When Barack Obama speaks, especially without a teleprompter, you can almost see the zzzzzzs rising over the heads of his audience. You can only listen to platitudes for so long. But then, suddenly, Obama will come out with a falsehood so other-worldly that you sit up and say, “WTF was that?”
This was one such moment in today’s press conference:
OBAMA: We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. And that dates back. There’s an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about.
QUESTION: Voting rights?
OBAMA: Yes, I’m talking about voting rights.
The reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is — it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. And that’s not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That’s not when America works best. So I hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote. Make it easier, not harder.
This whole notion of election — voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved, this — this is fake news. The notion that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote.
“Making it harder to vote” means requiring identification in order to prevent voter fraud. Is the U.S. really, as Obama says, “the only country in the advanced world” that imposes such a minimal requirement?
Of course not. In fact, we are pretty much the only country that doesn’t. John Fund provides useful background:
Almost all industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting.
The vast majority of countries require voter ID — usually photo ID — to prevent fraud and duplicate votes at the polls. Our neighbors do. Canada requires voter ID. Mexico’s “Credencial para Votar” has a hologram, a photo, and other information embedded in it, and it is impossible to effectively tamper with. Confidence in the integrity of elections has soared since its introduction in the 1990s.
At a 2012 conference in Washington at which election officials from more than 60 countries met to observe the U.S. presidential election, most were astonished that so many U.S. states don’t require voter ID.
They were right to be astonished. Yet President Obama says the effort to ensure ballot integrity “traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery.” This is idiotic. When Democrats imposed Jim Crow laws across the South in the wake of Reconstruction, they relied on poll taxes and ridiculously difficult or ambiguous tests–administered only, apparently, to African-Americans who hadn’t finished a certain grade level–to maintain Democratic Party control. Voter ID had nothing to do with it. But no one ever said that Barack Obama knows anything about history.
Obama repeats the Democratic Party talking point that there is no such thing as voter fraud. A person wise in the ways of the world probably wonders, if there isn’t any voter fraud going on, why are the Democrats so vehemently opposed to the ballot integrity measures that are used in virtually every other country? The answer, of course, is that voter fraud is no myth.
Because voter fraud laws are so rarely enforced, we don’t have a good idea how extensive the problem is. But here in Minnesota, the Minnesota Voters’ Alliance has done yeoman service in uncovering many instances of fraud:
A new voter fraud case before the Minnesota Supreme Court claims 1,366 ineligible felons have cast at least 1,670 fraudulent votes in recent statewide elections, possibly tipping the outcome of close contests, including the 2008 U.S. Senate race.
That race, “won” narrowly by Al Franken, allowed the passage of Obamacare.
Court papers demonstrate how the incomplete list of ineligible voters provided to local election officials routinely allows felons, wards of the state, immigrants [who are not citizens] and other ineligible persons to register and vote.
“The 1,366 identified felons who have been permitted to vote is believed to be only a fraction of the true total,” the 110 page court petition filed by MVA and former Rep. Kirk Stensrud states. “Cooperation from the [Democratic Party] Secretary of State would have allowed for a more complete accounting of the number of ineligible persons who have been permitted to vote.”
Unlike other ex-presidents, Obama hasn’t promised to go away. Indeed, he isn’t, in physical terms, going anywhere: he has bought a mansion in his real home town, Washington, D.C., and will stay there for the foreseeable future, readily accessible to the Democratic reporters who cheered on his failing administration. And if called upon, he is ready to come out of retirement.
If, for example, as he said today, there are “explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise.” In other words, voter ID. If more widespread adoption of voter ID laws is all it takes to draw Barack Obama back into the political fray, God help us. Unlike Hillary Clinton, we haven’t seen the last of him yet.