More dead people could be voting if U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has his way. Speaking last week at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, Holder decried new laws in South Carolina and Texas that require voters to present a state-issued ID at the polls. He said the Justice Department also is “examining a number of changes that Florida has made to its electoral process, including changes to the procedures governing third-party voter registration organizations, as well as changes to early voting procedures, including the number of days in the early voting period.”
He added, “All eligible citizens can and should be automatically registered to vote” by the federal government. Ironically, he spoke at the library of Lyndon Johnson, who rose to power on massive voter fraud in Texas. In his biography of LBJ, Robert Caro detailed how, in the 1948 U.S. Senate race, incumbent Coke Stevenson was winning until a box of 200 votes turned up. In the History News Channel summary, “these 200 ‘voters’ cast their ballots 198-2 for Johnson, putting him over the top. The election, of course, was stolen.”
Holder was right to call voting “the lifeblood of our democracy.” But it has to be honest voting.
“It’s astounding to me that the attorney general of the United States would claim state voter ID requirements are unconstitutional,” John Eastman told us; he’s a professor of law at Chapman University School of Law. He said such ID checks already passed constitutional muster in the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Crawford vs. Marion County Election Board.
And as to the federal government registering voters, Eastman pointed to Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution. It grants to the states, “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” the appointment of electors to the Electoral College that chooses the president. By implication, states also have control over other elections.
Constitutional amendments and voting rights laws do prevent discrimination based on race, age (18 or older) and sex. “But that doesn’t prevent other requirements the states might impose,” Eastman said, such as hours of voting. “It appears that the attorney general isn’t aware of that, unless he’s preparing a constitutional amendment, which I haven’t heard him say.”
Sufficient federal and state safeguards already exist to ensure voting rights. Holder’s ideas should be dropped. Let the dead rest in peace.