Ben Carson just cannot catch a break from the left. It seems that everything that says or does is wrong. While it is true that much of what he says does not conform to reality, sometimes he is right about something.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Wednesday denied that voter identification laws and other voter suppression laws are racist, calling such restrictions necessary because voting should be “done by the appropriate people.”
Carson is right on this issue. Voter identification laws are not racist. They are a common sense law to make sure that a person who is voting is someone who can vote. For a law to be racist, it has to be specifically targeted at minorities. That is not the case.
The shenanigans that accompany voter identification laws is where the supporters of these laws are wrong. These shenanigans are include the following.
- Requiring a very specific type of identification and rejecting reasonable alternatives.
- Closing of offices where identification is obtained (especially in areas with high concentration of Democrat voters)
- Requiring documentation that is not easily obtained by certain groups
- Not giving a reasonable amount of time to obtain identification
If the true goal of voter identification laws is to ensure that a person is who he/she claims to be, any reasonably secure picture identification should be sufficient. However, with most of these voter identification laws, the law requires a very specific identification that has unreasonable restrictions. Identifications such as student identification cards and veteran identification cards are reasonable alternatives. As an example of what is reasonable, one should consider the identifications that were allowed in Virginia for the 2012 election.
Another popular shenanigan used by the supporters of voter identification laws is the closing of offices where the identification can be obtained. Often the closure of these offices fall heavily in areas where the people tend to vote for Democrats. These closures create an unnecessary obstacle that are clearly intended to prevent certain people from voting.
Going hand in hand with the requirement of a specific identification is the types of documentation needed is unreasonable. For some groups, the documentation required is not possible to obtain. For example, some elderly people are not able to get a birth certificate because the original records were lost (due to carelessness or disaster). Additionally, many jurisdictions assess a fee to obtain the proper documentation; a fee that some cannot pay. Again, these restrictions tend to weigh heavily on Democrat voters.
In 2012, when a number of these laws were being passed, they were to go into effect for the 2012 election. The problem was that these laws were enacted only months before the election. One can say that the timing was suspicious. However, this shenanigan is slowly becoming less relevant.
While Carson is correct in saying that these laws are not racist. He fails to note the shenanigans that his party typically use to make them into a vehicle to suppress Democrat voters.