The big steal, I mean big deal

A hardy congratulation should be extended to the Mississippi snake oil salesmen for the sale of a cure, a voter photo ID law, to a healthy patient. The key to the sale was yelling voter fraud and successfully conflating absentee ballot fraud with voter impersonation the putative target of this Jim Crow-flavored law. Studies have shown that voter impersonation occurs anywhere from .0009 to .00004 per cent of the time1. Mississippi will now pay 1.5 million tax dollars for a photo ID law2 to cure this truly debilitating disease. But the beauty of the deal is the effective power shift the people were persuaded to make. Mississippians have decided that the executive branch, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is now a big player in voting; MDPS will determine which “qualified elector” will receive a photo ID3, thus to an extent supplanting the traditional voting-access-provider role of the circuit clerks in the electors’ home counties. And then there’s the lagniappe, an out-of-pocket, unconstitutionally-mandated fee; can you say poll tax? You can only get a “free” photo ID if the MDPS determines that you “cannot afford such identification.3” Great deal for the low, low installation price of $1.5 million, right?

11-14-2011

Leave a Reply