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Hardball Fill-in Host Smerconish Rehashes Smear That GOP Trying to Disenfranchise Voters with ID Laws

Ken Shepherd's picture

From time to time, MSNBC hosts like to do their part to further the meme that Republicans are out to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies such as blacks and the elderly by using voter ID laws as a back-door way to discourage voting by those groups.

Today Hardball fill-in host Michael Smerconish picked up the baton, interviewing Michael Waldman of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice about his group's claim that its new "comprehensive study" finds five million Americans will be effectively disenfranchised in 2012 thanks to new voter ID laws in numerous states.

For his part, Smerconish did play a bit of devil's advocate:

I know having had this conversation with my radio audience, many people say, "Well, wait a minute, I show a photo ID for every aspect of my life, why shouldn't I show some level of identification to go vote?"

In response, Waldman reiterated the talking point about how in Texas, a student ID doesn't suffice as identification to vote, but a concealed carry permit does:

The fact is I actually don't have a problem with voter ID, I have problems with requiring forms of ID that people don't have.... To give you a sense of the political nature of how precisely these laws seem to target certain voters, Gov. Perry in Texas just signed a law saying that you can no longer use your University of Texas ID to vote but you can use your gun license.

That's the kind of political gamesmanship that unfortunately is pervading this thing. Nobody wants fraud, all the eligible people should be able to vote, but my goodness, we ought to be able to come up with a way to require ID that people actually have.

College kids tend to vote liberal and Democratic while concealed carry permit holders are more likely to be conservative and Republican, ergo this is all political, Waldman is arguing.

Smerconish failed to challenge Waldman on the point, even though there is a substantial difference between a concealed carry license and a university ID: the former has the address of the licensee on the card, enabling polling precinct officials to check it against the voter rolls, the latter does not.

What's more, to even get a University of Texas, Austin ID card, you need to furnish, you guessed it, a government-issued ID card such as a (emphasis mine):

  • Driver's license from the United States or Canada
  • Valid learner's permit or temporary license (must include photograph) from the United States or Canada
  • U.S. Military ID
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • Alien registration card with photo (INS form I-151 or I-551)
  • U.S. citizen ID card (INS form I-197)
  • Resident citizen card (INS form I-179)

You'll notice many of those documents are possessed by non-citizens who, of course, cannot legally vote in federal elections, which may be another reason why a university ID doesn't suffice to establish identity and eligibility to vote.

By contrast, to get a concealed carry license in Texas, you need to furnish the following forms of identification:

  • Social security number,
  • Valid driver license or identification card,
  • Current demographic, address, contact, and employment information,
  • Residential and employment information for the last five years (new users only),
  • Information regarding any psychiatric, drug, alcohol, or criminal history (new users only),
  • Valid email address, and
  • Valid credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express)

That sounds a lot more onerous to me, but I don't expect either Smerconish or Waldman are concerned about the Texans who are deprived unnecessarily of fully enjoying their 2nd Amendment rights thanks to a lack of government-issued ID or by virtue of not owning any credit cards.


#1 He complains...

He complains about disenfranchising voters with ID's? How about the state of Illinois that disenfranchises Conservative voters by Gerrymandering six Conservative districts so the Democrats, aka, Marxist/Socialist/Communist can win six more seats in Congress? These crooked, lying, deceitful, buzzards belong in jail along with Chairman Hussein!

"Old Soldiers never die, they just fade away"!

#2 vote

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid - three good reasons stupid people should not vote!


#3 Wahhhh

I'm sick of these liberal hosts complaining about voter laws. Jesus, how hard is it to show a drivers license when you go to vote? In Ohio, you have to either show a drivers license, government ID or military ID. And if you don't have those you can show a current cell phone bill, utility bill, government check, bank statement or paycheck....I'm serious, no joke.

#4 How evil it is to want to safeguard voting

Call me crazy, but the only people I want voting are citizens of this country.  And, the way I see it, in this day and age, with computers being what they are, I don't see why photos can't be included on voter registration cards. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#5 Certain Talking Points (Lies) Are Required By CNN.

The whole name of the news game as it is based in New York for the last 75 years is based on "Access." To get access you have to pay the gate keepers. In most of those years that has been the DNC; sometimes it has been the Civil Service sometime a political election committee but never the RNC.
He makes the noises required of him and CNN gets the leaks that Democratic staffers are giving out, maybe CNN avoids being investigated. They have their producers up to speed when something interesting happens in a Senate committee or news conference. Seldom is it a direct quip pro quo in money terms as it was with NBC GE in the 2008 election and the billions of dollars of bailout money

Dumbing down the news consuming public has been the goal of the access media since the 1890's they are not going to admit this nor are they going to put up with anything that would reduce the numbers of idiots voting.

#6 Makes you wonder if you need

Makes you wonder if you need a ID for Welfare/EBT cards, Food Stamps, WIC, public housing, fuel oil credits, student loans...

I'm sure I've missed many other Rights programs.

#7 Dan

Of course ID is not required for those "entitlements." You're obviously a racist for even thinking that.


President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#8 These laws disenfranchise the largest block of liberal voters...

...those who are deceased.

#9 Gives the term "digging up votes"...

...a literal sense.

#10 They'll demand that those

They'll demand that those "absentee" (permanently) votes be accepted, but challenge any and all absentee military votes.

#11 Black people don't have ID?

I never got this whole talking point from the left that requiring people to show ID when they vote is somehow going to disenfranchise black people. It's not like the DMV turns down people because they are black. I'm so sick of hearing this stuff.

#12 Soft bigotry of low expectations

Actually, the point is, liberals think minorities are too STUPID to have proper ID.

Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#13 and... 4,999,758 of them

have been dead for at least 10 years so ID's are a bit of a tough go

#14 Philly Joke

Smerconish loves to create controversy to advance the liberal meme. In Philly, they just extended the date where people in Philadelphia can file for disaster relief due to Hurricane Irene. The funny thing is is that the city requires all recipients to prove residency in the city by showing ID.

#15 Those who oppose ID requirements support illegal voting. Period.

And they are usually the recipients of vast numbers of illegal votes.

CANDIDATE Obama: 'Yes, we CAN'.


#16 The same losers that haul the

The same losers that haul the criminals to the voting booth can also haul them down to get a valid ID instead of stopping at the liquor store to buy them smokes and a six pack.

Non, je ne regrette rien. "You aren't angry because I might be a racist, you're angry because you know I'm right".

#17 what is he......

is he a republican this week or a lowlife democrat....he's a phila nobody
gives a sh__ what the marblehead has to say.

#18 Dems can only argue by character assassination

They accuse conservatives of wanting to "disenfranchise" blacks, because they have no rational arguments for not requiring any ID. As usual, leftists use ad hominem attacks because that's all they've got. Their positions are idiotic, and impossible to defend by coherent arguments.

They can't say, "We want ID-free voting because it allows us to steal elections better," can they? That's THEIR motive (as long as we're attacking motives).

#19 Why no hand wringing....

when all the Democratic voters have to show ID's when they sign up for their 99 weeks of unemployment, food stamps, WIC, and welfare?
That certainly doesn't seem to be "disenfran..." scaring them away.

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