Numerous Times letters have claimed recently that requiring would-be voters to show government-issued photo IDs amounts to minority "voter suppression," that vote fraud is "nonexistent," that ACORN was "not guilty" of filing fraudulent voter registrations and that ACORN disappeared three years ago anyway.
All those assertions are false.
Attorney General Eric Holder's lawless "Justice" Department activists, who halted prosecution of genuine voter suppression in Philadelphia's infamous New Black Panther case (2008), continue their cynical courtroom assaults against voter-identification requirements, most recently in North Carolina.
In signing that state's voter ID law, Gov. Pat McCrory essentially echoed findings by the Commission on Federal Election Reform, led by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, which said in 2005: "The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings and cash a check. Voting is equally important."
In neighboring Georgia, the liberal Atlanta Journal Constitution was surprised to discover that after voter photo-ID was implemented in 2006, "Turnout among black and Hispanic voters increased from 2006 to 2010, dramatically outpacing population growth for those groups over the same period."
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, upheld Indiana's voter ID law in 2008, saying that "flagrant examples of (voter) fraud ... have been documented throughout this Nation's history," and that some recent examples demonstrate not only a genuine risk of voter fraud but the possibility of affecting "the outcome of a close election."
I've personally experienced just such a situation. In a local 1995 school-bond election, the poll watchers I organized reported indications of double voting and other irregularities. A recount we undertook reversed the certified election result, thereby negating seeming passage of the bond.
And when the school district's $237,000 election-specialist legal team sought to win back bond passage, my husband and another non-attorney, representing themselves, prevailed by four votes in a 20-month Superior Court and California appellate court election contest. They proved double votes and ineligible voters.
They also proved a few absentee-envelope signature non-matches, but had dozens more of those illegal submissions available (envelopes from which ballots had been removed and counted anyway), had those been needed simply to annul the faulty election, under California law.
In the years since, my husband has continued to observe absentee-signature non-matches during processing of various Bay Area elections. The most common template involves household members who, apparently urged on by unscrupulous campaign agents, illegally mark, sign, and deliver absentee ballots for out-of-town spouses, students away at school, and others.
A cursory or overly lenient envelope-signature check, with a minuscule rejection rate, can be expected.
In close elections, hundreds or thousands of absentee ballots are now delivered by hand on election day, often by third parties. Those are then counted overnight, often despite non-matching signatures -- and by morning, an apparent election result has sometimes then swung the other direction.
Meanwhile, no signature check at all is ordinarily conducted for polling-place rosters signed by in-person voters.
So as I've said before: We can either hand over all the effective decision-making to deceitful schemers willing to flood the zone with illegal votes, or we can show up, vote in person, and demand (via initiative) reliable photo identification to register and vote, along with stricter standards for voter signature verification.
Oh, and ACORN? In fact, several dozen ACORN employees have been convicted or found guilty of filing false voter registration cards. Across the country, but without filing needed charges, election officials have simply thrown out thousands of fraudulent ACORN-submitted registrations. One wonders how many they missed.
And at least 174 of ACORN's offices and affiliates have reorganized and re-branded. An example is "Action NC," which (not surprisingly) opposed North Carolina's new voter ID law.
Sharon Arata is a Danville resident, active for 30 years in opposing voter fraud.