Here’s Orr, the Democrats’ and driveby media’s faaaaaaaaaavorite Republican in The Charlotte Observer:
The Observer’s editorial board recently opined against a new Republican proposal for a constitutional amendment requiring photo voter IDs for North Carolina elections. Six months ago, I would have disagreed with the board. Voter IDs to me and probably many North Carolinians seemed a common sense, albeit small, way to combat potential voter fraud – a problem that’s not fictional.
Opponents to voter IDs contend, however, that it’s a voter suppression ploy by Republicans aimed primarily at black voters. While I’m still not convinced of the lurking evil of such a proposal, I’ve changed my mind on the issue. I’ve been wanting to write about Ron Chernow’s extraordinary biography of Ulysses S. Grant. Thanks to the voter ID proposal, I’ve found a way to turn a book review into a pointed opinion piece.[…]
OK. So, the comparison to HB2 didn’t strike enough fear in the low-information voters. So we’re dialing things back to The Civil War?
[…] Chernow’s book about Grant is without a doubt one of the most powerful and insightful biographies I’ve ever read. Grant was a fascinating character more renowned in history for his prowess as the Union commander who used sheer overwhelming troop numbers to overpower Confederate forces and win the Civil War. But he also had a drinking problem, and his two terms as president were best known for a variety of scandals. Despite our historical perception of Grant, Chernow says that many contemporary historians now view Grant as our single most under-appreciated president.[…]
Okay. The Civil War. President Grant and his drinking problem. Still waiting for the tie-in to a voter ID amendment.
[…] What does any of this have to do with voter ID? The latter part of Grant’s career as president overlapped with Reconstruction of the South, the new freedom of the slaves and the granting of rights to them, particularly the right to vote. For those of us who grew up in the South and are of a certain generation, the history books told us that Reconstruction was all about carpetbaggers from the North, traitorous Southerners (or “Scalawags”) and freed blacks all taking advantage of those poor white home folks below the Mason-Dixon line. Nobody told us of the extreme violence and intimidation aimed at those newly freed black slaves.
Chernow points out that while ex-Confederates were resentful over losing the war and their “property” in the form of slaves, the real stick in their craw was that blacks now had the right to vote. That voting power enabled blacks to hold office and exercise their electoral power. The book traces the horror and violence that descended upon blacks in the South attempting to participate in the most basic of democratic institutions – the right to vote. In 1868, more than 2,000 blacks were killed in Georgia alone in efforts to suppress voting.
Over time, despite federal efforts against the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists, the burning, lynching and terror resulted in a significantly reduced willingness by blacks to try to vote.Fast forward to the beginning of the 20th century, and here in North Carolina and across the South, a new wave of repression took root. Jim Crow laws became the order of the day.
Not until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did the fruits of the 15th Amendment begin to seriously be fulfilled for black voters in the South. Is it any wonder then that our fellow citizens of African-American heritage are particularly sensitive when it comes to voting issues? Is it any wonder that they are genuinely concerned that a voter ID requirement is just one more in a long line of measures to limit their right to vote?[…]
Seriously, how does requiring an ID limit the right to vote? Anyone legally driving a car has a photo ID that would be acceptable at the polls.
If we were to proceed via Orr’s logic, we’d seek a boycott of The News & Observer (or at least a forced shut-down of the paper) due to its cheerleading for the Klan and incitement of racial violence during Reconstruction.
The current-day N&O had nothing to do with the travesties that occurred during Reconstruction. Neither I nor other voter ID proponents had anything to do with those travesties.
Black-on-black violence is tearing up communities from Wilmington to Greensboro to Durham to Charlotte. It’s arguably worse than what happened during Reconstruction. And we don’t have a voter ID requirement.
Leftists are worried that reasonable requirements like voter ID will shed light on their shenanigans. Here in my county, for instance, we have out-of-state contractors hired by the Democrats to haul loads of people to polling places during early voting and on Election Day. You get van after van-load of people with no IDs being checked. How do you know those vans aren’t popping in at multiple polling places in multiple counties with the same loads of people?
In Democrat-controlled Robeson County, you regularly have Election Night results held in a back room for hours after all other counties have reported in. There have been reports there over the years of polling place observers being locked out of polling places. In 1994, a congressional committee held hearings on site in Lumberton on allegations of voting improprieties.
Voter ID opponents poo-poo voter fraud claims, saying they rarely happen. Lumberton, my hometown, had three consecutive city council elections over six years in the same district thrown out and re-done (by order of state and federal officials). This was a majority-minority district and the races involved only minority candidates. In those three cases, minority voters had their voting rights defiled by polling-place cheaters. The cheating is color-blind.
Voter ID protects EVERYONE’S rights and ensures our election process has some integrity.