28 June 2011: Amid the Voter Photo I.D. Epidemic,
a Republican Surprise
There are some good Republicans in this country. I was counting them on my left hand this morning: Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Chafee, Eisenhower did some good things, and Nixon proposed a single-payer health care plan back in the early seventies.
That makes four, at least, putting together two halves (halves?) to form one unit, and I'm sure there are more. I interviewed one for my once and future book on election integrity, a Buddhist election integrity activist, and even told him I was ecstatic to discover him so that I could praise a Republican somewhere in my book. He was ecstatic, too.
Now I have discovered another good Republican to write about. The total is now six--OK, six and a half; Teddy Roosevelt was a conservationist.
Former Republican speaker of the Ohio HR John Husted was elected to the post of secretary of state of Ohio in 2010, after the SOS of that time, the progressive Jennifer Brunner, nicknamed "ACORN Queen" by her detractors, stepped down to run for U.S. Senate.
Husted has dared to oppose photo i.d. legislation backed by his Ohio copartisans.
Called a died-in-the wool Republican, Husted told the Columbus Dispatch that
"if you want to have any credibility, you've got to do what you said you would do [during an election campaign]. I said I'd be fair and even-handed."
There is a lethal epidemic in this country of state legislative bodies passing laws to require picture i.d.s of all citizens who dare exercise their right to vote. The idea is to avoid voter fraud, but that happens far less often than do other forms of election corruption, unfortunately all attributable to the GOP, as is the i.d. epidemic.
Why, we pay taxes without photo i.d.s, among other requirements of living in this country--rich (a few, anyway) and poor alike, as well as those remnants of the middle class still gasping for air.
Acceptable photo identification in Ohio includes a driver's license, passport, military card, or state-issued i.d.
So when Husted spoke out boldly and forcefully in opposition to this discriminatory obligation, which he said would eliminate many legal voters, progressives and other fair-minded people breathed a sigh of amazement. The requirement was first bundled in with other electoral issues by the Ohio state legislature, without success, and then more honestly rewritten as a discrete piece of legislation, which was also defeated.
In a gesture of compromise, a Senate committee in the state legislature last week offered to add social security numbers to the list of permissible voter identification, but the Republicans insist on photo i.d.s.
As of June 24, 2011, photo i.d.s are required of voters at the polls by ten states: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, and Tennessee. Kansas and Wisconsin have passed new laws requiring photo i.d.s, and legislation is pending and expected to pass in New Hampshire.