Imagine if a student handed in a paper that said, “google it.”
So, voter ID laws are racist because minorities cannot obtain IDs (this is the usual argument I am given.)
Well, isn’t interesting… wait… what do I have here? Oh, look it’s an essay I wrote (Ignore the fact that the prompt was to write a proposal for a documentary. I have taken out a bit that was a bio about me.)
Proposal for “Cancelled”
[Bunch of non-pertinent info about myself as a person] I feel every American should be as deeply involved with politics as possible, so that we can make informed decisions on how to direct our country’s future.
I wish to request funding to examine the need for voter ID laws. With the funding provided I will produce a documentary detailing why such laws are needed.
“A man without a vote is a man without protection,” Lyndon B. Johnson.
This issue is pertinent because the outcome of the national debate on the matter could affect the balance of political power in America. The laws have the potential to prevent illegal voting from cancelling out the legitimate votes of law abiding Americans. This documentary, entitled “Cancelled,” will not seek to provide a solution to the problem of voter fraud, as a solution exists in the form of reasonable voter identification laws. Instead “Cancelled,” will seek to raise awareness of the problem by examining the groups such as Project Veritas, who work to rectify the problem.
Committing voter fraud is not a difficult task. Without voter identification laws all that is required to obtain a ballot is a name and an address, valid or otherwise. Voter fraud can be committed even before arriving at the polls, as there are some states, such as Minnesota, where neither a photo ID or Social Security number are required to register to vote (Veritasvisuals). This year, my own family has received multiple forms in the mail requesting registration information from my Grandmother who passed away in 2004. However, no forms were provided for any of the living, voting aged occupants of the house. These forms were not government issue, but rather from a third party organization, The Voter Participation Center, that, until recently, was under investigation by the state of Virginia (Washington Examiner).
Would you believe that a white man in his mid-twenties could be handed the ballot of our country’s first African American Attorney General, a man in his sixties named Eric Holder? The citizen-journalist group known as Project Veritas carried out this act, which was filmed on camera. Project Veritas, veritas being Latin for truth, is an investigative journalist group unaffiliated with any major news network. The founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, describes the group’s mission as “to investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society,” (theprojectveritas.org)
Just two months before the 2012 Presidential Election the state of Michigan estimated that there were 4,000 noncitizens registered to vote (The Detroit News). As of now only fifteen states require some form of photo ID to vote, but that is not enough (Ballotpedia.org). The laws are not only needed, but also popular among voters. An August 2012 poll conducted by the Washington Post found 74% of participates were in favor of implementing voter ID laws. But this support among the citizens does not necessarily mean the government upholds the laws. Many states have had their voter identification laws challenged in court by the federal government and by the United States Department of Justice, which is headed by Eric Holder.
One of the main arguments against voter ID laws in question is the fear that such laws would prevent a large number of poor and minority citizens from being able to vote. Opponents of the laws claim that the laws would disenfranchise the poorest of Americans, because they are unable to afford the time to vote, or pay the fees required to acquire the needed identification. The secondary argument against voter identification laws is that they are racist, as they discriminate against minorities.
One must only think about how often an ID is required in modern life, to realize the first argument does not have a strong basis.
Listed below are the functions of modern life that require photo identification:
1. Get a job
2. Cash a check
3. Open a bank account
4. Rent an apartment
5. Purchase a house
6. Receive food stamps
7. Apply for government public housing
8. Apply for college
9. Apply for unemployment benefits
10. Buy a gun
11. Obtain a gun carry permit.
12. Drive a car
13. Get on an airplane
14. Buy alcohol
15. Buy tobacco
16. See a doctor
17. Get a PO box
18. Apply for a hunting license
19. Apply for a fishing license
20. Rent a car
21. Apply for a permit to protest or hold a rally
22. Purchase a motor vehicle
23. Initial registration for a vehicle
24. Receive prescription medication
25. Purchase certain OTC medications
26. Check a book out from a local library
27. Visit a K-12 school as a parent
28. Credit card purchases
29. Interactions with law enforcement
30. Enter a college dorm
31. Enter any government facility (Even the Department of Justice)
32. Attend union rallies
33. Attend political campaign events (Even Eric Holder’s speaking events)
34. Take the SAT
35. Purchase a lottery ticket
36. Pawn something a at pawn shop
37. See an “R” rated movie
38. Get into bars/nightclubs
Are these everyday requirements for a photo ID are racist or prejudice against the poor? It is difficult to justify any claims of a racist basis for ID laws, as race does not figure in the ability to obtain an ID. Even using the weak argument of cost, there are far fewer minorities below the poverty level than there are among the Caucasian majority. (Cite needed)
The estimated budget for the planned one hour and forty-five minute production is $200,000. This money will be divided over the year and a half production period between: research, crew, equipment, filming, and development.
Some of the budget will go towards interviews with elected officials, and other government officials, as well as the members of Project Veritas. Other possible interviews may include news media professionals and political pundits. Permission will be sought for some of Project Veritas’ own undercover videos to be featured, such as the one in which a stranger is handed Eric Holder’s ballot. Also featured will be the state battles to implement voter identification laws. Visuals will include maps depicting which states have and which do not have voter ID laws, and a montage of aspects of everyday life that require a photo ID.
With the fate of our country resting on our ability to express our hopes for this country through voting, it seems illogical not to secure the process to the greatest possible. The citizens of this great nation have the right to vote, but that right is under attack from those who only seek undeserved power. It is up to us to prevent our right from falling to the wayside.
Brandon, Michael, and Jon Cohen. “Poll: Voter ID Laws Have Support of a Majority of Americans.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.
Hispanic Link News Service, comp. “Voter ID Laws: Voter Integrity or Voter Suppression.” Voter ID Laws: Voter Integrity or Voter Suppression. VOXII, 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012.
"James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas." James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. Ed. James E. O’Keefe, III. Project Veritas, Inc, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.theprojectveritas.org/>.
Livengood, Chad. “Secretary of State: 4K Noncitizens on Voter Rolls From The Detroit News.” The Detroit News. The Detroit News, 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012.
Registering Tim Tebow and Tom Brady to Vote in Minnesota. Prod. James E. O’Keefe, III. Perf. “Timothy Tebow” and “Thomas Brady” YouTube. Veritasvisuals, 07 Feb. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.
"State by State Voter ID Laws." Ballotpedia. The Lucy Burns Institute, 30 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.
Steve Contorno, Steve. “Virginia Won’t Further Probe Charges of Illegal Voter Registration.” Washington Examiner. Washington Examiner, 06 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.
US Attorney General Eric Holder’s Ballot to Vote Offered to Total Stranger. Prod. James E. O’Keefe, III. Perf. Eric Holder and “Eric Holder” YouTube. Veritasvisuals, 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012.
49 Notes/ Hide
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- kohenari said: I like the repeated use of O’Keefe as a source. His work has been referred to as “selective,” “deceptive,” and “manipulative.” Personally, I’d go with actual political science research on this topic instead: bit.ly/17luXSf
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