations were occurring — France banned absentee voting altogether. 

How about our neighbors, Canada and Mexico? Canada requires a photo ID to vote. If a voter shows up at the polls without an ID, he is allowed to vote only if he declares who he is in writing and if there is someone working at the polling station who can personally verify his identity. 

Mexico has had a long history of election fraud, but the last stolen presidential election occurred in 1994. Voters now must present a biometric ID — an ID with not only a photo, but also a thumb print. Voters also have indelible ink applied to their thumbs, preventing them from voting more than once. And absentee voting is prohibited, even for people living outside the country.

Those who oppose election integrity reform in the U.S. often condemn it as a means of “voter suppression.” But in Mexico, the percent of people voting rose from 59 percent before the reforms to 68 percent after.

It turned out that Mexicans were more, not less, likely to vote when they had confidence that their votes mattered.

H.R. 1, the radical bill Democratic Party leaders have been pushing to adopt this year, would prohibit states from requiring voter ID and require states to allow permanent mail-in voting.

And mail-in voting, I hardly need to point out, is even worse, in terms of vote fraud, than absentee voting.

With mail-in voting, a country is almost begging for vote fraud.

With absentee voting, a person at least has to request a ballot. With mail-in voting — as we saw in too many places in the 2020 election — ballots are simply mailed out to everyone. With loose absentee voting rules, a country is making itself vulnerable to vote fraud. With mail-in voting, a country is almost begging for vote fraud.

If the rhetoric we hear from the Left today is correct — if voter ID requirements and restrictions on absentee (or even mail-in) voting are un-democratic — then so are the countries of Europe and the rest of the developed world. But this is utter nonsense. 

Those opposing common sense measures to ensure integrity in U.S. elections — measures such as those recommended by the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission in 2005 — are not motivated by a concern for democracy, but by partisan interests.*


*This is just a polite way of saying that voter IDs make stealing elections far more difficult.

(The above, lightly edited by yours truly, was adapted from a talk delivered at Hillsdale College on Sept. 20 of this year.)

Mansplaining Trump to Mexicans

PRESIDENT TRUMP is not a popular man in Mexico.

If I had a MAGA cap, and I wish I did, I would not wear it on the street. You may recall that I ordered a Trump coffee mug via eBay after the presidential election. Someone at Mexican Customs smashed it, put it back in the box, and sent it on to me.

I glued it back together as best I could, and now it sits proudly on my desk as a pen-and-pencil holder. Trump’s grinning at me as I write this.

Mexicans’ attitude toward Trump is understandable. Were I a born Mexican instead of merely a made one I probably would dislike him too. It’s human nature. The stuff he said during the campaign was pretty harsh, but he was campaigning like Teddy Roosevelt, and what he said was for American consumption. It worked!

On a couple of occasions, I’ve had Mexicans ask me what I think about Trump. I tell them I voted for him, and then I provide this analogy:

How would Mexicans feel if, instead of the two Gringo-infested havens of San Miguel de Allende and the Lake Chapala area, there were literally hundreds of San Miguels sprinkled across Mexico?

And these hundreds of San Miguels were infested with Gringos who lacked visas because they had entered Mexico via tunnels, climbing over fences and swimming south over the Rio Bravo, dodging the law.

And how would Mexicans feel if these millions, literally millions, of illegal Gringos, most of whom spoke no Spanish and had no interest in doing so, were fond of marching in our streets waving American flags and demanding their “rights”?

I’ll tell you how Mexicans would feel. They would be apoplectic. Of course, this would never happen because Mexico would not allow it in the first place.

Mexicans are not that stupid. We would deport you.

If Mexicans want to get angry at the election of Trump, and they decidedly do, they should know who caused it. They need only look into a mirror. They themselves caused it with their lawless, decades-long border invasion. That plus the collusion of the vote-grubbing Democrat Party and the acquiescence of the numbskull Republicans.

Mexicans and the two corrupt U.S. political parties created Trump.

You did it, amigos. Nobody else.

