Voting Rights? It All Depends

Yesterday a motley coalition of left-wing groups operating under the name Stand For Freedom marched in New York City, ostensibly to support voting rights. A large number of groups were represented, almost more organizations than people: the NAACP, the ACLU, SEIU, CAIR, the Communist Party, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the Hispanic Federation, the United Federation of Teachers, the Action Network, NOW, several Democratic politicians, and many more. Despite the event’s wide-ranging sponsorship, only 1,000 to 2,000 people showed up to march.

The event began with speeches outside the New York offices of Koch Industries and continued to the United Nations Plaza, where there were more speeches. Why Koch Industries? Neither the company nor its owners has taken any position on laws relating to voting procedures, and the company issued a statement pointing out that the Kochs have supported voter registration campaigns and donated to numerous civil rights organizations. No matter. The Left needs its narrative. Then, too, one could ask: why did the marchers address their appeal to the United Nations? How many of the U.N.’s member states respect their citizens’ voting rights?

A more basic question is, what are these groups complaining about? They have several grievances: the efforts on the part of more than 30 states to prevent voter fraud by requiring identification at the polls; the fact that in many states felons can’t vote; adjustments that various states are making to early voting procedures, etc.; and, apparently, the fact that voters are supposed to be citizens. Hysteria ran deep; if you didn’t know better, you would think that millions of people are being barred from the polls by policemen with truncheons and dogs. Al Sharpton, to take just one example, was his usual demagogic self:

Of course, few of the speakers acknowledged the reason why two-thirds of the states have enacted or are considering measures to counter voter fraud, and none attempted to deal with the fraud issue. They simply took it for granted that no one opposes voter fraud, or thinks that felons shouldn’t vote, for any reason other than racial animus. Some speakers went further. Here, Lilian Rodriguez Lopez, the President of the Hispanic Federation, makes the remarkable claim that there are 54 million Latinos in the U.S.–a figure well in excess of the Census Bureau’s estimate, which includes illegals–all of whom, apparently, will be voting if Ms. Lopez has her way.

The Communist Party was a welcome participant in yesterday’s march, as seems always to be the case at liberal events:

If any of the Democrats at the rally recognized the absurdity of Communists demonstrating on behalf of voting rights, they kept it to themselves. Likewise with the delegation from CAIR. Of the foreign countries from which most or all of CAIR’s financial support comes, how many permit free elections? None, I believe.

But the labor unions who provided much of the support and, one suspects, most of the meagre manpower for yesterday’s march are no less hypocritical. SEIU’s banners were prominently displayed, and representatives of SEIU and the United Federation of Teachers spoke at the rally. SEIU’s spokeswoman said:

Voting rights are being challenged all across the United States. People have died for the right to vote. We can’t just sit by and let our rights be taken from us.

This is rich, coming from an organization whose number one legislative priority is card check–abolishing the worker’s right to a secret ballot in union certification elections, so that coercion and intimidation can replace free elections. If there is a single organization in the United States as corrupt and hypocritical as our labor unions, I can’t think what it could be.

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