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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

READER'S POST #14 - Voter ID Laws = Racism? Ha!

By: RLancaster1234

I've followed this blog for a little while now, and I like it. It's open, and though I'm usually pretty quiet, in lieu of Reader's Post #13, a few comments here and there and a poll question that was picked up, I usually don't speak my mind to any extent. The title, which I chose intentionally, shows what I'm going to talk about. It's something that has me pretty upset. 

First, let me get this out there. 

1. I'm black.
2. I'm a lawyer.
3. I'm a conservative republican.

Can you handle it? Good. Let's move on. 

I came across this a few days ago:

It's a clip of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (I'm just going to refer to her as DWS from here on out) claiming she didn't say that "republicans... want to drag us back to Jim Crow laws." Well, you watch the clip, and see for yourself. I'm just going to write off DWS as a red-faced liar, and that's the end of that.

The issue that is really upsetting me is the claim by those (mostly, if not totally) on the left that requiring an I.D. to vote is RACIST. I want to play this up in a little scenario. Imagine it's voting day:

Voter 1 goes to vote at his local polling place in district #1 and is not required to prove who he is with photo identification. He arrives at the judge's desk and is asked to give his name and his address. He claims he is John Smith, and gives the name of a local resident from a local street within the polling place's jurisdiction. He then votes. He leaves and heads to a polling place in district #2. He carries a phone book, a tablet computer, or anything similar in his car. When Voter 1 arrives at the judge's desk, he is asked to give his name and his address. He claims he is John Smith, and gives the name of a local resident from a local street within district #2's jurisdiction. He looked this up in the phone book, on the tablet, etc.  The process continues. He does this 5 times. There are 10,000 Voter 1s across the state. Voter fraud? Of course.

One of the counter-arguments by those on the left is that voter fraud doesn't exist and is not a problem that needs the kind of remedy requiring a photo I.D. to vote corrects. This is the biggest fallacy of voter fraud. Even if voter fraud was a very rare thing, it's still something we should protect against. But to those that will say, "your example is extreme, it doesn't happen like that," I say to you that no one thought September 11th would happen. No one thought Bernie Madoff was conning people out of their life savings. You can't simply write voter fraud off as insignificant.

Now to the race issue. As a lawyer, I can tell you that in spite of what the liberal media is trying to tell you, there is no precedent that claims presenting a photo I.D. to vote violates a voter's rights. But if you're trying to prove that it does, I ask you, "what act, what requirement violates a voter's rights?" This is KEY.

If your argument is that requiring an I.D. in an of itself is a requirement that racially inhibits the rights of the potential voter (because voters of a certain race are statistically are more unlikely to have one and will be excluded from voting under this potential voter I.D. law), then you are potentially ready to open up a whole can of worms with regards to I.Ds. Remember, it's an act that is a racially prohibitive act; not a notion.

Why is this important?

- A photo I.D. is required to open a bank account. Is it racist to ask for an I.D. when opening a bank account?
- A photo I.D. is required when flying on a commercial aircraft? Is it racist to ask a passenger to present his I.D. to fly on our planes?
- A photo I.D. is required when renting an apartment. Is it racist to ask someone to present a photo I.D. to rent an apartment? Are we currently racially preventing someone from having a home?

This could go on and on.

The point is: requiring a voter I.D. to vote is not racist. If a law was passed that stipulated that, "all blacks must require a photo I.D. to vote," that would be inherently racist. Requiring all races and all people to present an I.D. is not. In my honest opinion, the democrats are using this issue as a form of manufactured race warfare. They are turning to minority voters and saying, "you see that G.O.P. over there... you know, the party of racist, old, white men... they don't understand you, and they are trying to hold you down. These racists are passing laws that would prevent you from voting."

To claim that requiring an I.D. to vote is simply a ridiculous argument. It holds no weight at all. As with anything that requires an I.D., positively identifying the voter is key to upholding the integrity of our democracy. As a black American, I am sickened that the democrats are going down this path in an attempt to paint the G.O.P. as racists. I hope that fellow blacks will stand up against this continual bushwhacking by the democratic party and realize that this party is about nothing more than control of and pandering to its minority and poorest voters.

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the RoomThe article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, check out our Reader's Post page here ( or email us at 


  1. Good stuff Lancaster. I wish you would write more. Good points, good voice. Powerful stuff.

  2. It should not cost u any money to vote. If ID's are not given free then they should not be required.

    1. I understand your point, but IDs do not exist for the purpose of voting. If there was something that said, "you must pay $5 for this card to have as a voter ID card" then you are 100% correct. If we don't have photo ID verification to vote, Lancaster's potential fraud scenario might exist. I don't think we should take voter ID fraud lightly. We should all stand up for voting/democratic integrity.

