The Truth About North Carolina’s Voter ID Law the Media Won’t Tell You

August 21st, 2013 10:09 AM

Following a Supreme Court ruling that said that federal restrictions on certain states’ voting laws were invalid, North Carolina passed a law requiring that people who wish to cast a ballot must show photo identification. Predictably, the left-leaning media have gone into high outrage mode.

In doing so they’ve ignored the facts which show that not only do black voters support voter ID more than whites, getting an ID card is not nearly so onerous as anti-reform groups pretend it to be, and that helping people get identification for themselves is a good way of ensuring they are part of the many other parts of societal interaction that require identification. This much should be evident to reporters who continuously amplify incendiary, racially charged allegations that do not square with reality.

To be a part of the economic mainstream of this country, it is necessary to have a valid photo ID. So here’s a question for the media. If it’s racist to ask voters for a form of identification at their polling place, why isn’t it then racist to also ask for identification before stepping inside a plane, or into a federal building, filling out a job application or opening up a bank account?

That’s an obvious question that the Los Angeles Times has declined to ask so far. Here’s the ominous subhead attached to a June 30 report authored by David Zucchino: “Republican leaders are pushing measures that could negatively affect black voters.”

Based on what exactly? The article declines to spell that out.

Zucchino quotes staunchly Democratic North Carolina NAACP President William J. Barber II, who equates the “Restore Confidence in Government Act” with slavery and Jim Crow. Barber, and other self-described civil rights leaders should be quoted at length. But they should also be held accountable for divisive rhetoric that arguably works against the best interests of their own constituents. Polls show that minorities actually favor voter ID laws by a slightly higher margin than whites. These numbers are not typically cited by the LA Times or other liberal publications, that continue to cast aspersions on voter ID. Even so, anyone who is in command of facts should not be surprised. Just ask State Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence, R.I. Democrat. His own inner-city constituents tend to favor voter ID because, as Metts as explained in media interviews, they are often the victims of voter fraud.

“For years, I had heard complaints from some of my constituents about voter fraud, and I felt like it was time for us to take action,” he told the “There’s always a concern about disenfranchisement, and we should make every effort to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote. But it got to the point where there was such a fear over disenfranchisement that people just buried their heads when it came time to deal with voter fraud, and that was not healthy for our democracy.”

Since the 2010 mid-term elections, Rhode Island is the only Democratic state to pass a new voter identification law. So it is fair to say that Republicans tend to favor voter ID in greater numbers than Democrats. That’s an objective fact. But it’s not fair to suggest to readers that voter fraud is not a serious problem and that voter ID initiatives are inherently racist. How then does the LA Times explain Rhode Island? And what does the NAACP say to those people of color who had their vote canceled out because someone illegally voted in their place thanks to lax identification requirements?

Since 2008, dozens of political operatives attached to the now defunct ACORN organization have been convicted on a variety of voter registration charges. Matthew Vadum, author of “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers,” has published a detailed list of the convictions in his book. Yet, the media continues to give cover to liberal groups that claim voter fraud is not particularly widespread.

Consider the sleight-of-hand used by the Associated Press in a July 26 report on the N.C. law. Public records show “only a handful of documented cases of in-person voter fraud” have been prosecuted over the last decade. There’s a tacit acknowledgment here that voter fraud is a real problem contrary to what the NAACP, the Advancement Project, the ACLU, Demos and other liberal groups incessantly tell members of the press.

A March 29, 2012 Washington Post op-ed by Brennan Center executive director Michael Waldman and attorney Justin Levitt goes so far as to equate voter fraud in U.S. elections with imaginary sightings of Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch, the mythical man-like hairy monster said to inhabit the forests of North America. Bigfoot has not yet been captured, but Vadum’s research shows that law enforcement, at least at the state level, is taking voter fraud seriously.

The fallback position for voter ID opponents who are forced to concede that fraud exists, at least on some level, is to argue that the new requirements will discourage minorities from voting. “One state study estimated that at least 318,000 registered North Carolina voters do not have driver’s licenses or other state-issued ID cards,” according to a July 26 LA Times report. “Many are elderly, low income or African American – groups that tend to vote Democratic.”

So here’s the strategy.

The left is building its case against voter ID around Rosanell Eaton, a 92-year-old black woman from Louisburg, N.C. She is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the law in the Middle District of North Carolina by the NAACP and the Advancement Project. Eaton already has a valid driver’s license. But Eaton contends that she will have difficulty voting because the spelling of her name on the driver’s license, and her birth certificate and her voter-registration record are all different.

State officials are on record saying that Eaton has plenty of options where an ID is concerned despite the name differences. If she is unduly burdened by the process, that should be reported. If she is not, that should also be reported by a media that purports to care about the facts.

The North Carolina law, set to take effect in 2016, will permit only an in-state state driver's license, a U.S. passport or military ID be used as acceptable forms of ID. Residents who don't drive could obtain a state-issued ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles free of charge. This is not some draconian requirement akin to Jim Crow. But good luck asking the willfully ignorant news media that is content with parroting the specious complaints of partisan activists.