WASHINGTON -- The head of a major right-wing group accused Democrats Thursday of opposing voter identification laws in order to reap votes from undocumented immigrants.
"When you tie it all together, it's all about the illegal alien vote," Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said at a panel featuring five supporters of measures Republicans have been pushing across the country, saying they are necessary to preserve election integrity.
Democrats, civil libertarians and others say the moves are blatantly aimed to suppress minority voting, but Fitton said opponents are the ones with the malicious motives. "I'm confident that they're happy if need be to have these people voting this election cycle," he said. "I would tie all of this into the president's lawless amnesty measures."
J. Christian Adams, founder of the Election Law Center Virginia, described opponents of voter ID as being in "the sad and pathetic role of enablers of criminal conduct."
He praised an anonymous group putting up billboards in minority neighborhoods in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Milwaukee. Critics say that the billboards, which read VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY," are unfairly aimed at minorities.
Noting the goals of True the Vote, a group that works to restore faith in U.S. elections, Adams acknowledged that "there's going to be armies of citizen volunteers at the polls" in November "standing sentinel over the process."
True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht expressed shock at all the controversy surrounding this issue, which she blamed in large part on a media "obsession."
"How can you be against election integrity?" she asked. "How can we not agree on that? How can we not even discuss that without it becoming so vitriolic?"
"The race card doesn't work anymore. It's not true. There's no there there," she said.