by Kevin “Coach” Collins
In 2010, Alabama Democrat Artur Davis left Congress taking his seven percent American Conservative Union (ACU) voting record with him. As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he was a reliable knee-jerk liberal who voted for and against bills that would either help America’s enemies or hurt the American people.
While in a state of delusion, Davis believed his lifetime 22 percent ACU rating could get him elected governor of Alabama. When reality tapped him on the shoulder, Davis left elective politics and went off to be a Washington, D.C., lawyer. Given his record, it is a refreshing surprise to note his 180-degree change of heart on the question of stricter voter ID laws.
Davis wrote to the Montgomery Advertiser recently:
I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.
When I was a congressman, I took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician. Without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists who contend that requiring photo identification to vote is a suppression tactic aimed at thwarting black voter participation…
[W]holesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt…Voting 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.
But demanding integrity in voting is neither racist, nor raw party politics.
It is interesting that with a few exceptions that reflect political pressures I understand pretty well, the new Alabama ID law still has not become that much of a political football. The same can’t be said in other states or at the national level. I was disappointed to see Bill Clinton, a very good president and an even greater ex-president, compare voter ID to Jim Crow, and it is chilling to see the intimidation tactics brought to bear on African American, Democratic legislators in Rhode Island who had the nerve to support a voter ID law in that very liberal state.
The case for voter ID, however, is a good one, and it ought to make politics a little cleaner and the process of conducting elections much fairer. I wish I’d gotten it right the first time.
Better late than never, Mr. Davis. Welcome aboard.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted with permission.