We may soon learn about the priorities of the Voting Section of the Department of Justice. Fresh off the whitewash of the voter intimidation dismissal against the New Black Panther Party, the DOJ has received a request to monitor upcoming elections in Southbridge, Massachusetts. It seems the mounting possibility of voter intimidation may plague the upcoming municipal contest. The culprit? This billboard:
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. This billboard is part of a campaign encouraging Bay State citizens to voluntarily show photo identification even though the law does not require it. A Boston Globe story “Voter ID billboard irks Latino advocates” describes people foaming at the mouth over the billboard. After all, Americans voluntarily offering to show photo ID when they vote provides a devastating counterweight to the legions of photo identification opponents. If people are willing to show it when they don’t have to, what does that say about the opponents who equate laws requiring photo identification to the second coming of Jim Crow? I do not overstate the comparison, see the cover of this report by the Soros-funded Advancement Project.
This seems like an effort at political speech, designed to devastate the credibility of photo identification opponents.
So what is more intimidating: black panthers with billy clubs, or billboards urging citizens to voluntarily show photo identification? I’d lay odds that right now inside the Voting Section, you’d find more votes for the billboard. The two photos, the lady on the billboard vs. the black panthers, serve as a DOJ Rorschach test. Hold both up, and watch what happens in the next few weeks. We already know that when you hold up the photo of the black panthers, DOJ attorneys think the panthers were simply well known community members exercising their free speech rights and possessing polling place credentials issued by the Philadelphia Democratic Party. No big deal. But if DOJ announces they are going to monitor elections in Southbridge before the May 10 runoff, that means that the other Rorschach test, the billboard of the lady and her photo identification, conjures feelings of Jim Crow, poll taxes and howling mobs aimed at disenfranchising people of color. Of course here at PJM, we will monitor and report. This might get fun.