Voter ID passed in Mississippi more than a year and a half ago, with 62% of the vote. Yet, the ID law, directly enacted by the people, so as to be the clearest expression of the popular will, is still not in effect.
Why? We await “preclearance” by the Obama Justice Department before we can finally implement the common-sense measure aimed at ensuring fair elections. As in other states including South Carolina, Texas, and even Pennsylvania, Obama’s DOJ is slow-pedaling approval of Mississippi’s law, even though it contains basically the same voter ID provisions that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld years ago in an Indiana case.
This is the same DOJ, under Attorney General Eric Holder, whose tactics fit what is now a painfully familiar Obama Administration pattern. Since Mississippi initially submitted its voter ID law for approval in January 2012, the DOJ has demanded two additional rounds of information, much of which near-impossible to provide. The latest, according to a May 20 report in Tupelo’s Daily Journal, sought “any correspondence between legislators, elected officials, employees and members of the public regarding voter ID.” Huh?
The State is gathering responsive information. After Mississippi forwards this latest installment, Obama’s DOJ will have another 60 days to respond. In the meantime, municipal elections will be over, finishing yet another election cycle without voter ID at the polls.
I heard Mr. Holder’s rationale against voter ID firsthand, at a meeting in Washington last October just before the 2012 election. Holder whined, like many liberals, that voter ID laws are part of an illegitimate, orchestrated effort by Republicans to suppress poor and minority voting.
Holder does not accept that supporters of voter ID have any legitimate concerns. That is straight from the Obama playbook of painting opponents as “enemies” and worse. For Holder, there is no such thing as voter fraud.
Forget polling that shows bipartisan support for voter ID. Forget efforts by those same sinister Republicans to bend over backwards to ensure that no legal voter is blocked from voting. There is even better refutation to Holder’s minimization of the need for voter ID. Yes, Virginia, there really is voter fraud.
Just this weekend, the Chief of Staff for Florida Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia resigned after being implicated in a scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests to help his boss win re-election.
And, meet Melowese. Long-time Hamilton County, Ohio poll worker Melowese Richardson was indeed a very hard worker at the polls. Last week, Richardson, according to True the Vote, http://www.truethevote.org/, “pleaded no contest to four counts of illegal voting – including voting three times for a relative who has been in a coma since 2003 – in exchange for prosecutors dropping four other illegal voting charges.” Richardson admitted voting illegally in 2008, 2011 and 2012. The charges brought by Ohio prosecutors could land Richardson in prison for up to six years.
They’ll need a new poll worker for Melowese’s precinct. But to date, this proud serial Obama voter faces no federal charges from Holder’s DOJ.
True the Vote might ring a bell. The Texas-based nonprofit has as its core mission “equipping citizens to take a stand for free and fair elections.” Its founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, her husband, and their small metal fabrication business all started receiving Obama Administration attention after Engelbrecht became active in the political process through True the Vote.
The Englebrechts have been recent targets of the IRS, the FBI, OSHA, and other federal agencies. Oh yes, that same IRS.
Over the weekend, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa stated that interviews with Cincinnati IRS employees suggest officials in Washington ordered the targeting of conservative groups.
At least the IRS had fun while targeting the President’s “enemies.” The Treasury Department’s inspector general also reported this weekend that the IRS spent about $50 million on 220 conferences for employees from 2010 to 2012. The agency spent roughly $60,000 on team-building videos that spoofed shows like “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
In one sense, Obama and his Administration have no problem with voter ID. It becomes increasingly clear that a confederacy of arrogant, unaccountable bureaucrats and willfully ignorant senior leaders (including the President) have identified certain voters as targets for the full harassment power of the federal government, to suppress their political activities.
All the while, they smear anyone who simply wants fair and clean elections as seeking to use neutral voter identification at the polls to suppress votes. Isn’t that ironic? Or is “tyranny” the better word?
Cory T. Wilson is a Madison attorney with Heidelberg Steinberger Colmer & Burrow, P.A. Follow Cory on Twitter, @CoryWilsonMS, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.