The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the need for integrity in the election system. We must have a system that ensures that every legitimate vote is counted and that voter fraud does not decide who wins the elections. The simplest and most effective way to assure election integrity is to require every voter to present a picture ID in order to obtain a ballot.
According to Rasmussen Reports, "Seventy (70%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver's license before being allowed to cast their ballot. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% oppose this kind of requirement."
Voter fraud exists in spite of people thinking that it is a "myth." Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at Heritage, said that voter fraud is common in
"The fraud denialists also must have missed the recent news coverage of the double
North Carolina and the fraudster in , Miss. - a members of the NAACP's Tunica County
local executive committee - who was sentenced in April to five years in prison for voting in the
names of ten voters, including four who were deceased.
"And the story of the former deputy chief of staff for
mayor Vincent Gray, Washington
who was forced to resign after news broke that she had voted illegally in the
District of Columbia
even though she was a
resident. Perhaps they would like a copy of an order from a federal Maryland
immigration court in
Florida on a Cuban immigrant who came to the in April 2004 and promptly U.S.
registered and voted in the November election."
Photo identifications are not limited to drivers' licenses. Student IDs from any educational institution, tribal IDs, state government employee IDs, federal government employee IDs, military IDs, retired military IDs, and passports are all acceptable forms of identification. Every state that has passed a voter ID law has arranged for any resident to receive an ID free if they cannot afford the fee.
So why is Attorney General Eric Holder "closely examining" any new state laws that require a photo ID before voting? He claims he is looking for potential racial bias even though these allegations are baseless. He wants to make sure that every Democrat - every liberal/progressive Democrat - has the opportunity to vote at least once!
According to Spakovsky, he could not find any evidence to support the claims of racial bias:
"Election data in
demonstrate that concern about a negative effect on the Democratic Georgia
or minority vote is baseless. Turnout there increased more dramatically in 2008 - the first presidential
election held after the state's photo-ID law went into effect - than it did in states without photo ID.
had a record turnout in 2008, the largest in its history - nearly 4 million voters. And Democratic turnout was
up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election, the fourth-largest increase of any state. The
black share of the statewide vote increased from 25 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008, according to the
voting-age population voted in the 2008 election, compared with only 54.4 percent in 2004, an increase of more
than ten percentage points."
Spakovsky joined Alex Ingram in a legal report entitled "Without Proof: The Unpersuasive Case Against Voter Identification" and dated August 24,2011. The report begins with the following paragraph:
"The primary argument against voter identification requirements - that many Americans lack
proper identification and would therefore be prevented from voting - is not supported by credible studies
of voter turnout rates. In fact, the study most frequently cited by opponents of voter identification
requirements - Citizens Without Proof, a report produced by the
Brennan Center at 's New York University
After presenting much evidence, the legal report ends with the following conclusion:
"In the end, the
report is clear in its intentions, fuzzy in its methodology, and Brennan Center
wrong in its conclusions. Such doomsday predictions of widespread disfranchisement are increasingly
being exposed as untrue as more legitimate research is performed and reported.
"Claims that millions of would-be voters will be turned away on Election Day because of
voter ID laws have been disproved in research, in the courtroom, and at the polling place. Studies
like Citizens Without Proof are the last, desperate fits of a misguided resistance to the spread of common-
sense voter ID reform."
From reading the above legal report, it appears to me that no legitimate voters would be prevented from voting by requiring photo identification before obtaining ballots; however, it would be very difficult to obtain numerous ballots for one individual or any ballots for deceased persons. I believe that requiring photo identification in order to vote would be the simplest and most effective way to bring more integrity into our election system.