Secretary Aichele — Please don't play Holder's game
“If we can head off fraudulent votes, we shall carry the day.”
— A. Lincoln
In 1858, in correspondence to a colleague regarding his Senate race against Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln expressed his concerns regarding his Democrat opponent's strategy of using fraudulently cast votes to sway the election. Today, we continue to find ourselves in a struggle to secure honest and fair elections.
Without question, Pennsylvania's Voter ID law undermines the Democrats' long-standing strategy of using voter fraud to secure electoral victory. Artur Davis, former Democrat congressman from Alabama and the man who officially seconded Obama's nomination for president of the United States, recognizing the need for Voter ID, wrote the following: “(V)oting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights — that's suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don't; I've heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I've been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.”
Unfortunately, President Obama's politicized Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, will not stop at simply ensuring that a blind eye is turned to the numerous instances of voter fraud nationwide. It also attempts to remove all obstacles in the path of the “increase the vote through fraud” strategy. After filing a lawsuit against Florida over its steps to remove noncitizen and deceased voters from the voter rolls and legal actions filed against numerous states over Voter ID laws, it is Pennsylvania's turn to be added to Holder's list of targets.
Recently, DOJ issued an onerous and politically motivated demand for documents to our secretary of State regarding Voter ID. Pennsylvania is the first state outside the areas covered by Section 5 of the Civil Rights Act (protecting minorities in states with historical racial discrimination in voting) to be targeted in such a way. Of course, Pennsylvania was not part of the Jim Crow South, but lack of authority is immaterial to this DOJ. Holder's demand ostensibly accrues from 42 U.S.C. 1974; however, this statute simply requires the retention of election-related records for 22 months following an election. Pennsylvania's multiple personal-identification databases fall well outside the scope of this statute, as do documents related to press releases issued by the governor.
Holder's Pennsylvania actions are just plays out of a well-established political playbook. Play One — ignore that voter fraud exists; Play Two — file numerous, expensive legal actions; and Play Three — call anyone in favor of an open election a racist. Play Three conjures the worst of our history just to foreclose mature debate.
If the commonwealth complies with Holder's demands, DOJ will certainly institute yet another costly Voter ID legal action. The DOJ, the ACLU and the NAACP have a well-timed, well-coordinated, multicourt strategy designed to burden each state brazen enough to ask for validation that a purported voter is, in fact, who he says he is.
In Holder's game, only those who need the votes of the dead or of fictional characters are winners. Secretary Aichele — you don't have to play, so please don't.
Kathleen Jones Goldman is chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association and counsel at the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. She lives in Mt. Lebanon.