    2. I agree voter fraud is a big deal, and i don't have a problem with id's. I just think they should give voter id's away for free. I watched a couple of interesting video's about voter fraud during the republican primary's were u could literally walk in and give ur name and vote. Crazy stuff. I think u should be required to show id or show the documents required to get an id, mail, social ect.

    3. Why should we give them away for free? Nothing is free. Taxpayers pay for them. So instead of paying the government $25 in taxes, and then receiving an "free" ID that costs the gov't $25 to make, and costs the citizenry $25 in taxes, why not just have the citizen purchase a $25 ID?

      In the end, it's the same thing.

    4. why not just allow someone to bring a social security card and a piece of mail? then it costs no money

    5. I respect your point and where you're coming from, but to me, that wouldn't solve the problem. It's about a photo ID.

      If someone stole a social security card (actually, there's TONS of SS # theft out there, and you can just make a fake SS card once you get one), you can simply steal someone's mail or take it out of the trash, and voter fraud still exists.

    6. Just my $0.02. I happened to come in halfway through the convo, but I thought it was a fair one, and I wanted to give my brief opinion for what it's worth :-P

      Back to work for me! Have a great day!

    7. Yah, Loyal, I'm not totally disagreeing with you, but I just disagree with the solution. But what's your thought about the racism side?

    8. I think racism is bundled together with class warfare to much. I feel like people are always saying things are "racist" when in reality it is not racism it is an attack on the lower class citizens, weather it is bad schools, deaths/crime in low income area's, judicial injustice based on income, access to resources, making voting difficult or harder than it needs to be ect.... I commonly find people saying a person or institute is racist not realizing that tons of poor white and Hispanic people are apart of the same situations.

    9. and as far as the whole, using a fake SS card, you can get fake id's just as easily as a fake social security card. Thats is really not an argument in my oppinion, people with money and power can find ways to cheat the system regardless whether its fake id's, hacking voting booths, legally challenging legitimate votes, printing fake id's , ss cards, ect.

    10. Loyal Watcher - I completely agree with you that the race card is played way too much. As far as the fake SS card, you do make a point. I disagree (a little) because with a plastic photo ID, it's more difficult to fake. A paper SS card, to me, though I have never had a fake ID, seems like it would be really easy to fake, and it doesn't have a photo o any kind. I respectfully disagree that this has anything to do with "money and power" and how it relates to cheating the system. I'm sure this happens across all incomes and social standings.

    11. Loyal -

      I had a response to Lancaster's article, which I think raises great points, but you've already raised my arguments. Any college kid, just about, can tell you where to get a fake ID. My experience with fake ID's (from back in the day) is that those who produce them can produce them from many different states. And what a windfall it would be for college kids everywhere. The government could choose to print SS cards on special paper and with special features, similar to money, that would reduce the fraud rate significantly (let's face it, you'll never get rid of it). Further, though I'm not a lawyer, and perhaps Lancaster or our other lawyer friends here - Haj, Publius, etc. - can enlighten me (us), I would imagine the penalty for faking a SS card is much steeper than that of a DL or other form of stats issued photo ID. The photo part is really unnecessary.

      I also agree that this is not a race issue as much as it is a class issue. This law really and truly has a negative affect on the Dems more than the GOP as the poor don't generally align with the GOP.

      Lastly, we have been talking, on this site, a lot about mandates. There is really no difference between being forced to purchase health insurance and being forced to purchase a proper voter ID card. If you disagree with mandates, you CANNOT agree with this without being a 'having your cake and eating it too' type! We are all issued our ID's via social security cards and they cannot be looked up in a phone book!

  3. I like Lancaster's article, and I still can't see in the world how this is racist. Sometimes, yes, the "race card" can be used. When it comes to proving who you are with a voter ID, it can't. For the dems to try to use this, to claim this is a race issue is pretty darn low, and shows how sleazy they are.

  4. Lancaster, thank you for your post, it was great and you made alot of valid arguments. I meant to post this yesterday but now your post acts as a platform for my experience yesterday.

    Yesterday was primary day here in Maryland. I went to my local polling place and signed in, providing my name, address and date of birth. After I received my voter card (since they are electronic) I asked the judge "You don't need my ID?" Of course, the response was "No." So I said "Well in that case, my name is (my fiances name), at the same address, I'd like to vote for her to then." The judge shot a look at me and then said "Sir, that is not funny."

    Now I know that I wasn't going to be able to vote twice, nor would I have. The sad part is that it is that simple. With out needing a photo ID a guy could say he's a lady and the judge isn't allowed to ask for proof that his name is Sarah or Kim, or vice versa. I fail to see any arguement on how this practice would be racist. I am glad to see that nobody has posted on here (yet) defending what the democrats are saying, as far as the practice being racist.

