A presidential nonpartisan panel created to remove voting barriers has made one finding that puts the skids under the rationale used in Republican-controlled states — Mississippi one of them — for requiring prospective voters to produce a government-issued photo ID at the polls.
Simply put, the commission’s report declares that voter fraud is “rare.” Mind you, this finding was made by a panel co-chaired by Republican Benjamin Ginsberg, legal counsel for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.
If voter fraud is rare, then why has Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann been preaching that photo ID is essential to have “ballot integrity” in Mississippi?
Never mind that the prospective voter must sign his name on the voter list and have his name checked off against the registration rolls. Doesn’t matter that there’s been no case in memory where a prospective voter has intentionally falsely identified himself.
But Hosemann is spending bundles of state tax money and lots of his working days peddling the virtues of photo ID. Then there are the cameras Delbert has bought and parked in circuit clerk offices in each of the state’s 82 counties. Who pays when someone drops one? Or circuit clerks — who are fee-paid — put the photographer’s time on the county tab?
Hosemann insists there are only a few dozen citizens without a driver’s license photo or some other qualified ID. Attorneys for the state NAACP, one of the groups opposing voter ID, considers the scheme as a revival of old poll tax. The NAACP attorneys, who have accessed driver’s license records of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, contend that hundreds, not just a few dozen, don’t have photo IDs, especially older and poor blacks.