To the Editor:
The radical Republican regime in Raleigh has a new pretext for the voter ID scheme North Carolina doesn’t need. It’s no longer about voter fraud — which is virtually nonexistent — but about voter “confidence” instead.
The real fraud is in how the votes we cast are rigged so they don’t matter. The Raleigh gang does not intend to fix that.
Here’s N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis rationalizing the matter on MSNBC last week, as quoted on WRAL.com:
“There is some evidence of voter fraud, but that’s not the primary reason for doing this. We call it restoring confidence in government. There are a lot of people who are just concerned with the potential risk of fraud.”
There has been only one known instance so far of impersonation at a North Carolina polling place. It’s already a felony to vote in the name of someone else. Whoever gets caught at it goes to prison. That’s all the confidence we need on that score.
Where confidence needs urgently to be restored is on the issue of whether the votes we cast even matter. By design, they often don’t. The Raleigh gang’s cunning redistricting gave the Republicans a 9-to-4 edge in the congressional delegation even though votes for Democrats outnumbered those for Republicans 51 percent to 49.
They stole the 11th Congressional District by annexing the Democratic parts of Asheville to Gastonia, 100 miles distant, a community with which it has nothing in common. They grew their majorities in the General Assembly in the same dishonorable way.
This occurred nationwide. Democrats nationally received 1.4 million more votes for Congress than the Republicans did, but the Republicans still control the House 234 to 201.
Gerrymandering is, of course, an equal-opportunity sin. Democrats have been as shameless as Republicans. Even so, there was a bipartisan agreement last session to create a nonpartisan districting system like Iowa’s for North Carolina. The House passed it 88-27 but the Senate leadership refused to take it up.
It has not been reintroduced this year. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership is obstructing this essential reform, which would truly restore confidence in the election process, in favor of an unnecessary, meanly inspired, and potentially very expensive scheme to make it harder to vote in the first place.
Martin A. Dyckman