In his obsessive campaign to demonstrate that there is rampant voter fraud in America, James O’Keefe once again proves that the only fraud being perpetrated is by himself and his cohorts.
The latest in a series of comically lame videos features one of O’Keefe’s minions entering a polling place in Washington, D.C. and requesting the ballot for Attorney General Eric Holder. This is a ruse that O’Keefe’s camp has tried before with similarly pointless results.
By requesting a ballot in the name of someone else, the O’Keefee proved that he could break a law that has severe penalties including fines and imprisonment. The notion that enough scofflaws to sway an election would expose themselves to such risk is preposterous. What the O’Keefee did not prove is that there is any evidence of such criminality taking place. That’s what is so dishonest and lazy about this sort of stunt. A legitimate journalist would not waste time pretending to commit a crime that is not being committed by any actual criminals. A legitimate journalist would attempt to document whether any such crimes were actually occurring and what effect they have had on elections. In fact, such journalism has been conducted and revealed that the problem being hyped by O’Keefe is practically non-existent.
This phony exercise by the O’Keefee is something like walking into a convenience store, pulling out a banana and demanding all the cash from the register, then posting the video of the “robbery” online along with a conclusion that holdups at banana-point are a serious national problem and that laws must be enacted to prevent them. Of course, to the best of my knowledge, there are very few banana-related crimes, and the act of pretending to commit one is not an argument for stricter law enforcement to protect innocent citizens from felonious fruit.
Advocates of voter ID laws often insinuate that opponents are in favor of voter fraud. They ask, with all the sincerity of a snake oil peddler, why anyone would oppose such laws. Then they refuse to actually listen to the answer. If there any of them reading this, here is the simple answer that you are so desperate to avoid: Enacting laws that will have the effect of preventing as many as 21 million eligible citizens from exercising their right to vote, in order to prevent barely a handful of illusive fraudulent votes, makes no sense from the perspective of either law or democracy.
The voter ID laws proposed by conservatives only make sense if your goal is to disenfranchise voters who have difficulties acquiring IDs that satisfy the arcanely crafted laws – typically students, seniors, and low-income citizens. It’s a tactic that amounts to stealing elections by not permitting your political adversaries to cast ballots.
The hackneyed and irrelevant stunts performed by O’Keefe and company provide no justification for denying the voting rights of millions of Americans. They only serve to further embarrass O’Keefe and expose him to additional criminal penalties such as those to which he pleaded guilty in Louisiana.