For the most part, conservative and liberals marked the death of Nelson Mandela by acknowledging Mandela's greatness as a statesman. Conservatives who feared that upon his release from prison Mandela would become a Marxist despot learned, almost the minute he emerged from prison, they were wrong; Mandela was a magnificent unifying force and truly a great statesman. So, leave it to One Wisconsin Now to use his death as a divisive political force and to show their ignorance while doing so.
Media Trackers reports that OWN issued a news release exploiting Mandela's death to accuse Wisconsin Republicans of voter suppression. We've mocked OWN in the past for comparing voter ID laws to the Jim Crow South. But they've outdone themselves in stupidity this time. As Media Trackers reports, the modern South Africa crafted by Mandela has voting requirements far more stringent than anything in the United States:
An October story from a South African news outlet explains in advance of the nation’s 2014 elections, “aspirant voters must produce a valid South African identity document when registering to vote and when voting.” That means procuring one of “three forms of official identification.”
One of those identification forms is new: a so-called “smartcard ID.” Although a new addition to the process, one election official said that “[a]ccommodating the new smartcard IDs has not been difficult.”
Voter registration in South Africa involves registering to vote on one of a handful of designated days or by making an appointment in advance at a Municipal Elections Office. According to the nation’s governing agency for elections, the Election Commission of South Africa, to register and vote you must meet three criteria:
- Be a South African citizen;
- Be at least 16 years old (you can only vote from age 18); and
- Have a green, bar-coded ID book, ID smartcard or Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC)