Senators Seek to Stymie Polling Place Protections
Black Activists Oppose Making Vote Suppression Easier
Washington, D.C. - An effort by 16 U.S. Senators that may compromise state-level photo ID requirements enacted to protect the integrity of the voting process is being protested by leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network.
In a June 29 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, 16 liberal senators asked for federal intervention to "scrutinize" state laws requiring photo ID as proof of identity at polling places. The senators claim this effort to prevent vote suppression through identity fraud could discriminate against "protected classes" and take America "in the wrong direction."
"The 16 Democratic senators who signed this letter to the Justice Department should spend some time on a real issue, such as preventing America from spending and borrowing itself into a Greek-style debt crisis," said Project 21 spokesman Deroy Murdock. "Instead, they repeat the usual racist nonsense that blacks and other minorities are too weak and pathetic to present photo ID cards at the polls. If this is true, may I please leave my driver's license at home when I go for a ride? And, when I fly a on plane, may I please tell the TSA that I am too lame to have a photo ID card — plus, I am black — so just let me on the jet?"
"Voter identification is about the integrity of our political process and has nothing to do with race. Providing a valid photo ID safeguards our electoral process against vote fraud," said Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli. "A government-issued photo ID is required for a myriad of daily transactions such as proof of age and personal identification. In the 21st century, claims making this a racial issue are utter nonsense."
In fact, many states with photo ID requirements do not limit acceptable forms of photo ID to government-issued ID such as driver's licenses. Provisional ballots or voting after signing an affidavit asserting one's identity are also often offered as a remedy for those not bringing a valid photo ID with them to vote.
"The sheer level of profound ignorance has me stumped," said Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson. "People need photo ID to drive a car, enter a Sam's Club and get a free birthday burrito at Moe's Southwest Grill. For a senator, whose job relies on the integrity of the electoral process, to want to water down ballot safety is unbelievable and somewhat sinister."
The senators who signed the letter to Holder include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jean Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).