The statistics cited by Laura Murphy of the ACLU (Letters, June 12, responding to "Holder's Racial Incitement," June 1) defending the Justice Department and the ACLU's suits filed against state voter ID laws would be amusing if not for their serious consequences. The ACLU's case in Wisconsin is based on the fact that "blacks and Latinos are 182% and 206% more likely to lack accepted photo IDs than whites, respectively." According to U.S. Census data, there were 3.6 million potential white voters in Wisconsin in 2008, 199,000 blacks and 150,000 Latinos.
It is worth noting in Wisconsin that 145,000 (73.1%) of the potential 199,000 black voters were registered to vote and actually did vote in 2008. Of the 3.6 million potential white voters, only 72.3% actually voted. If whites had matched the 73.1% black turnout, an additional 30,000 more white votes would have been cast. That same pattern is true in South Carolina and Texas. In the Palmetto State, 72.6% of eligible blacks voted versus 63.5% of whites, and in the Lone Star State it was 64.9% of blacks versus 64.7% of whites. The 2008 census data clearly indicate that white voter turnout appears to have been suppressed relative to black turnout in Wisconsin, South Carolina and Texas. Should the Justice Department find out why?
Minorities should not have a more difficult time acquiring a free photo ID than do whites. To the extent that they obviously do, the solution is to fix that problem and offer genuine help to those affected, not to have the DOJ and the ACLU enable life in the shadows by dropping all voting standards.
Regurgitating the normal ACLU prattle in her letter of June 12 about how minorities and the elderly suffer under state voter ID laws, Laura W. Murphy commits several errors of omission. When South Carolina passed its voter ID law, Gov. Nikki Haley announced that anyone who required transportation to a Dept. of Motor Vehicles office to get an ID card would be provided such transportation at taxpayer expense. The DMV-issued voter ID cards are free for the asking.
Ms. Murphy concludes, "The discriminatory impact is obvious," declares victory and leaves the field. But having accurate and honest voting protects the rights of voters, too, which is what Gov. Haley is doing and the ACLU is opposing. This shouldn't even be an issue.
Michael W. Reece