Sunday's op-ed in the Toledo Blade
Truth missing in ‘Truth about national voting rights’ op-ed
A lot of truth was left out of “The whole truth about national voting rights legislation” op-ed of Jan. 19.
In her column, liberal activist Catherine Turcer conveniently leaves out the most significant change in the Democrats’ so-called “voting rights act.” The proposed law, as passed by the House, has a provision that would prohibit states from requiring a voter to present a valid ID to vote, by requiring that states must accept — in lieu of an ID — a “sworn written statement, attesting to the individual’s identity and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote.
That provision would gut the requirement for any ID and would effectively permit an individual to go from one polling place to another all day long and sign a “sworn written statement,” and then vote at that polling place. Such votes,once cast on a voting machine, could never be undone, or uncounted.
Today in Ohio, if a voter lacks ID, they can vote provisionally and that ballot, which is kept separate on a paper ballot in a secure envelope, is counted only if the identity is verified.
The second outrageous and false claim is the foundation of Ms. Turcer’s column — that “the legislation has a long history of bipartisan support.” This is blatantly untrue. This legislation, H.R. 4, passed with not a single Republican vote in the House last fall and is not remotely the same as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, renewed in 2006. It’s the “Voting Rights Act of 1965” that has a history of bipartisan support and was reauthorized by the Congress in 2006; not this completely partisan attempt to subvert state voting laws and procedures.
Not surprisingly, Ms. Turcer fails to mention that the Voting Rights Act, reauthorized for 25 years and expanded in 2006, remains in full force and effect, until 2032. That law, which continues to have bipartisan support, imposes strict requirements on the states and allows for any person who believes his or her right to vote is infringed, to bring an action to prevent such violations.
There is no need to pass a federal bill that would destroy state election systems and processes that work well, such as the one we have here in Ohio. Our system of a professional bipartisan staff working under a bipartisan Board of Elections, assures that, as Secretary of State Frank LaRose is fond of saying, “It should be easy to vote, and hard to cheat.”
The writer is Chairman of the Lucas County Board of Elections.
In his op-ed, conservative Republican political appointee, David Karmol, conveniently sneaks in misinformation while accusing Catherine Turcer of being untruthful. He trots out the same old lies used to 'justify' voter suppression. The state election systems and processes in Ohio that he claims work so well, produced district maps that were among the most unfair in the country. The most consequential portion of the Voting Rights Act Of 1965 was gutted by the partisan Supreme Court. And what did the wonderful state election systems do immediately after Section 4b was struck down? They instituted some of the most suppressive voting laws since Jim Crow.
Mr.Karmol quotes one of the least intelligent things Frank LaRose has ever said. It is already hard to cheat (and for many, it is hard to vote). Cheating is so hard that real voter fraud rarely happens. A study by the Brennan Center found that the actual rate of voter fraud was between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. It is more likely an indivdual will be struck by lightning than commit in-person or m voter fraud (it is the same with mail-in voting). So, when Mr. Karmol frets about an individual going from one polling place to another my question is, why would any sane person do that? The risk of getting caught and facing fines and imprisonment is far greater than the reward of the minuscule effect this felony might have. No, I am afraid the voter ID laws that Mr. Karmol wants to be imposed are racist and unnecessary. Mr. Karmol is presenting the same strawmen that every anti-voting rights advocate does.
Not to worry, Mr. Karmol, it doesn't matter if I think you are a political hack or not. You're appointed and there is nothing I can do about it.
The writer is not a political-appointee partisan hack
Okay, I added that last part. It won't appear if the letter gets published