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The PJ Tatler

by
Hans A. von Spakovsky

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August 21, 2012 - 8:15 am

I’ve never understood why the NAACP is so set against voters having to show a photo ID when they vote, but a recent incident suggests one possibility.  An election official I know in Virginia recently received a pre-completed voter registration form in the mail from the Virginia NAACP headquarters in Richmond.  The form was addressed to the election official’s dog, Crease, but with the election official’s last name.  As you can see from the form itself, the voter registration form already had Crease’s name and address printed on it and the NAACP says that its “records show that you are eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election.”  The NAACP asked Crease to “please fill in” the rest of the form because “registering to vote is easy” – even for dogs.

Having to show a photo ID might make it a little difficult for Crease to vote.  Of course, given the very weak Virginia ID law that was just approved by the Justice Department, a law that Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell tried to make even weaker with some very ill-advised amendments, it would still be pretty easy for someone to vote in Crease’s place once he got registered.  Virginia allows you to use all kinds of documents that are not really IDs to vote like the voter registration card that is issued to every registered voter.  That card has no photograph and is mailed to any person (or dog) who sends in a registration form with no authentication of their identity, citizenship or eligibility.

Despite this, I hereby pledge that none of the non-humans in my household (like my daughter’s extensive stuffed animal collection) will be voting this November.  Can we be sure that is the case for all other Virginia households?

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department. He is the coauthor of the book “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk”.
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