During a White House ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act Thursday, the president decried voter ID laws and lashed out at state legislatures that he says are “making it harder for the right to vote.”
In theory everybody’s in favor of the right to vote. In practice we have state legislatures that are making it harder for the right to vote. And some are not that shy about saying so.
Think about that. Think about that. How can you rationalize making harder to people to vote, how can you rationalize penalizing people because they don’t have a lot of money, not being able to vote? That’s contrary to who we are. That’s not what we believe. That’s not what John Lewis fought for.
The United States of America, we should have no patience and no tolerance for the laws that aim at disenfranchising our fellow citizens. So we’ve got to keep pushing. At the federal level, we need a new Voting Rights Act passed. At the state and local level, we’ve got to fight back against efforts to make it harder to vote, and we’ve got to embrace those legislators that are prepared to make it easier to vote.
The president argued that virtually no one engages in voter fraud. It just “doesn’t happen.”
“Attorney general, you know more about the crime statistics than I do, but I am certain because we’ve actually looked at the data on this that almost nobody wakes up saying I’m going to go vote in somebody else’s name,” Obama intoned. “Doesn’t happen.”
The president might want to ask an Ohio woman named Melowese Richardson about that. Richardson was a Hamilton County poll worker from 1998 until her arrest in 2013 when she was charged with eight counts of illegal voting.
She was convicted of voting twice in the 2012 election and voting three times — in 2008, 2011 and 2012 — for her sister, Montez Richardson, who has been in a coma since 2003.
Richardson was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released in March of 2014 “after local Democratic activists pressed for a fairer term.”
Later that month, she got a hero’s welcome from Obama ally Al Sharpton at a “voter rights” rally in a black church in Cincinnati.
So yes — it happens. And Melowese Richardson is just the tip of the iceberg.
Obama went on to explain why he thinks diabolical (Republican) state legislatures are rolling back early voting. Obviously, it’s to make voting “harder for folks.”
“So the only reason to pass this law despite the reasonableness of how it sounds, is to make it harder for folks to vote,” Obama explained.
“You’ve got state legislatures that are rolling back early voting. I don’t understand why anybody would be opposed to spreading out voting so that people can arrange to vote depending on their schedule. Because it’s hard. If you are working the midnight shift, you got to get your kid to school, have to travel by bus, and you’re a single mom, it may be difficult for you to be able to vote precisely in that window that’s provided, and there’s no evidence that as a consequence of early voting that has increased fraud, that people somehow have become less committed to democracy, that they don’t feel that same sense of civic pride as they do if there’s just one day of voting. There’s no evidence of that. The reason to roll back early voting is because you want to make it harder for folks to vote.”
Despite Obama’s and other Democrats’ constant demagoguery on voter rights, more than three-quarters of likely voters believe photo ID laws are needed.
A new Rasmussen Reports poll out Wednesday found support for photo ID laws at 76 percent, nearly exactly the 78 percent support registered in 2006 when the latest movement to scrap the laws kicked off.