At first glance, it seems appropriate to require voters to show photo ID cards.
But stop and think: What sort of person is unlikely to have a driver license or similar card? Answer: the poor, young blacks, the aged, Hispanics, teens -- all groups who tend to vote Democratic.
That's why Republican legislators across America are waging an all-out drive to clamp restrictions on voting. They claim they're doing it to stop "vote fraud," but that's a smoke screen. In reality, the new laws amount to vote fraud themselves because they're designed to block left-leaning people from the polls.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University estimates that 5 million Americans could be prevented from voting this year because of GOP-passed state laws requiring picture IDs, halting election-day registration, curbing early and absentee balloting, etc.
"To put that number in some perspective, it is larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections," Brennan Center leader Lawrence Norden testified before Congress.
He said about 11 percent of Americans lack driver licenses -- and the lack is enormous among low-income groups who generally vote Democratic. "For instance, according to one study, 78 percent of African-Americans in Wisconsin aged 18 to 24 do not have a driver's license," he testified.
Brazenly, Texas and Tennessee allow voters to show pistol licenses at the polls, but not college student IDs. Guess which group leans right, and which leans left?
Florida threw so many obstacles in the path of registration drives that the League of Women Voters quit such efforts -- until a federal judge stopped the obstruction.
"State lawmakers nationwide have introduced more than 180 bills to restrict voting rights, a trend that began during the George W. Bush administration," The San Jose Mercury News wrote. "... Courts and the federal government are stopping some of these attempts, but it's like playing Whack-A-Mole ... . The driving force behind the movement is the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council."
The council says it's acting to halt rampant illegal voting -- but that's laughable. The Brennan Center says: "It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another person at the polls."
Meanwhile, in several states, mass-phone "robocalls" into poor neighborhoods gave residents false information -- some pretending to come from Democratic headquarters -- to trick people into staying home on Election Day.What's occurring is a deliberate conspiracy to prevent liberal-minded groups from voting. We hope West Virginia's leaders do whatever they can to stop it.