To the Editor:
The national criticism of his voter suppression law — yes, he signed it, so it’s his — must be working on Gov. Pat McCrory. He wrote a defensive op-ed piece in USA Today not long ago in which he rationalized a photo ID for voting by the necessity to show one to board an airplane.
His apologists have been filling the newspapers with letters that equate a photo ID for voting with having to show one to cash a check or purchase certain controlled medications.
These are blatant examples of false syllogism — stringing together two or more facts to support a nonsensical conclusion.
An example found on the web goes like this: “Only women are nuns. Only women can have babies. Therefore, only nuns can have babies.”
McCrory’s equation is just as flawed: It’s a fact that honest voting is important; it’s a fact that aircraft security is important; it’s a fact that curbing drug misuse, as in the making of methamphetamines, is important; it’s a fact that preventing check or credit card fraud is important.
But it’s also a fact — conveniently ignored by the voter suppression apologists — that there is scarcely ever an instance of someone trying to vote under another person’s identity. When the State Board of Elections searched its records, it could find only two examples among many millions of votes cast. And no one ever died from it.
But nearly 3,000 people died on account of airplane hijackings on 9/11. Many thousands more have died from drug abuse — in one year, more than 500 from meth alone. Check and credit card fraud are daily occurrences that cost billions of dollars annually.
Unlike those examples, voter fraud is an imaginary problem.
McCrory also contended that voter fraud is a real threat because of multimillion-dollar political campaigns. As the beneficiary of one, he ought to know. But this, too, is false syllogism. The special interests and their candidates don’t try to buy individual voters; it’s too cumbersome, and they know they would be caught. Their money buys advertising, chiefly negative, to influence voters en masse. It’s a lot more bang for the buck.
The interests behind McCrory are already pouring advertising money into trying to gild his shabby performance. When you see or hear the ads, consider the motive.
Martin A. Dyckman