The left likes to argue that since there’s no significant amount of voter fraud there’s no need for voter ID laws, and that those who support them are inherently racist.
But wouldn’t even one case of voter fraud be an abomination that should offend all liberty-loving people of both parties and all races? And aren’t loose voting regulations a temptation for an increase in the amount of fraud? Voter ID would appear to be a reasonable way to deal with the phenomenon, for all the reasons that common sense would dictate.
But seeing that this is the left we’re talking about, it’s not likely that they even believe their own arguments about the lack of voter fraud. The claim is also illogical on its face, a sort of “what we see is all there is” assertion that makes no sense. It’s a bit like the people who say, “I always can tell when a guy’s wearing a hairpiece.” Maybe yes and maybe no, but how would they know? Really good, undetectable hairpieces would be really good and undetectable, wouldn’t they? The same with voter fraud.
However, the number of cases of voter fraud that have been found and prosecuted are certainly more than one or two. And there’s little question that those cases are certainly not anywhere near 100% of the ones that have occurred; a 100% prosecution rate would make them unique in the annals of crime.
It’s not hard to come up with links to documented voter fraud cases, such as this, this, this, and this. Not all of them are of the type that would have been prevented by voter ID laws, but many of them are.
The 2004 Washington State gubernatorial election was decided by 133 votes while 1,678 illegal votes, mostly by felons, were cast. The election was upheld because there was no accurate way to determine which candidate was the recipient of the illegal votes.
This reasoning ought to make sense to anyone not blinded by partisanship and demagoguery [emphasis mine]:
But the push for voter ID laws is not all about preventing fraud, said Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who sponsored his state’s voter ID law.
“The driving factor is common sense,” Metcalfe told ABC News. “It only makes sense that when you show up to vote, to exercise that very important right and responsibility, that you prove you are who you claim.”
Metcalfe said the number of voter fraud cases that are prosecuted are only a sliver of the fraud taking place because there is no system in place to detect fraud. His voter ID law aims to do just that.
Voter fraud is hard to prove in the absence of ID laws, and adds to the paucity of cases. So the argument against voter ID laws is a form of circular reasoning. Lack of ID laws and difficulty of conviction makes voter fraud hard to prove, and the relatively low number of convictions is then used by people to argue against implementing voter ID laws. The following quote refers to Wisconsin, but it or something similar is true in many other states as well:
Because prosecution of election fraud falls on the shoulders of county district attorneys already strapped for resources, Bernier said such cases are rarely investigated, and hardly ever prosecuted. D.A.’s also must consider the high threshold of proving election fraud, weighing against the demands of other higher profile cases.
There are cases of voter fraud such as this one, where over a hundred people were convicted but the actual number of violations was thought to be in the thousands (there was a book written about that fraud and others perpetrated in the 2008 election of Al Franken and probably contributing to his close win, which was certainly “significant” since it was instrumental in giving the Democrats a majority in the Senate).
Of course, no matter how many cases one could come up with, the left won’t be considering those frauds “significant” enough—”significant” no doubt being defined as more than whatever the evidence might show.
Then there’s this, about how easy it is (and how likely it is) that illegal aliens vote in rather large numbers in certain states, and how hard it is to prove.
As for whether voter ID laws actually act to suppress black votes, see this for some evidence that they do not.
[Featured image: WRAL.com video]
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]