GOP is worried about votes of the living, not the dead

So the Republicans are back in control of the North Carolina General Assembly and immediately they began to speak in code. The most egregious local example was an interview in the Jan.19 Mountain Xpress, "Front Row Seats: A New Start for N.C.'s Grand Old Party.”

Former Buncombe Republican chair Bill Keller's first advice to the state GOP, after its 113 years in the legislative wilderness, is to institute photo identification of North Carolina voters (apparently to ensure against the "dead people" vote).

I would be the last person, dead or alive, to suggest that some deceased voters don't actually make it to the polls. Of course we have some voter fraud, but a bit of research shows that most "dead voters" are folks whose names have remained on the register after their passing. Rarely do they vote. One current study done in Connecticut found that, statewide, of the 9,000 names of deceased folks that remained on the poll lists, only 300 actually voted. Hardly enough to change the will of the people. For that you would need to look at a December 2000 ruling by the Rehnquist court.

As Mr. Keller, the good Republican that he is, surely knows, the idea of photo I.D. at the polls is a staple Republican scheme that would make it difficult for living minorities to vote — people of color, poor people, those without driver's licenses and the elderly, for example. It might eliminate some of the dead voters, but I guarantee it would eliminate a lot more of what Mr. Keller calls the living, "Big D" voters.

Surely, after being out of power for over a century, there must be more pressing issues that the GOP could attack. Perhaps the $4.3 billion state structural shortfall predicted over the next 26 months by the Civitas Institute. Well actually no, Keller goes on to suggest that the local GOP could best serve the cause by ensuring "fair, accurate, reliable, safe elections." To achieve this, he says that the GOP must find enough Republican workers for the polls and properly train them. Presumably to identify and deter those "dead people" from voting.

— Rick Vogel
Asheville

SHARE
About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster

14 thoughts on “GOP is worried about votes of the living, not the dead

  1. artart

    Gimme a break with this unsubstantiated rhetoric about voter supression via photo ID requirements. I was astounded when I first voted in NC how no one asked to see any ID. If the letter writer is concerned about the poor, let him bear in mind that for the plethora of taxpayer funded benefits provided to the “poor” adequate identification must be provided. If the absence of ID that the writer claims keeps certain people from voting, then requiring the ID will also allow the non-ID people (if they really exist other than illegals who even have ID, albeit false in many cases) to then apply for various taxpayer funded social benefits. SO in sum, an ID requirement for voting can also assist the “poor” to get other benefits.

  2. JWTJr

    Rick – ask the people of Minnesota what 300 dead voters actually voting might mean to them. That race gave one party 60 Senate seats.

    A few votes can have national implications. Thinking otherwise is naive and short sighted.

  3. travelah

    A state ID makes perfect sense. The only real reason I can see for opposing it is the fear that illegals might be “disenfranchised”.

  4. john

    Since NC is a popular destination state for illegal aliens and the taxpayers have to pony up millions yearly for health care and assorted other services for these people here illegally, it makes sense to make sure we at least keep the vote for legal citizens–only. No reason to give away anymore of the farm than we–in our Politically Correct stupidity– already have.

  5. J

    I like Rick’s argument – “sure, there are dead voters, and apparently they vote; but we really don’t need voter I.D.”.

  6. bill smith

    [i]A state ID makes perfect sense[/i]

    I thought you Republicans were concerned with ‘big government’.

  7. JWTJr

    Bill – You are good with voter fraud? The Democrats are best at that. Do what you are good at I guess.

  8. travelah

    Bill Smith, there is already a state ID process in place. Requiring one to vote doesn’t increase government by any measure.

  9. bill smith

    [i]Do what you are good at I guess. [/i]

    Why do Republicans always assume anyone critical of them is a Democrat?

  10. Voter fraud is a trumped-up issue. It is exceedingly rare and has been used repeatedly across the country to disenfranchise the poor.

    The only really significant cases of voter fraud to emerge in recent years have been organized by government politicos — as for example the fraudulent lists of purported “felons” which prevented thousands of Floridians from voting in the overwhelmingly fraudulent 2000 election.

    Voter registration should be sufficient. And via motor-voter, NC’s registration system is already widely linked to accountable I.D.s

  11. Kim

    Am I missing the point of the article. I believe it had more to do with the apparent need of the new General Assembly to tackle the issues of unemployment and job creation before setting there sites on redistricting and voter fraud.
    While against voter fruad, I believe most voted them in to handle these pressing issues first.

  12. john

    Voting is much too important a duty to not require a valid ID to prove you are who you say you are at the polling station. I was shocked when I moved here eleven years ago and I was not required to prove my identity to vote. One wonders why a public official like Mr. Bothwell would oppose it? There is outwardly no benefit to the city, the county, the state, the citizens or himself. From my reading, NC has a long and rich tradition of vote fraud. One cost-free method to help ensure the integrity of elections is for the poll worker to be shown a valid ID card by each voter. It’s common sense and good citizenship.

  13. John, I’d be curious to learn of the long and rich history of vote fraud – as it might relate to voter I.D.s

    Yes, ballot boxes have been stuffed or disappeared, electronic returns have been unverifiable … but in my career as an investigative reporter, with some particular emphasis on voting methods and reliability, I have never read of any widespread fraud by voters. It’s always been by officials.

    And, as I stated earlier, requiring an I.D. beyond being a registered voter has historically been used to suppress votes from the poor and racial minorities. Show me some evidence of actual fraud, particularly organized or substantial fraud on the part of voters, and I’d be willing to change my position. But, to my knowledge, it hasn’t happened here.

  14. John, I’d be curious to learn of the long and rich history of vote fraud – as it might relate to voter I.D.s

    Yes, ballot boxes have been stuffed or disappeared, electronic returns have been unverifiable … but in my career as an investigative reporter, with some particular emphasis on voting methods and reliability, I have never read of any widespread fraud by voters. It’s always been by officials.

    And, as I stated earlier, requiring an I.D. beyond being a registered voter has historically been used to suppress votes from the poor and racial minorities. Show me some evidence of actual fraud, particularly organized or substantial fraud on the part of voters, and I’d be willing to change my position. But, to my knowledge, it hasn’t happened here.

Leave a Reply