Payne: Snyder vetoed Voter ID. . . not
Posted by hpayne on July 5, 2012
“Huuuuge!” raved Michigan Radio’s Tim Skubick. “Stunning!” hyperventilated a WWJ-Radio news anchor. Lansing’s media establishment cheered Governor Snyder sticking it to Republicans this week in vetoing the Legislature’s Voter ID law.
Trouble is, Michigan already has a Voter ID law. Since 1996. Affirmed by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2007, Michigan voters have had to show proof of ID since 2007.
Oh. So what’s going on?
Welcome to presidential campaign 2012 where an embattled President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have made state Voter ID laws a rallying point for the Democratic base. Republicans are racists you see. And Democratic media organs are echoing the Party line.
“Democrats viewed the measures as an attempt to suppress voter turnout, especially among minority and urban populations,” parroted the Detroit Free Press on Page A1 Wednesday.
That’s not true.
There is no evidence that Voter ID laws suppress turnout – in fact, the opposite is true, as The Wall Street Journal reports: “Black voter turnout increased in Georgia and Indiana after voter ID laws passed. No doubt Mr. Obama’s presence on the ballot helped drive that turnout surge in 2008, but then the black vote in Georgia also increased by 44.2 percent during the midterm Congressional races of 2010 from 2006. The Hispanic vote grew by 66.5 percent in 2010 from four years earlier.”
Damn those inconvenient facts.
What is suppressing voter turnout today is Obama’s policies which have resulted in high rates of minority unemployment – and lower Hispanic (-5 percent) and black (-7 percent) voter registrations this cycle. Thus the push-back against Voter ID laws. Thus the manufactured story by Lansing’s liberal media.
The governor’s office was surprised by the veto dust-up. “Snyder signs most of election reform legislation,” read Snyder’s Tuesday press release. “Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to increase election transparency, prevent election fraud and provide consistency across all voting locations,” read the lead paragraph. Indeed, the governor’s veto of just three of 14 election reform bills – drafted by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office – is an afterthought.
Since passage of Michigan’s Voter ID waaaay back in ’96, SOS offices have been tightening up ID laws after the rampant fraud of Detroit elections in 2004 and 2005 (The Detroit News reported 380,000 false names and addresses on voter lists), 1,500 votes by dead or imprisoned people from 2008-2011, and so on.
Snyder okayed most SOS reforms, and found some to be Republican overreach. For example, he vetoed bill H.B. 5061 “requiring a voter to reaffirm U.S. citizenship before receiving a ballot” because Michigan voters are ALREADY required to issue ID upon registering to vote. Snyder found that redundant, saying “he appreciates the issue of ensuring voters are eligible and U.S. citizens, however this legislation could create voter confusion.”
That’s hardly a rebuke to racism that Democrats & Media claim. “The package as a whole would have disenfranchised (voters),” cheered House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Flushing. But the package as a whole DID pass – and did nothing to change the state’s Voter ID law. Calls to both the SOS and governor’s offices found confusion as to why the vetoes created headlines.
Yes, confusing. But simple when you think of Democratic political strategy in 2012.