Letters to the Editor

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VOTING: Focus on providing valid ID

Letter by Hank Harwell, Tacoma on Jan. 16, 2012 at 11:50 am with 6 Comments »
January 17, 2012 10:36 am

Re: “The big lie about voter fraud” (letter, 1-15).

The writer wants to claim since voter fraud isn’t rampant it’s not a problem voters should concern themselves with.

With elections being decided with razor-thin margins, voter fraud doesn’t have to be rampant to swing elections. One thing is certain, however: Every time an illegitimate vote is cast, a legitimate voter is disenfranchised.

The truth is we don’t really know how much voter fraud goes on since very few seem to be interested in conducting a thorough investigation to find out. Liberal Democrats certainly aren’t interested in finding out.

I’m curious if the writer was equally distraught over the plight of the elderly voters who were intimidated by a couple of Black Panthers at the polls in Pennsylvania as he is with a requirement to show a valid ID to vote.

Obviously our attorney general, Eric Holder, didn’t seem too concerned. If a requirement to show a valid ID to vote is such a major problem for the writer and others of a similar mindset, why don’t they focus their attention in seeing that every legitimate voter has a valid ID rather than take a chance of disenfranchising legitimate voters?

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. This letter started out very well, focusing on the percent of actual voter fraud, as if to say “Is there really a problem with voter fraud that’s big enough to worry about?” A sentiment expressed by others in another thread on this same topic.

    But then in paragraph 4, Hank veered HARD TO THE RIGHT to bring up the issue of probably the rarest incidence of alleged racist voter fraud by a couple of black men who may have scared some old white people.

    We can discuss prevention of voter fraud, and voter registration fraud, but does it always have to be framed by these outlandish anomalies?

  2. fanciladi says:

    I agree with the writer re:the Black Panthers at the polls. They got a pass, which seems, in opinion, because they were black. This Administration has a racist problem…they seem to give those of color, namely black a pass on a lot of issues.

    This Black Panther issue was one of the most important to me as a voter…it was wittnessed, recorded and shown on TV and the Administration didn’t even give a patootie about it. A total shame!!!

    There is voter fraud of many kinds…and this was an openly visible one…others are hidden, but they are there!!!

  3. alindasue says:

    Mr. Harwell,

    Despite the obvious political slant of your letter, your idea about focussing attention on assuring that every voter is able to obtain a legitimate ID is a good one. That should be our focus.

    People cite cost as a reason why some poor people don’t have current identification, but in reality the $20 is negligible. The biggest hurdle is the “you need ID to get ID” situation.

    They have made the documentation requirements for ID so strict that even items you might think would count, such as an old expired ID, don’t count to prove who you are – despite the fact that anti-forgery devises have been used on ID cards for well over a decade.

    A few months ago, I had to help someone with a Washington State ID that had been expired six years try to find four “B-list documents” that he could use to get his ID.

    Look at the list:

    He doesn’t drive and doesn’t own a car. He’s living with relatives (so no property related documents). He was born out of state, but in the US (so no documents related to immigration or similar issues). He had a copy of his Social Security card, but it wasn’t signed and once he’d presented it unsigned they refused to take it after he’d signed it.

    Fortunately, he was divorced so he had that document. By the time the copies of his marriage license, birth certificate, and DD 214 had arrived in the mail, it had taken him over two months to obtain his ID…

    All because the state refused to accept an ID card that was perfectly legitimate means of identifying him except it had been expired one year too long.

  4. alindasue says:

    Curious about the “Black Panther” situation that I had not previously heard about, I decided to look it up. I found a FOX News report on YouTube regarding the incident.


    Here’s what I found out:

    There had been two people in Black Panther uniforms. One reportedly had a nightstick. He had been told to leave the area by the police and he left. The remaining Black Panther (the one without the reported nightstick) was a “certified poll watcher”. The reporter himself said that “he can be here and should be here.”

    The reporter had been told by the Black Panther that he did not have permission to film him, yet the reporter continued to film and harass him.

    Someone else, not related to the Black Panther, had asked the reporter to leave and called the police. The police officer also asked the reporter to leave. The reporter refused to leave and quit harassing the polling place, citing his “constitutional right” to be “within ten feet of the door”.

    Based on the video, my take on the incident is much different than how its been represented in this forum. If anybody “got a pass”, I would say it was the reporter who even by his own admission stayed bothering people at the poll entrance after being asked to leave by the police.

  5. Interesting video. my question is, if the reporter had a legal right to be out in front of the polling place, as he adamantly asserted over and over again and supported by his claim the the Fox News Legal Department confirmed it, then didn’t the Black Panther also have a legal right to be outside the polling place? (Why, yes he did!)

    Was there a rash of Black Panthers swarming all over other polling places in PA, or was it just this one? I could NOT find any other reports of any other polling places nationwide in 2008 where Black Panthers were reported to be hovering. Although there were a lot of web hits on this one case of these two alleged Black Panthers at this one polling place is Philadelphia.

    Seems like someone’s trying to make a lot out of very little. And still, these alleged Black Panthers did not commit and were not charged with any crimes having to do with Vote Fraud.


  6. fanciladi says:

    Yes, it was an interesting video…there were some other ones, that gave more insight into the situation. Even that these guys were going to be prosecuted…but the BO Administration dropped it…

    Re: the video again…I have a lot of trouble trying to believe that man dressed up in the Black Panther outfit…he seems very un-trustable in my opinion.

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