Green Room

Voter ID Matters

posted at 8:40 pm on May 3, 2012 by

At the Show-Me Institute, we don’t often wade into the waters of election policy, but frankly, election policy is intimately related to the free-market objectives we promote. Although voters are one step removed from the chambers that decide most policy issues, the only way elected representatives can fairly represent the will of the people is if the representatives themselves have been fairly elected. Debasement of the electoral process through fraudulent voting subverts the will of voters and disenfranchises voters themselves. And yet on Monday, Mother Jones called the states’ moves to get their arms around the problem and implement stronger ID requirements “loathsome.

Let’s be clear: Voter fraud is real. Especially in recent weeks, the push has been on to paint “voter fraud” as some sort of manufactured controversy, but as someone who has worked in this field, I can assure you, it is not. From county officials telling poll workers that people can vote with a credit card as their ID — they cannot — to the use of absentee ballots fueling fraud, there is not only ample room for voter fraud to take place through the very structure of the voting process, but there have been cases of voter fraud suspected and prosecuted in the state just in the past few years.

Voter fraud can swing elections, especially close ones. If voter fraud constitutes 2 percent, or 1 percent, or even 1/2 percent of the vote total, how many races does that affect? How many statewide and local races have you seen decided by a point or less, and how likely is it that none of those races turned on fraudulent votes?

Every vote should count, every vote should be protected, and every attempt to distort the will of the electorate with the casting of illegal ballots should be turned back. Preventing voter fraud through reasonable identification measures that we already accept to drive cars, board airplanes, and enter some government buildings is not an undue burden on voters’ rights to vote. Rather, it is a burden on voters’ rights to allow the floodgates of voter fraud and abuse to remain open.

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voter ID is jim crow. lets face it

gemini on May 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

We also need appropriate punishment on the books. Someone who mastermings 50,000 fraudulent votes should be looking at 500 consecutive life sentences … or worse. How would you punish someone who enslaved 50,000 people? How does stealing someone’s vote count as less than enslaving someone?

njcommuter on May 3, 2012 at 9:23 PM

brennen center of justice did a extensive study on how many voters of color would be dissenfranchised. gop does not get it or care

gemini on May 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

gemini on May 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Yer silly.

Mimzey on May 3, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Poe’s Law in effect.

Patrick Ishmael on May 3, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Would be? Seeing as how deep red states like PA and MI already have voter ID, where are all these people being disenfranchised? Are there no minorities in Detroit or Philadelphia? Large majorities see the logic of voter ID in a society where identity theft is a big problem.

You know what disenfranchises people? When people steal their identity and vote in their place. When polling places have jackbooted racist NBPP thugs parading around the polling place, yet somehow Holder doesn’t care at all about these.

The Freaknomics guys said: Whereever there is a lack of verifiability and high stakes, there WILL be a certain degree of cheating. This describes our elections perfectly. Identity theft is prevalent even in higher security situations like credit card transactions and Social Security numbers, of course it’s prevalent in our elections.

xuyee on May 3, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Raise the voting age to 30 and it will solve all problems.

nazo311 on May 3, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Raise the voting age to 30 and it will solve all problems.

nazo311 on May 3, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Heck, raising it to 21 would do wonders.

It would be one thing to give voting rights to teenagers raised by, say, the Greatest Generation. But most modern teenagers don’t have a clue and you couldn’t give them one.

MelonCollie on May 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM

But most modern teenagers don’t have a clue and you couldn’t give them one.

MelonCollie on May 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I just had a fellow physics student tell me he didn’t have a television, but since he can get the news, by way of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, then he didn’t need a television.

winoceros on May 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Raise the voting age to 30 and it will solve all problems.

nazo311 on May 3, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Dropping the age to 18 was one of the many unfortunate side-effects of the Vietnam War. I would have been ok with just letting active military personnel aged 18-21 vote.

Here’s a novel scheme that might reverse the Democratic leaders’ love affair with abortion – or at least present them with a wrenching dilemma:

There has also been discussion of giving votes to children from birth, initially with the votes being cast by parents, who are presumed to better understand a child’s interests.

AesopFan on May 4, 2012 at 1:32 AM

voter ID is jim crow. lets face it

How?

single stack on May 4, 2012 at 8:04 AM

brennen center of justice did a extensive study on how many voters of color would be dissenfranchised. gop does not get it or care

gemini on May 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Ah yes, those poor minorities who just can’t get their hands on a valid ID. So sad.

We “get” what’s going on here. We get it all too well. The Democrats have been using voter fraud to steal elections for many years, and they want to continue to do so. They will fight all efforts to secure our electoral system, even the most basic and common-sense reforms, like requiring ID to vote. And they’ll use whatever tactics they can, including their perennial favorite, identity politics (it’s raaaaaacist to require ID’s!).

AZCoyote on May 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM