Forget It NAACP: UN Has No Plans to Investigate Voter ID Laws
by David Almasi
New York City, NY/Washington, DC - A delegation from the Project 21 black leadership network met Thursday with United Nations officials, countering an official NAACP request for an official United Nations investigation of U.S. state-level Voter ID laws.
Project 21 members Horace Cooper, Deroy Murdock and Council Nedd II met Thursday with Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic and human rights officer Giorgia Passarelli of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
During their very cordial meeting, the Project 21 delegation explained:
1) Vote fraud is a danger to a fair electoral process and a threat to the civil and human rights of the American people.
2) Ballot integrity protections, including photo ID rules where they exist, were enacted in an open, transparent process by democratically-elected representatives.
3) Voter ID safeguards have overwhelming bi-partisan public support.
4) There are more pressing issues for the United Nations to investigate, including child soldiers, death squads and sex slavery.
Project 21's case for safeguarding the electoral process rebuts the claim of NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous, who according to USA Today told the OHCHR staff in Geneva in March that "in the past 12 months, more U.S. states have passed more laws pushing U.S. citizens out of the ballot box than in any year in the past century." But a report NAACP activists presented to the UN contains no proof of any voters losing their voting right under voter ID laws.
"I believe our message was well received," said Project 21's Nedd. "Considering the serious human rights issues that the OHCHR deals with, such as atrocities in Syria and the Congo, I believe they are putting the claims against American voter ID laws in proper perspective. I would say that they saw and are treating the NAACP's request for an investigation of our ballot protections as the political ploy that it is."
Nedd added: "It was heartening that the U.N. staff seemed to believe, as we do, that protecting the integrity of the electoral process now is as important as was the struggle to secure the vote for blacks decades ago."
Simonovic and Passarelli will share the details of their meeting with Cooper, Murdock and Nedd with their colleagues in Geneva. As the Project 21 delegation requested, no U.N. investigation of American voting laws is forthcoming.
The NAACP's case is seen as weak.
"We live in a world where militant-Islamic Sharia law causes female genital mutilation and the literal beheading of gay people. These concrete and grave human rights violations demand loud cries for justice from the OHCHR," said Project 21 delegation member Deroy Murdock. "There is no human rights violation in democratically passing laws to mandate that American voters prove that they are who they say they are by presenting photo ID at the polls. If this commonsense reform violates human rights, then the OHCHR should protest against Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department headquarters and President Barack Obama's White House -- both of which require that all visitors show photo ID before entering."
Project 21's Horace Cooper, also a member of the three-man delegation, was pleased with the meeting, saying, "The NAACP's misleading claim that the U.N. was somehow concerned about voter ID laws in America was proved to be bogus. Not only is the Human Rights Council not treating the matter seriously, but they weren't even really aware of the NAACP's meeting."
"Fundamentally," Cooper added, "voter rules are a domestic matter and not an issue for U.N. oversight. The NAACP ought to know this. After today's visit, the U.N. does."
Project 21 is a long-standing proponent of ballot integrity protection. Its parent organization, the National Center for Public Policy Research, is in the process of publishing several National Policy Analysis position papers authored by delegation member Horace Cooper on voting rights issues, including "Voter ID and South Carolina: The Supreme Court Speaks Yet DOJ Won't Listen," "Victims of Voter Fraud: Poor and Disadvantaged are Most Likely to Have Their Votes Stolen" and "Voter Fraud is Real: Why the Voting Rights Act Should Be Used to Fight Election Fraud." Cooper's "When the Dead Vote, the Living Suffer: Department of Justice is Wrong to Oppose Voter ID " and "Justice Department Plays Fast and Loose with Facts and Constitution in Challenging Texas Voter ID Law" were published by the National Center earlier this year.