We Vote Defenders ran across something interesting today -- a "Debate Club" online where various people took sides to talk about voter fraud. As you would expect, those who claim voter fraud doesn't exist completely ignore the many instances in every election where people are caught red-handed attempting to vote in multiple states, trying to register the dead (or Mickey Mouse, Casper the Ghost, Robby the Robot, or other fictitious characters), and generally doing their level best (or, worst, depending on your vantage point) to scam the election system in this country.
The big thing that opponents of ballot integrity claim is that efforts to combat voter fraud "disenfranchise" people. One of the biggest political weapons on there is a set of "Rules for Radicals" written up by a guy named Saul Alinsky. You have probably heard of these. They teach acolytes to aggressively malign, polarize, and villainize opponents by invoking horrific things from the past to depict certain targets as being similar to truly repugnant people that the general public regards as "evil". It's a tactic that works time and again by those who follow the Alinsky rule book (which neither party in this country ever owns up to or openly embraces on the record).
This all matters because if you truly care about the integrity of our elections you should be aware of the tactics that those who oppose ballot integrity routinely employ. In debates with them, they will always call someone who wants Photo ID at polling places terrible names for asking that the sate verify a person attempting to vote is who he or she says he or she is. Here in Illinois, a photo ID is actually required to enter a bar, use a credit card in many stores, purchase alcohol, buy cigarettes, sign up for a library card, and enter government buildings.
Opponents of ballot integrity have never challenged the need for a photo ID in any of these instances...and never claim that anyone is unduly hindered from legally protected activities by being required to present a photo ID when going about their normal day in Illinois. So why not require a photo ID to prove you are who you say you are when taking a ballot to cast a vote in our elections?
Think back to when you were in high school and took a debate or a speech course.
As you read this site, and others dealing with ballot integrity, start jotting down notes for things that you think are important in terms of facts and arguments that YOU could make if you ever find yourself in a debate with an opponent of ballot integrity. Don't see the word "debate" and go running from the room though; we don't necessarily mean you standing up at a podium in front of a crowd and addressing a large group of people on this issue (though that might happen someday if you get very involved in these efforts!). See any conversation on the topic of ballot integrity as a debate, against whomever is taking the position that Photo IDs and integrity measures are not required.
No doubt, your opponent will just try to call you names and make wild, emotional accusations about you...and say terrible things about what your motives are. This is classic Alinsky Tactics 101. Don't let it phase you.
Just prepare your thoughts and focus on the fact that there is nothing more important to the future of this country than securing our elections. If the government believes photo IDS are a way to secure their office buildings so that anyone entering must be who they claim to be, then why should we allow people any opportunity to impersonate another at a polling place?
We're sure you can think of a great many MORE arguments to make in a debate yourself. Look around on this site and take some notes. Become very familiar with what a Vote Defender does and start to see yourself as a volunteer surrogate speaker on this important issue every time you leave your house.
You never know when an impromptu "debate" will present itself on the topic!