I don’t consider myself an unsympathetic person; however, I do believe that most of the time people should suffer the consequences of their own behavior. I may be a minority in that belief if the following story is any indication of current thinking.
Today Charleston’s Post and Courier posted a story about how the new requirement for identification in order to vote in South Carolina may disenfranchise some voters. The example they cite is Everett Garlington, a resident of West Ashley. Mr. Garlington has a problem that will prevent him from voting under the new law. He lost his driver’s license. He could get a replacement, but because he owes $160 to the Department of Motor Vehicles because of turning in license plates late, he can’t afford to get a new license.
The article goes on to explain that requiring voters to identify themselves is discriminatory, etc.–the usual arguments. Those protesting the requirement for identification compare this requirement to activities of the KKK and other racist groups.
The article reports:
“Representatives from several opposition groups said Monday their immediate goal is to petition U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to strike down the law as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.”
Now stop and think a minute. There are a few obvious questions I would like to ask at this point. If Mr. Garlington is still driving, is he breaking the law? If he pays the fine that he incurred, he gets his license back, and the problem is solved. The problem is not the law–it is the fact that Mr. Garlington owes a fine he has not paid. If he did not have a license, he would be eligible for a free identification card, and he would be able to vote. We live in a country where identification is needed to do certain things–buy cigarettes and alcohol, board an airplane, buy certain cough or allergy medication, etc. Would the writer of this article have us believe that the majority of poor residents in South Carolina do not smoke, drink, buy cough medicine or fly airplanes? Seems a bit of a stretch to me.