  5. Great post RLancaster1234. You left out the best place that ID's. The Federal Government. Try to go down to your local Federal building and enter. The last time I went to see the IRS I had to empty my pockets, go through a scanner, have the wand run across me, and show my ID. State buildings in Tennessee you have to show ID, not all the security crap.

    Also, would one not have to show some sort of ID to get food stamps or other government assistance?

    And yes, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a "red faced liar".

    In addition to having to have a valid ID to open a bank account; even if you have no bank account you have to have an ID to cash a check. To have a job (where your employer complies with regulations) you have to have a state issued ID. The Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. I believe you have to show a US Passport OR a photo ID and Social Security card.

  6. I think that the true issue here is the lack of a universal, modern, and effective form of identification for United States citizens. The social security number system is long past being out-dated, easily abused, and near meaningless.

    But of course, no one wants to invest the money in this resolution, even though it would be minimal relative to our budget and could easily solve many problems of not just voter fraud but also financial fraud/identity theft, illegal immigration, overall national security, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for ridiculous amounts of spending, but at the same time I think this should be a priority over many other things we throw money at.

    So alas, in reality we're debating over putting a band-aid on a broken bone. A photo ID requirement may help reduce fraud, but the fact of the matter is the people who really go through that amount of trouble, the people who risk a felony, the people who really want to do it, will still continue to do it as photo IDs are still an easy work-around. And they’re the majority of people that do it now.

    I'm pretty sure that many conservatives make similar arguments about gun control, where as a criminal will always be able to find a gun if they really want to commit a crime, regardless of how much control we have. This isn't that much different of a scenario.

    That isn't to say I'm arguing that "if we can't go 100%, better not to go at all!"; I just think that the problem would be best resolved in addressing the elephant in the room first (ha).

    All of that said, I still support the photo ID requirement as a temporary solution... so long as we don't ignore the true problem here.

    1. And, by the way, just in case it wasn't completely clear I fully agree that tying racism to this is out of line. :)

  7. One of the neat things of this blog is how everyone comes together in a true open forum. I dabble around on Fox, CNN, MSN, and all of those, but those aren’t places you can write entire, long, articles or stories about whatever you want like Lancaster did. Typically people write one line with an insult or something stupid (it happens here, but that’s rare) and that’s it. Everything is really short on those sites, whereas here, they are as long as you want. Obviously, Lancaster said at one point (I’m assuming here) “hey, damnit, this is pissing me off, and I want to share what I think” and he did! On top of long, thoughtful responses, I don’t think peoples articles and responses and everything get edited or deleted (LME, Pachyderm, correct me on this). I know it sounds like I’m kissing butt, but what I’m getting at is how when I first read this, I came away wanting to pound my desk saying “damn right Lancaster!”

    But then I read other responses. And like so many other posts on here (there was a tax post that did the same thing), a main issue was brought up and presented (in this case, I think it’s summed up with “voter ID laws are not racist by nature), and 15 side issues were presented, debated, and sometimes, even solved. After reading CPA’s, Rkens, Loyals, Annas, LMEs, slims, whatsamatta’s (I’m trying to not leave anyone out) after my original comment, I walk away going “you know, these are GREAT, well-thought, intelligent points.” I’m not necessarily questioning myself, but I find that I’ve learned something. For instance, whatsamatta made a point about mandates. I was literally like “oh shit” a somewhat decent point. I’ve gotta think about it now. I’ll get ya, don’t worry whatsamatta :-)

    One last thing, the other cool part about following this daily (I get it through an RSS email feed) is, and it’s getting tough to keep track of because more and more posters and commenters are coming here, but you can start to understand people’s ideology. The press labels ideology as a bad thing. It’s not. Everyone has a set of believes from which they speak. What I mean here is that I imagine each of these forums like a courtroom. Say the supreme court since that’s been in the news recently. The topic today: voter ID and racism. I picture each and every commenter sitting in a panel, just like on the supreme court. We have certain “wings”. Rken and whatsamaa, on most issues, but not all, TEND (I chose this word wisely, because I don’t think either of you want to be classified as rigid and molded, yet open and free thinking, though yes, we all have tendencies) to represent the more “liberal” (if that’s the word, though it might not be, maybe you’ve created a new ideology on the political spectrum) wing, and Slim and LME represent a more conservative one. It’s fascinating! When you all “enter” this room, I picture numbers by your screen names… 1-10 representing how strong conservative you are. Rken and whatsamatta would be like 2s and LME and slim would be like 9s. It’s all not a bad thing. I’m actually pretty conservative (probably an 8 on my scale) but I do love hearing from both sides.

    I guess I’m rambling now. You all probably think I’m corny as hell lol. Either way, this is a great debate! I’ll be back :-)

  8. You're all a bunch a racist pigs. Even the Lawyer. It's the "Grand Old Plantation"