Wednesday night on MSNBC’s Hardball, civil rights champion Rep. John Lewis said that the new state Voter ID Laws are nothing more than a “deliberate, systematic attempt to win or steal this election before it takes place.”
Lewis said that it’s important that every vote be counted, and he called on groups like the ACLU to start filing injunctions against these state laws:
Lewis: I think, Chris, that the deliberate, systematic attempt to win or steal this election before it takes place with the voter ID, ending early voting, making it almost impossible for young people, for students, for our seniors, for minorities to participate, for the disabled to participate, is a sin. It’s obscene to tell people that it’s going to be hard; it’s going to be tough for you to cast a vote. That’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s not just.
Steal the election? By asking people to verify that they are who they claim to be by showing a photo ID?
Matthews responded by saying that he was worried about the potential effect of the laws, one of which was recently passed in Pennsylvania that requires a government-issued photo ID for the election in his home state.
Matthews: Well what happens if this November we get up Wednesday morning, Congressman, and we realize that a state like Pennsylvania has gone for Romney, not because most people wanted Romney over Obama in Pennsylvania, but that most people or a lot of people weren’t allowed to vote because they live in row houses, they don’t own an automobile, like my grandparents were like that, and in neighborhoods that are now African-American, the same row houses. These people are older, they’re city people, they use the subway, they use mass transportation, they don’t own cars, they don’t have driver’s licenses, and by the way, once you’re 75 or 85 years old, you don’t want to be driving a car. So the question is how do they get voter ID cards with their picture on it?
Matthews answered his own question. These “old people” can take a bus or the subway and go to the local Pennsylvania DMV office and obtain a photo ID card. And if they swear they have no other acceptable ID for voting and sign a piece of paper to that effect, they get their new ID card free. Not exactly the huge hurdle that liberals like Matthews and Lewis claim it will be.
Also, as to Matthews claim that once people are 75 or 85 they don’t want to be driving a car, that may be true in a more urban area like Philadelphia. But I have been in several cars driven by octogenarians and nonagenarians in the last few years who weren’t about to give up driving anytime soon.
Voter ID laws are necessary to bring integrity back to a system that is subject to widespread fraud. The laws are not overly onerous in a world where a government-issued photo ID has become increasingly necessary to conduct even the most basic of functions. They are not part of some sinister plot by the GOP, as Matthews would have us believe, to suppress the minority vote.
For more on the real reasons people should be very concerned about vote fraud and the integrity of this year’s elections, see our special report .