Excuses ring hollow as Flowers kills voter ID bill

The late Gov. Kirk Fordice, who faced a hostile Legislature back when Flowers was a student, battled long and hard for voter ID alongside fellow Republicans like state Rep. Billy Denny of Jackson. For Flowers – who is quickly becoming the Eddie Haskell or Douglas Neidermeyer of his party – to join with fellow GOP Sens. Billy Hewes, Joey Fillingane and Chris McDaniel to kill the election reform bill that House Republicans (and Democrats alike) worked so hard to broker is a slap at legislators who were within inches of finally passing voter ID.

Excuses, excuses
At least Hewes is running for lieutenant governor and Fillingane wants to lead an initiative-and-referendum fight for voter ID. So those two can at lead plead “self-interest” in voting with Flowers. But Flowers and McDaniel apparently just decided to keep voter ID as a wedge issue.

Flowers has defended his little scheme as an effort to stave off the evils of early voting and because of fears of restoring suffrage to “crack” dealers. As to early voting, Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and a number of other Republicans supported the bill containing voter ID and early voting that Flowers bludgeoned.

Is early voting dangerous, or more to the point, dangerous to Republicans? Well, in the 2008 presidential elections, Democratic future President Barack Obama carried 28 states – 13 of which had early voting. Republican nominee Sen. John McCain carried 22 states – 17 of which had early voting.

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger