Dems had good reason to vote against voter ID legislation

To the Editor:

In a letter to the Amherst Citizen, Rep. Peter Hanson from Amherst accused Democrat legislators of repeatedly trying to “make it easier for out-of-state persons to vote” in NH. The truth is that Democrats in Concord were trying to repeal restrictive Voter ID legislation that was passed over our governor’s veto for two reasons. 1. In-person voter fraud is practically non-existent and 2. Voter ID legislation is designed to inconvenience and disenfranchise citizens that are poor, disabled, immigrants, students or elderly seniors who do not necessarily have IDs and are more likely to vote as Democrats. During a recent election training session at the NH Secretary of State’s office conducted for town moderators, supervisors and clerks a question was asked. How much voter fraud has been uncovered since our voter ID law was put in place? The answer was: ZERO and its costing the State a lot of money for us to follow up on people who refuse to show an ID at the polls which has not uncovered any attempted fraud.

I have lived in NH for more than 40 years, and believe the only in-person voter fraud reported was that of James O’Keefe and his fellow out-of-state criminals from Project Veritas. They posed as dead people in our 2010 elections to prove that voter fraud exists in NH and were caught at the attempt.

An extensive study done by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School of Voter ID laws passed by 10 American states in 2012 concluded that minorities, the poor and elderly are less likely to to have a photo ID and that such groups live long distances from ID-issuing offices. This study also concluded that partisan politics had been exposed as a major factor in the introduction of voter ID legislation, as such legislation would disenfranchise many people who vote for Democratic Party nominees, benefiting the Republican Party.

Rep. Hansen tried to prove there is substantial voter fraud by citing North Carolina’s investigation of 800 cases. He failed to mention that North Carolina has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the nation that have been found to have unconstitutional elements by federal judges

Below are quotes from NC newspapers.

Indy Week – March 13, 2013

“It’s ba-aack. The Voter ID bill is on the GOP agenda again —former Gov. Bev Perdue put the kibosh on voter ID when the measure landed on her desk in 2011: “This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters,” she stated at the time.— Numbers from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles and State Board of elections, compiled by the watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, show that 506,000 active registered voters in the state don’t have a photo ID: 31 % are African-American, 66 % are women, 26% are seniors and 53% are Democrats, compared to 23% who are Republicans.” This article went on to say that “citizens in the disenfranchised group not only need to get an acceptable photo ID, but also a birth certificate and if that certificate has a maiden name on it, produce a marriage certificate as well. This whole thing amounts to a lot of money and it really does amount to a poll tax.”

Raleigh News and Observer- multiple dates

“—in the North Carolina case, a federal appeals court blocked two measures enacted by the state’s GOP-majority legislature saying that there “can be no doubt” that they would “disproportionately impact minority voters.” North Carolina will have to count ballots in the wrong precinct and reinstate same day voter registration in 2014. — 100,000 North Carolinians used same day registration in 2012 including twice as many blacks as whites.”“Roughly 7500 voters also cast their ballots in the wrong precinct but the right county in 2012.

“Hundreds of thousands of voter registration forms with incorrect information were mailed out across North Carolina this month, but the forms didn’t come from election officials – they came from Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit affiliated with the Koch brothers.— The mailing tells people to send the form to the wrong agency, and it gives two different deadlines to register to vote”

The original idea for Voter ID came from a lawyer at the conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, and when proved viable was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who provided boilerplate Voter ID legislation to states that implemented similar legislation between 2010 and the present time. A founding member of ALEC was Koch Industries, owned by the Koch brothers, who also created and fund the SuperPAC Americans for Prosperity (AFP). AFP campaign workers have been caught spreading misinformation about voter registration and voting in Wisconsin as well as North Carolina. This is REAL FRAUD that is polluting our election system.

Interestingly, the AFP Foundation has given Peter T. Hansen, our representative in Concord, the highest rating possible for a legislator on his positions (100%) in 2013 and 92% in 2014 as documented on Project Vote Smart on the internet.

Jack Conaway

Amherst