Voting Rights Hypocrisy – Commentary by Frank Gillispie
"The U.S. Justice Department approved a controversial Georgia law
requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls," the news item
declared. Immediately following the statement, the same news item quoted
State Representative Tyrone Brooks threatening a federal law suit to
stop the law from going into effect. Brooks is further identified as the
chairman of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.
Now, this little news item really gets my semi-self educated brain to
working overtime. There is so much to say about it that I am not sure
where to start.
First, the right to vote. Some of our rights are God given, like the
right to life, the right to freedom of religion, the right of free
speech, the right to be secure in our property and the right to own the
means of protecting our life and property. Other rights, like the right to
drive a car or the right to practice medicine, come from the
But in either case, it is the responsibility of the individual to
qualify himself to hold the right. If you want to drive a car, you have to
be able to pass the test.
Now the right to vote is a combination of the two. The right to
determine what form of government we live under is a God given right. We
have an equal right to ignore the political process if we so choose. Laws
that safeguard the right to vote come from the states. They are mostly
intended to assure that those voting do so in a legal fashion. You
cannot vote multiple times. You must live in the district where you vote.
You must be of age, and a citizen of good standing.
Now the voter Identification Law, the one that Tyrone Brooks is so
upset about is designed to assure that only legally registered voters vote.
Most specifically, it is intended to assure that the flood of illegal
immigrants do not influence the voting process. It is a good start to
protecting our right to have a government of the People, not of the
If there is a flaw in the law it is that it does not go far enough. As
I said above, each individual is responsible for their right to vote.
I would prefer that each prospective voter be required to present
themselves in person at the registrars office with proof of citizenship,
(birth certificate or naturalization papers) and residence (rent receipt,
electric bill). I would like to see the registrars office actually
produce a photo ID for voters with a bar code that identifies their proper
Our voting machines could be modified to read the voters ID card and
record their voting record automatically. That would assure that only
properly registered voters have access to the ballot, and that no one
will be able to "steal" their vote.
Every eligible citizen who cares enough to take part in the election
process can easily obtain the cards. Those who do not care need not
bother. Those who wish to defeat the will of the majority by registering
ineligible voters will be blocked in their nefarious efforts.
Now, do you realize that the Georgia Association of Black Elected
Officials, headed by Tyrone Brooks, that is so upset about a rule that may
prevent ineligibles from voting is the same group that worked so hard to
prevent those Georgians who supported the '56 flag from having an
opportunity to vote their opinion? They clearly only defend the right to
vote of those who they think will support their brand of politics.
And: is it not clear that any group that specifies that you belong to
a particular race, such as the Georgia Association of Black Elected
Officials, to qualify for membership is a racist organization?
Can you say Hypocrisy?
Copyright © August 31, 2005 by Frank Gillispie