Sarah Silverman Takes Voter ID Laws To Task
One musty couch, one snappy comedian and plenty of foul-mouthed sarcasm later, the latest push for voter education hit the Internet this week, encouraging citizens in states with new strict voter ID laws to get the photo ID they will need to in order to cast a ballot in November.
"This year [voting] is not going to be that easy because there are these brand new, super f***ed up laws, which are presented as a way to prevent voter fraud, but are in fact designed to make it hard for specific people to vote: black people, elderly people, poor people and students," Silverman says in the ad.
"Hmm, wonder what those demographics have in common," she says, scratching her chin.
"Oh yeah, they are probably going to vote for this guy," she says as the screen shows images of President Obama.
In Pennsylvania, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Kansas, voters have to present photo ID for their votes to count in the 2012 election. As many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have the type of ID accepted, according to a study by the New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice.
The Silverman ad highlights three common types of ID that are not accepted, first showing an elderly man who wants to use his Social Security card to vote, which he says he's been using for 70 years.
"No photo, no voto," Silverman says.
Next, a man with no legs, who says he got a Purple Heart for his military service, asks if he can use his veteran's ID card. But unless it has an expiration date, the veteran's ID card is a no-go in each of the five states that will require voter IDs for people to cast ballots in November.
"This attempt to prevent voter fraud is itself the only voter fraud taking place," Silverman says.
The type of voter fraud that can be prevented by these voter ID laws is extremely rare. Between 2002 and 2005, only 26 people pled guilty or were convicted of voter fraud, according to a Department of Justice study outlined during a 2006 Congressional hearing. In other words, the voter ID laws aim to prevent a crime that happens about .00000013 percent of the time.
Silverman points out that in some states, such as Tennessee, student IDs are not considered valid for voting. Concealed handgun permits, on the other hand, are accepted at the polls.
"It makes perfect sense. Get these kids gun permits!" Silverman says, her words dripping with sarcasm. "What a great time to be encouraging our young people to go out and get a firearm license, don't you think? It's just, like, so American."
This is the second ad starring Silverman this year. Her first asked billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who pledged to spend $100 million to get Romney elected, to give that money to Obama instead. In exchanged she offered, well, just watch the video HERE.
In 2008 Silverman begged her fellow Jews to make " The Great Schelp" down to Florida, a hotly contested battleground state, and convince them to vote for Obama.