Memo to AC: Chill

Mayor AC Wharton has disgraced himself with his library photo ID card idea for voting. Anyone who thought he was non partisan can now go back to watching Sesame Street and let the rest of us voters act like adult Americans.

First, it is not the job of a city mayor to decide what a valid ID is for the state. That’s why we have people in Nashville. It’s called the legislature. They take care of state wide issues such as proper voter registration. If every community decided what the standards would be for voting, we would have an unequal system. Someone in Chattanooga could say it was a work badge. Someone in Knoxville could say it was a University ID. Someone in a county could decide it was a property deed.

No, Wharton is not king of Tennessee and he should not exceed his powers. How someone votes in Shelby County impacts people in Knox county and others. They certainly did not elect Wharton and they probably would have more sense than to vote for him.

Wharton has been in government long enough to know this. What propels him is Democrat talking points handed down from the Obama administration via the Justice Department. They and Wharton want to sow seeds of doubt about the election. They want to incite their constituents, particularly blacks, to anger, hoping it will increase their numbers at the polls. It’s a reprehensible policy damaging to our country’s democracy.

In this city there are plenty of poll workers who are black and/or Democrat. They control most precincts. I can’t imagine them turning any voter away. The uneducated probably don’t realize that there are such things as provisional ballots whenever a citizen’s legitimate ID is questioned. If the provisional vote is verified, that vote counts. So what’s the problem?

In Memphis there are not the equivalent of the Black Panthers waiting at the polls to intimidate voters as the Black Panthers actually did in Philadelphia in 2008. Can you imagine the cries and outrage if there were? It wouldn’t – and shouldn’t – be tolerated. But it doesn’t exist anyhow.

Today’s editorial in The Commercial Appeal calls for us to “Keep options open on ID.” They proclaim that “the library system does due diligence in making sure the individuals to whom it issues library cards are who they say they are.” How do they know this? They don’t. They just assume “the library has a financial stake in ensuring the items they lend out are returned.” Really? Since when did a government agency employee care about waste and fraud? May I remind you of bath tub boy at the GAO?

The editors go on to pin the tale on the elephant when it comes to watching for voter fraud. “They have been adamant in claiming such measures are needed to protect the voting process from fraud, although few cases of fraud that would have been prevented by voter ID requirements have been recorded in recent years.”

Again, really? Where’s the proof? I remember a few years back when they found that a person dead since 1952 had voted regularly in Shelby County elections. I specifically remember that because the man had been dead longer than I’ve been alive! That’s just one quick example off the top of my head. God knows how many more of the dead have voted.

“The photo ID requirement in itself places an extra burden on some individuals,” they continue. And the problem is…?
Being a citizen requires some amount of effort. Being informed is one thing and getting yourself to get a photo ID if you happen to be one of the infinitesimally small numbers of those without a drivers license is another. Some of our ancestors really paid a price. They died in wars protecting our right to vote.

Surely doing the minimal of getting a photo is worth protecting our democracy.

The Democrats and the media know that. They just want to stir up discord in order to influence and assure elections go their way. Wharton knows that, too. Shame on him!

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