In your Aug. 30, article, “SC lawmaker admits supportive response to racist email,” a paragraph began: “The Justice Department has asserted that South Carolina’s law would disproportionately burden African-Americans, who it says are less likely than whites to have or be able to get the types of ID the law requires.” I well remember when during one of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses, a strategically placed citizen of Iraq held up a purple finger indicative of our nation’s tremendous effort to bring democracy to that country. I wonder, was that Iraqi voter required to present a pictured voter ID? How can we as a nation sacrifice so much life and treasure attempting to spread democracy abroad, yet attempt to restrict democracy’s greatest triumph, our right to vote, here in our nation due to unproven accusations of massive voter fraud?
I first heard suspicion of voter fraud in my youth, when John F. Kennedy became our first Catholic president over considerable Protestant resistance. In fact, many forget that Kennedy was the first presidential candidate to seek the newly enfranchised minority vote, obviously because he realized his faith would cost him the southern WASP vote anyway. Still, to this very day, some believe that enough votes of dead people swayed that election. On the other side of that coin, I well remember voter intimidation of minorities, along with the use of poll taxes and fraudulent literacy tests, before those egregious methods were eliminated.
Recent studies have found little evidence of voter fraud, and little of that by individual voters at the poles. The majority of successful prosecutions have been for tampering, which were attempts to manipulate large numbers of votes by a single individual, although more may have been involved. Personally, I think pictured voter ID would be a good thing, after a fair and equitable system to utilize such is developed. But this rush to combat an issue which has lain dormant at least since the election of President Kennedy, smacks of preventing citizens of color from voting a second time for our first president of color. If not, why the sudden rush?
Thank you for allowing me to ask.
Robert C. Currie Jr.