Mark Obenshain: Political motivations behind Democrats voter ID suit
Yesterday, Virginia Democrats filed suit to overturn the Commonwealth’s voter ID law. It’s a law backed by 70% of Americans, supported by every demographic group, and it even enjoys 60% approval among Democrats. And why shouldn’t they support it? You have to have an ID to do just about anything else and the lack of an ID requirement for voting had undermined voter confidence in the integrity of our electoral process.
The bill, which I sponsored in 2013, was drafted so it would comply with the framework established by the Supreme Court and it even had a one year delayed enactment clause (even though it passed in 2013, it was first applied to the 2014 general election) to give opponents a chance to challenge it if they thought they could. Of course, no grounds existed to mount a legitimate challenge and the law was implemented without incident or criticism last November. Out of more than 2 million total votes casted, less than 800 voters casted provisional ballots due to photo ID requirements, proving wrong the fears of widespread voter disenfranchisement. The Washington Post even reported that as many as 450,000 voters could be turned away–a crazy and outrageous figure that they ultimately retracted.
The reason it worked so well is that the overwhelming majority of voters have IDs, and for those who don’t, the law allows them to secure one free of charge through their local registrar’s office. Moreover, for those infirm or homebound voters, they can still vote by absentee ballot with no ID requirement. Where’s the burden there? The only burden is on fraudulent voters and those who benefit from their votes. It’s no wonder that there were no complaints after the election last November.
As reported last week by The New York Times, this lawsuit is one of several being filed nationally. These politically motivated suits, targeting primarily swing states, are intended to wreak as much havoc on the voting process as possible leading up to the 2016 elections. At its core, this is a political statement, funded by the Democrats’ most generous benefactor, billionaire George Soros, buoyed by an Obama Department of Justice that refuses to accept multiple rulings by the federal judiciary, and encouraged by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that is desperate to generate excitement among core Democratic voters.
That the attorney on this case has also worked closely with Attorney General Mark Herring should raise concerns with every voter. In fact, he was hired by Mark Herring to represent him in his recount in 2013. The Attorney General of Virginia has a constitutional obligation to defend and uphold the laws of the Commonwealth. Virginians have a right to expect Mark Herring to follow the responsibilities of his oath and not the dictates of his party and its largest donor. To date, he has failed to meet that standard, and that track record raises fair and serious concerns about whether he will provide the zealous defense that we have the right to expect.
We know why this partisan challenge has been filed. Barack Obama’s policies have had disastrous effects on the American economy, and voters across the nation are ready for real change. Repealing voter ID in Virginia opens up our electoral process to voter fraud, which only helps Hillary Clinton in 2016. In fact, it’s her best shot at winning.
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