The abortion thing

Health care? No. Abortion? Yes.

LET’S TALK about abortion.

I’m a fence-straddler on this contentious topic. Not being a Christian, I have no religious issue with it. Like many people, abortion has been a part of my life.

My first wife got pregnant unexpectedly. It was before we married. We were young and shocked. Rather quickly she found an abortion doctor. This was before Roe versus Wade.

It was illegal.

I, however, was troubled and nixed it.

We married, and my life sailed in a direction it would have not sailed otherwise. I still feel the effects.

An unexpected pregnancy for young people is like a 10-ton boulder rolling down the mountain straight at you.

You can dodge it with an abortion. Or you can stand still, wide-eyed, and see what happens.

I support abortion rights when done early, and the fetus is just a nub. Where it gets troubling is when it’s done later and the fetus is a formed child.

Early, yes. Late, no. If you drag your feet making a decision, tough luck. Be decisive.

There’s lots of hubbub about Planned Parenthood, which is an abortion provider, and nothing more. Its supporters say it’s about women’s health. That’s baloney.

A reporter recently phoned Planned Parenthood facilities in various states to ask what prenatal services were provided. The answers were all the same. No prenatal services offered.

Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill, period. And given the strong emotions on the subject in many quarters, it should not be receiving taxpayer money.

Let the customers pay.

If you get pregnant unexpectedly, decide what you want to do with no dilly-dallying, and make an appointment with a doctor who provides the service. It’s legal.

Don’t wait five months and do it. It’s grisly.

Numerous undercover investigations have been done into Planned Parenthood, and what’s been discovered is quite disturbing. You’ll never see these reports in the socialist media like Huffpost, Mother Jones and The New York Times.

Abortion should stay legal for early stage. Illegal in the late stage.* To outlaw it altogether will just return us to the days of blood-soaked butchery in back alleys.

Outlawing all abortions is like outlawing drug use. It just creates worse problems. Use common sense.

* * * *

* Being an anti-government guy, I find even this troubling.

(Note: Later in my first marriage, we had another child, another accident. Ian Lee was born prematurely and with two club feet. He died three days later. After that, I got a vasectomy. I was 24 and out of the procreation game. My daughter recently turned 51 and lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband. She is thick as thieves with her mother and has little to do with me. Irony.)

Afternoon man

afternoon
Thursday afternoon. Not a Gringo in sight.

WHEN I MOVED from the state capitol to this pueblo on the mountaintop over 16 years ago you could count the number of Gringos here on the hands of four people.

There were oddballs and misfits among them, a lunatic or two, probably even some crooks on the lam. My arrival brought normality and intelligence into the mix.

Flash forward to today, and the Gringo population — I’m including Canucks —  has increased 10-fold.

And they’re becoming more humdrum people. I haven’t heard of anybody being extradited in years.

Alas, they seem mostly to be a left-wing lot, which appears to be the norm for northerners who move over the Rio Bravo. Conservatives stay above the border, mostly.

There are two Yahoo forums that service our area. One is called Michoacán Net and the other is Morelia Connect. The latter is the older, but the former is the more populated.

Michoacán Net is full of left-wingers, and Morelia Connect is more convivial for conservatives. Michoacán Net says “no politics,” but if you phrase a left-wing issue just right, it’s fine and dandy. Not so for conservative issues.

About 10 days before the U.S. presidential election, someone announced on Michoacán Net an election night celebration. There was no mention of the candidates, but you knew who they thought they would be celebrating.

Whoops-a-daisy!

Election night came and went, and there’s been no more mention of that fiesta. Maybe they threw a wake.

One odd thing about the Gringos here is that they circulate downtown almost entirely in the mornings. My schedule is just the opposite. I’m rarely downtown in the mornings, but I’m there most every afternoon.

tequilaSo I rarely see them. I think in the afternoons they are back at their adobe homes, soused on tequila and ready for their nappies.

I, on the other hand, am sitting at a sidewalk table with a café Americano negro, reading my Kindle and watching beautiful Latinas walk by.

I am an afternoon man.