NC Voter ID On Trial

Opening Gambits

North Carolina’s trial of the century is finally back underway and make no mistake, the outcome will decide if NC (or any other state for that matter) will ever be allowed to pass laws intended to reduce vote fraud without their being litigated to death by the federal government and a rogue’s gallery of “progressive” front groups, all backed by the notorious George Soros and his North Carolina counterpart, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Attorney representing NAACP, Michael Glick

Lead Plaintiff in this case is the NAACP and their attorney, Michael Glick, stated his side’s main fantasy theme, that the state is allowed to pass laws “making it easier for everybody to vote” but not allowed to enact laws that make vote fraud more difficult.

If you drink the Kool Aid, you’ll understand why: It’s because in-person voter fraud “doesn’t exist.”

Of course, he had to throw in the Left’s favorite poetic mantra: “Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem.”

I almost expected some rent-a-mob to begin chanting (“hey hey, ho ho, clean elections have got to go”) . . . but not today . . . in this federal courtroom.

“Expert” Witnesses

Barry Burden

Hired witness, U of Wisconsin-Madison ProfessorBarry Burden

The day’s star witness, from University of Wisconsin-Madison, was Dr. Barry Burden, a self-proclaimed “expert on American politics,” who had much to say about North Carolina’s election laws, that he analyzed in his ivory tower. . . 850 miles from the Winston-Salem courtroom.

Burden’s specialty appears to be cherry picking data to support his clients’ predetermined outcomes.

Case in point today was his interesting and legitimate work in the area of “costs” incurred while voting. This encompassed expenses like gas for the car or time spent driving to the polls; but it also includes the hardship of standing in line to vote or of having to read a statement and sign for it in order to vote. And surprise!

Such burdens fall disproportionately on blacks and Latinos, proving that our state’s election reforms are racist!

Return of the Jedi

Not sure if he has a special title, but North Carolina’s lead attorney today was Tom Farr. As background, Tom has probably forgotten more about NC election law than everybody else in the courtroom ever learned, so it’s no wonder the Left doesn’t like him.


Tom Farr led today’s cross examination of Dr. Burden.

Raleigh’s Indy Week even tried to make him look like the baddie in a 2010 article after he was hired by a Wake County School Board, who grew concerned after the NAACP threatened to sue them over their school assignment process.

When it comes to Tom’s election law prowess, nobody in North Carolina has paid a higher price for working on the side of the angels. His defending honest election laws can make him dangerous to plaintiffs “expert” witnesses and today was no exception.

Among Farr’s earliest moves today, he sweated a confession out of the young Professor: Society always places a greater burden on the poor and voting is just one more example of this disparity. Election law is no different than any other aspect of surviving in this cruel world. It’s not fair, but when we have smaller paychecks getting a birth certificate or buying a car battery is a bigger hassle. A law that affects the small group of people who need a new ID card, in no way, proves “intention” to turn anybody away from the polls.

A second major point arose when Burden selectively cited parts of a 210-page GAO report. Using paragraphs that suggested voter ID somehow disenfranchises blacks and Latinos, he ignored any discordant facts.

The report (linked here) wasn’t nearly as clear-cut as ol’ Barry made it out to be.

The good doctor cited data from exactly two states (Kansas and Tennessee) that “proved” voter ID disenfranchises blacks and Latinos; but Farr happened to have a few copies of that GAO report; so he handed one to the star witness and asked him to read along with him.

For example, page 2 said, in part, “Five of these 10 studies found that ID requirements had no statistically significant effect on turnout; in contrast 4 studies found decreases in turnout and 1 found an increase in turnout that were [sic] statistically significant.”

This disturbed Dr. Burden’s demeanor just a tad, but there was more.

Both Kansas and Tennessee election officials vehemently disagreed with the GAO’s findings for a number of reasons (Please see second paragraph on page 75 of GAO report) that Farr explained to the court.

Later, while confidently stating how seldom voter-impersonation fraud occurs in NC (and beyond) the doc forgot to mention the biggest problem noted on pages 62-63 of the 2014 GAO report:

“A variety of factors affect efforts to estimate the incidence of in-person voter fraud, making it difficult to produce complete estimates. . . . The true incidence of crime can be difficult to determine due to the potential for crimes not to be reported. We have reported that crimes of fraud, in particular, are difficult to detect, as those involved are engaged in intentional deception” (pp. 62-63).

The section concluded with this muted bombshell about estimating this particular type of vote fraud:

“Based on our review of these information sources, we found that various challenges and limitations in information available for estimating the incidence of in-person voter fraud make it difficult to determine a complete estimate of such fraud” (63-64).

Farr asked repeatedly, “if someone is lying about their identity, how would election officials ever know it?”

Burden weaseled out several non-answers, but the conclusion was obvious: voter impersonation fraud is impossible to detect . . . which is why the entire nation is screaming for real voter ID laws.

Motives Revealed

Perhaps Burden’s most dangerous assumption was his affirmation of a guiding principle on the Left: No election law reforms are allowed unless they “liberalize” the voting process, making ballot box access the only priority . . . even if it weakens ballot box security.

When confronted on this point, Burden sniffed that such laws should only be allowed if they address “identified” problems . . . and voter impersonation fraud clearly was not among them, since “it’s such a rare crime.”

By that logic, if we claim nobody was speeding today since the DA refused to prosecute any tickets, then we should raise the speed limit to encourage more drivers. After all, speeding is fun and people like doing fun stuff.

To reverse direct this absurdity, tightening speed limit enforcement would have a greater financial burden on those least able to pay the fines and such additional costs might cause some poorer people to give up and ride the bus.

So . . . clamping down on speeding is a deliberate effort to discriminate against the poor.

If you followed that logic, then you understand why NC voter ID law is a racist plot. Congratulations!