Last week, Democrats continued a theme for the 2012 campaign: that Republicans are engaged in a sinister effort to suppress the votes of victimized constituencies (Democrat voting blocs). Under the radar, this theme will be part and parcel of Team Obama's effort to motivate its base, particularly in swing states they must win.

The Obama Justice Department recently rejected a South Carolina voter ID law; Mississippi's similar voter ID law is pending. Friday, the theme continued in Florida. In Tampa, a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Dick Durbin (D-IL) decried a Florida law passed last year that liberal activists say makes the Sunshine State "the voter suppression capital" of the country.

Why hold a Senate hearing in Florida, well removed from the nation's capital? Atmospherics, of course, a local backdrop for the Democrats' messaging circus. Senator Durbin and other partisans, including Florida Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, accuse Florida's Republican Legislature of a deliberate effort to suppress votes.

In Durbin's words: "These new voting laws appear to be part of a coordinated and well-funded effort to reduce turnout among specific groups of people, namely minority, young, low-income and rural voters." Durbin added, echoing DNC talking points, "These new state voting laws threaten to keep 5 million Americans from voting this year."

What are the outrages for which Durbin is spending your money to stage show hearings? Florida's voter law reduces the number of days for early voting from 14 to eight, restricts the ability of voters to change their addresses at the polls, and imposes tough new guidelines for voter-registration drives and penalties for those who violate them. Oh, the outrage.

With evil like this afoot, the ACLU and other rent-a-mobs naturally will join the hunt for the GOP bogeyman, by whatever means. As a chorus, they will all say this is directly in response to the 2008 results.

In a sense, they are right. The new laws are in response to blatant abuses during 2008 and other cycles. In much the same way, the Help America Vote Act ("HAVA") was passed after the 2000 election, to end hanging chads and butterfly ballots. HAVA was good, to the extent the law helped to modernize our election process and prevent another Florida-style fiasco. But HAVA imposed top down, federal largesse and federal mandates about how elections must be conducted. Combined with other burgeoning federal oversight, it is now nigh impossible to clean up voter rolls, or to exercise common sense in local elections administration. Once the short term federal money accompanying the HAVA requirements runs out, there will also be an ongoing unfunded mandate, making HAVA a classic Washington "solution."

The state laws Democrats are now decrying are also the result of documented problems in the electoral process. The Democrats just don't like the solutions.

The laws passed after 2008 are aimed at ensuring that the process is as fair and clean as possible. Florida's measures seem reasonably designed to make early voting there less administratively burdensome, protect voter rolls from fraudulent changes, and curb clear abuses in voter registration drives. No one is prevented from voting.

I bet Senator Durbin's hearing did not include ACORN. During the 2008 cycle, directly aided and funded by Obama campaign groups, ACORN engaged in all sorts of fraud. After an investigation by Nevada's Democratic Secretary of State, ACORN eventually pled guilty there of violating voter registration laws. ACORN procured numerous fraudulent registrations, illegally paid workers based on how many people they registered, and on and on. Democrats apparently see suppression when their front groups are curbed from cheating.

Bloated voter rolls are a problem in Mississippi. Removing long-gone voters from the rolls was a focus during Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's first term. I participated in the hard push for real progress while I was Delbert's Deputy, but the problem persists. It also shows why voter ID is important. Without ID, anyone can show up for a person on the rolls. We often heard from people who showed up to vote, only to find out that someone had already voted for them. We also documented dead voters who exercised their civic duty from beyond.

The Democrats reject such common sense. Instead, they want a campaign two-fer: Reelect Obama by enflaming minority voters by ridiculously charging that Republicans want to take away their votes. And, keeping Durbin's "five million" imaginary voters in reserve won't hurt to ensure the outcome in swing states, if need be. Suppression of the truth, not voting, is the real outrage.

Cory T. Wilson of Madison is an attorney. Contact him at