NOTHSTINE: Show me your papers except when voting

Voting is fast becoming the last sacred realm of privacy and protection that many progressive overseers offer citizens. Virtually every other government interaction requires identification and or cumbersome compliance and paperwork. Individual state efforts to shape common sense laws and guidelines in matters pertaining to the vote, on behalf of their citizens by the way, is of little relevance to judicial activists.The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is almost universally praised for profoundly reversing the disenfranchisement of many Southern black voters. The latest ruling against the voter identification law in North Carolina overturns an impressive 485-page district court opinion, choosing instead to bend civil rights legislation for partisan purposes. Last week, measures in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Texas met a similar fate.North Carolina lawmakers crafted the legislation with “discriminatory intent,” judges declared. (The legal importance of “intent” was resurrected after taking a leave of absence to clear Hillary Clinton of federal charges.)Despite frequent claims to the contrary, voter fraud is real and a sad part of the American tradition. It’s possible Lyndon Johnson would not be a household name in America if not for ballot stuffing. Richard Nixon probably would have been elected president in 1960 if not for rampant voter fraud in Chicago, which tipped Illinois and the election to John F. Kennedy.In 2004, Washington certified its Democrat governor after a third recount by a little over a hundred votes. Except that King County, which includes Seattle, had more votes cast in the election than registered voters. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer uncovered evidence of dead people who had their votes counted. In Louisiana, former governor Earl Long made a joke of voter fraud in his state, saying, “When I die I want to be buried in Louisiana so I can stay active in politics.”Accusations of election fraud, sometimes from the right, are often wildly exaggerated. Donald Trump declared on the campaign trail this week that the rulings against voter ID laws would cause some to vote as many as 10 times and said that the election might be “rigged.” While problems exist, there’s no evidence of a rigged election.The integrity of elections is a legitimate concern, however. Over 30 states require some kind of identification to vote. There is no credible evidence of voter suppression under existing ID laws. After a similar ID law in Indiana passed in 2006, minority voters surged in the next election.In North Carolina, state Rep. David Lewis artfully took down an NBC reporter in June who penned a story about a man who complained of not being able to vote because of the new law in North Carolina. He dismantled a litany of complaints against voter ID on his website, but the true indictment against the seemingly sympathetic story came when Lewis unveiled that the man “has yet to vote in any election held in our state,” despite being registered for 18 years. Surely, Lewis asked, he could have voted without ID in any of the 20 or so elections since 1998? Under the North Carolina voter ID law the man, of course, could still vote with a provisional ballot.When the decision was announced, North Carolina Republican Party chairman Dallas Woodhouse said “there are absolutely no winners in this today.” He was right to point out that the losers were North Carolinians, but wrong about the winners. The winners are partisans who benefit from the judicial engineering that is hollowing out self-government and democracy.