- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
House bill to require voter ID
The House yesterday passed legislation that would require voters to show a valid photo identification in federal elections over the overwhelming objections of Democrats who compared the bill to segregation-era measures aimed at disenfranchising Southern blacks.
The Federal Election Integrity Act was approved on a nearly party-line 228-196 vote. Republicans backed the bill 224-3, with three nonvoters; Democrats opposed it 192-4, with five nonvoters. They were joined in opposition by the House’s one independent member.
The bill, which faces an uncertain future in the Senate, is part of a Republican effort to complete before the November elections a package of proposals aimed at curbing illegal immigration and its effects on ordinary Americans.
The so-called “Voter ID” bill, aimed at stamping out voter fraud, would require voters in federal elections to provide picture identification by 2008 and provide proof of U.S. citizenship by 2010. It was among the recommendations made last year by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican.
“Effective voter registration and voter identification are bedrocks of a modern election system,” they wrote in their final report.
But Democrats, siding with groups that work on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens, called the bill a “modern-day poll tax” and said it would place an insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights.
Rep. Brian Bilbray, California Republican, countered that the real infringement upon voting rights would be allowing fraudulent votes by the dead or illegal “to cancel out legitimate votes.”
“That is the violation of the Voters Rights Act that we have not addressed,” he told colleagues before the vote.
Democrats, who have long demanded reforms to the federal voting process, yesterday dismissed Republican concerns about voter fraud.
“Show me the examples of the problem you’re trying to solve,” demanded Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat who accused Republicans of trying to appeal to the “fear and — yes, perhaps — the prejudices of people.”
A Republican cited a study by Johns Hopkins University that found 1,500 dead people who had voted in recent elections. Mr. Hoyer belittled the study, saying no criminal convictions for voter fraud had been won in any of those cases.
Mr. Bilbray pointed out that such convictions might be obtained if proper identification were required.
“Voter fraud is not something you can come back to after the fraud is committed,” he said. “The person who voted for those dead people is long gone by the time it comes up on the record.”
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida Republican, urged support of the bill because, she said, it would prevent illegal aliens from voting in U.S. elections.
“It’s outrageous and inexcusable that voters do not have to show proof of citizenship in order to vote in an election,” she said. “Illegal immigrants are populating this country at an unprecedented number, and it is unjust and unfair to citizens of this country that noncitizens should have a hand in electing federal officials.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow