Marshall, MN – National pro-immigrant Republican group Cafe Con Leche Republicans today endorsed Minnesota’s voter ID constitutional amendment.
Voter ID is an excellent way of restoring public confidence in our elections. Vote fraud suppresses legitimate votes and can illegitimately throw close elections, and reasonable photo ID requirements for voting will reduce one form of vote fraud. Numerous audits of voter rolls in various states have found dead people and ineligible felons registered to vote. For example, a New York Daily News investigation found 46,000 voters registered to vote in both New York and Florida, and hundreds voted in both NY and FL! The Supreme Court agreed, in upholding Indiana’s photo ID requirement:
Unfortunately, the United States has a long history of voter fraud that has been documented by historians and journalists” – Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
[C]onfidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy. Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government. Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised.
Minnesota leads the nation in documented cases of vote fraud with over 200 recent convictions, and has the least secure election system. For example, a person can register on election day without ID if someone “vouches” for them. Only two states allow for vouching, and just six states do not provide for provisional ballots. Each year, approximately 6,000 verification cards from voters who registered on election day are returned non-deliverable indicating more than likely they used an invalid address, and perhaps a fake name as well, making it near impossible to identify and prosecute fraudulent voters.
Opponents of voter ID have constructed largely baseless arguments, claiming voter ID requirements have a disparate impact on minorities, the elderly, etc. There is nothing racist about requiring everyone to show photo ID at the polls or to register to vote. As long as states do not charge a fee for a photo ID for voting and do not create unreasonable barriers in obtaining photo ID, there is no reason why states should not require photo ID for voting.
Most voter ID laws have been upheld by the courts, which generally have found no unreasonable impediments to obtaining ID for the small minority of Americans who do not already have photo ID. Opponents of photo ID often cite a study be the Brennan Center, claiming up to 10% of voters lack photo ID. We find it hard to imagine that 10% of our adult population cannot cash a check, buy liquor, or pass an airport TSA checkpoint because they lack photo ID, and we doubt polls sponsored by advocacy groups, especially since there are credible polls showing less than 1% of registered voters lack photo ID. For example, American University found that less than one-half of 1 percent of registered voters in Maryland, Indiana, and Mississippi lacked a government-issued ID. A 2006 survey of more than 36,000 voters found that only 23 people in the entire sample would be unable to vote because of an ID requirement.
We know of no state that unreasonably denies photo ID to Latinos and other minorities. However, the Obama State Department routinely denies passports to midwife birthed Latino citizens. A recent report showed 93% of those arrested under Secure Communities are Latino, though Latinos are 78% of the unauthorized immigrant population, and almost 50% of those arrested were not arrested for criminal acts, confirming widespread complaints that Latinos are often arrested rather than cited for minor traffic infractions in order to investigate their immigration status. The same study found 3,600 U.S. Citizens have been falsely arrested under Secure Communities. Few self respecting adult Latinos go out in public anymore without ID since a routine encounter with police for a traffic infraction as minor as frost on the windows can result in arrest rather than traffic citation. The Obama administration has very aggressively rolled out Secure Communities nationwide despite widespread complaints.
Strangely, Obama’s DOJ has sent hundreds of agents to investigate legitimate voter ID laws in dozens of states and files generally fruitless lawsuits to delay voter ID implementation, but is nowhere to be found investigating passport denials to midwife birthed Latino citizens, or the disparate impact of the Secure Communities program on Latinos. This same DOJ refused to prosecute a flagrant case of voter intimidation by New Black Panthers, after the case was largely already won by the Bush DOJ. Apparently, laws, policies, etc. that have a disparate impact on minorities are only of interest to the Obama administration when it comes to protecting vote fraud. The DOJ needs to investigate discriminatory practices, but the emphasis on voter ID at the expense of protecting citizens against racial profiling and citizenship stripping is entirely misplaced, and highlights the politicization of Obama’s DOJ.
The voter ID amendment addresses the lack of security in Minnesota’s elections, while not erecting unreasonable barriers to voting. We fully support voter ID.
About Us – Cafe Con Leche Republicans is a national organization of Republicans who welcome “New Americans”, defined as immigrants and family of recent immigrants. Our mission is to make America and the GOP, more welcoming to “New Immigrants” through political activism, “in-reach” and education within the Republican Party, and lobbying government to adopt more immigrant friendly policies. We also seek to bring more conservative and moderate “New Americans” to the Republican Party. These efforts will strengthen the GOP, and lead more Republicans to embrace welcoming policies for immigrants and their families. We have members nationwide, with chapters in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and California. Our members and leadership are predominantly Hispanic, though we define ourselves by mission and guiding principles, not ethnicity, and we welcome all who share our goals. Our leadership is 100% Republican.