For months, the left has been decrying the enactment of voter ID laws. They call them “Poll Taxes” and the “New Jim Crow.” They wrote articles on Texas’ “Extreme Voter ID Law” that “requires voters to show one of seven types of photo identification” – which is about as extreme as freshening your breath with two tic-tacs at once.
While Democrats are correct that such voter ID laws may be a political play to shrink their base, that does not excuse their consistent use of hyperbole that is more fitting of a Taco Bell menu than political discussion. Asking for the same ID to vote as it takes to buy a Smirnoff ice is basically about the same level of extremeness as dying taco shells red.
Perhaps there would be more outrage if people were being asked to give up their “spicy ranch sauce” in order to vote, but since they are just asked to government issued identification, like even the Canadians do, it is hard to see this as genuine concern and not simply Democrats cheering for their political team.
But because the voter ID laws were villainized by the Democrats, the liberal blogosphere cooked up dumber and dumber articles making claims that they were basically responsible for everything from Ferguson to annoyingly long CVS receipts.
The downward spiral is shown in Aaron Hanlon’s Salon piece “Millienials aren’t apathetic: Their vote is suppressed.” The author whips out such gems as this often repeated talking point:
In Texas, for example, a concealed handgun license is acceptable ID for voting, but a student ID is not.
That argument sounds intelligent – unless you think about it for three seconds and realize handgun permits, like elections, are controlled by the state, whereas student IDs are not. It’s a war cry that is about as sophisticated as, “Why can’t I use my college cafeteria’s dining dollars and meal swipes to pay my taxes!”
But Hanlon is not just a liberal parrot, he brings an entirely new set of schlock to the voter ID argument:
If we know that voter suppression tactics target young people, poor people and minorities, why are we pretending like low voter turnout among millennials is simply a matter of apathy?
Hanlon then whips stats about things like college graduation rates and the number of black people living in poverty versus the number of white people living in poverty. But what he doesn’t offer is a statistic relevant to voter turnout and the thesis of his article, because why would he?
Voter ID laws were concluded to be racist despite their neutral application and existence throughout the world – so why can’t they be declared to be ageist for no reason as well? Salon can claim that the newly enacted requirements are to blame for the low millenial turnout, even though that turnout is basically the same and perhaps higher than 2010. Because what is the internet for if not to speculate on statistics without having to bother to look at them?
But if you look at the states that enacted voter ID laws, the outcry looks even more ridiculous. The numbers show voter turnout was down across the entire country in 2010 and the youth actually made up a higher percentage of the total vote than in 2010. More importantly when it comes to the voter ID laws, Texas was in the middle of the pack in terms of the decline and North Carolina was one of the few states that actually increased its turnout.
That explains why Hanlon’s piece claims the millienial vote was surpressed, but then gives stats on Latino poverty rates rather instead of voter turnout – the relevant numbers simply don’t support his argument. The bigger question that remains is why do people still visit Salon when it publishes this misleading garbage?