As part of their all out assault voter protection laws, liberal groups will argue before the Supreme Court Wednesday that even though every adult must produce a photo ID in order to fly (or even to enter the Supreme Court to hear the proceedings), producing such an ID before voting is an undue burden on the right to vote.
At issue is Indiana’s voter photo ID law which requires persons voting in person to present a government issued photo ID before they are allowed to vote (unless that person lives in a nursing home). Persons who do not have (or forgot) their ID can cast a provisional ballot and then have 10 days to either procure an ID or file and affidavit claiming indigence. The bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform reports that voters in over 100 democracies world wide are able to exercise their right to vote under similar laws (such democracies include: Belgium, Cost Rica, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain).Nobody denies that requiring a photo ID will make it harder for some people to vote. Balanced against that voter inconvenience, however, is the state’s legitimate interest in reducing voter fraud. This is where liberal advocacy groups come in. As Jonathan Bechtle details in his 2006 study “Voter Turnout or Voter Fraud?”, a vast left wing conspiracy including George Soros, America Coming Together, ACORN, and People for the American Way spend vast resources registering as many potential anti-Bush voters as possible. If they played by the rules this would be fine, but often these groups put results above the law and ACORN alone has been the subject of registration fraud reports in eight states.
More recently, state prosecutors in Indiana announced 38 of the 42 people the prosecuted for voter fraud since 2003 have been convicted. Despite this admittedly anecdotal evidence, activist groups claim that voter fraud is a ‘myth’ invented to drive down turnout among poorer voters. The real ‘myth’ is that photo ID laws are burdensome enough to actually prevent people from voting. The US District Court judge that examined the plaintiffs ‘evidence’ of disenfranchisement found it to be “totally unreliable.” The Heritage Foundation has also examined data from Indiana following implementation of the law and found:
- White survey respondents in photo identification states are 0.002 percent less likely to report voting than white respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.
- African-American respondents in non-photo identification states are 0.012 percent less likely to report voting than African-American respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.
- In general, respondents in photo identification and non-photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.
- African-American respondents in photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to African-American respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.
- Hispanic respondents in photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to Hispanic respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.
Realizing they have zero evidence that photo ID laws disenfranchise voters, activists pivot and argue that Indiana’s law is under inclusive since it fails to require absentee voters to present photo IDs. Leaving aside the impossibility of this request, what is most galling about this argument is that these same activist groups are the ones that push for more absentee and mail in voting in their efforts to ‘expand the franchise.’ At least we now have them on record admitting that absentee voting is ripe for voter fraud.