For Release: November 5, 2007
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11
Anti-Photo ID Legislation Would Promote Election Fraud, Says Group
Washington, D.C. - Legislation introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) to prohibit photo ID requirements for voting in federal elections would promote election fraud, say members of the black leadership network Project 21.
"Representative Ellison's proposal is fundamentally flawed and potentially harmful to the integrity of our democratic process," said Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie. "Why invite that which can only lead to unimaginable fraud and corruption?"
Imposing existing Minnesota election law on a national scale, the "Voter Access Protection Act of 2007" (H.R. 4026) would ban the use of photo ID for voter verification in federal elections. Rep. Ellison calls photo ID requirements "burdensome" and liken them to a "modern-day poll tax." He further charges that the Bush Administrations enforcement of voting rights issues effectively promotes "voter suppression of minorities, seniors and young people."
"The Ellison bill will do nothing more than encourage situations in which legitimate minority, elderly and poor voters - among others - will be disfranchised by non-citizens and corrupt political activists," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "Americans are already required to present photo ID for things such as banking and travel. I must show a photo ID if I want to try to talk to Representative Ellison about his bill in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, but I presently do not need to show any identification to vote for him back in Minnesota. To compare voter security precautions to a poll tax is reprehensible."
Project 21 members suggest that voting rights groups - many of which accept taxpayer funds - offer services to ensure those currently without valid ID can obtain them.
"Photo ID is not the problem. Photo ID is the solution," added Project 21's Massie. "The rational and responsible response to complaints about a photo ID requirement is to help those who absolutely cannot get identification without assistance. If groups such as ACORN can afford to conduct voter registration and voter education and transport people to the polls on Election Day, they should certainly be able to transport and subsidize the cost of IDs for those who need them as well. If they cannot undertake this pro-active action when they can afford to lobby and litigate against photo ID requirements, they reveal their concerns are disingenuous."
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.