BUFFALO NICHOLS: Conservative Milwaukee columnist suggests Tuesday proved Voter ID is just dandy | Wis.Community

BUFFALO NICHOLS: Conservative Milwaukee columnist suggests Tuesday proved Voter ID is just dandy

MIke Nichols is a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter who is now a regular columnist for that newspaper. He is also a senior fellow with the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a "nonpartisan conservative think tank" (whatever that means; and so much for the "vast liberal media"). Nichols thinks Tuesday's election suggests everything is just fine with Voter ID, because there were no serious problems with delays at the polls or people being turned away in droves for lack of proper ID.

Channeling the "It's working, Wisconsin" GOP meme, Nichols wrote that nonsense in a column published today, under the headline, "Sky didn't fall with voter ID." How would Nichols know? By what he saw in a brief sortie, or what he didn't bother to see?

By the same reasoning, the ultra-light turnout for Tuesday's mostly sparse slates of candidates -- more than 90 percent of registered voters didn't show up in some locales -- might likewise suggest that people don't want to go through the hassle of getting the narrowly defined official "Voter ID" or were otherwise scared off.

Neither is true. Spring elections often produce low turnout. But to use Tuesday's contests as some kind of definitive validation of the efficacy of Voter ID, you'd have to be Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Or Mike Nichols.

Nichols wrote that he interviewed 12 voters who showed up at the polls. He interviewed "six independents, four Republicans and two Democrats. Turned out that showing an ID didn't come close to killing any of them - although Denise Glavan, an independent, did have some discomfort." He continued:

Opponents - some of whom have sued - say they are "appalled" at how hard it is to get an acceptable ID, call the requirement to produce an ID a "poll tax," "voter suppression," a return to "Jim Crow," shameful and an attempt to let only a "select club" vote. In sum, the sky is falling. ...

Just because the world didn't end on a Tuesday in February, I guess that means, doesn't guarantee we won't be doomed next election day.

Case closed, apparently. Never mind that people who have had trouble getting Voter ID -- such as immobile poor people without cars, people with poor documentation, such as no birth certificate or passport, or the elderly or homeless -- wouldn't by definition be there waiting for Mike Nichols to interview them. 

So let's just wait and see what the courts say about the many complaints already registered with long-time voters who have had great difficulty getting Voter ID papers. And let's see what happens when 50 or 60 percent or more of registered voters try to vote in the November presidential election. Okay? 

Or, let's just channel Nichols and go with yet another conservative Republican rush to judgment, untainted by logic or facts. 



February 24, 2012 - 9:12am