Voter ID Laws: A Legal No-Brainer

Once again, voter ID laws have become an attacking point for liberals. As states begin making progress on electoral integrity, liberals are crying foul.

They continue to claim that requiring voters to produce photo identification is unconstitutional because they will suppresses minority voting. An editorial by USA Today entitled, “Our view: Republican ID laws smack of vote suppression,” claims that it doesn’t make sense to “try to issue IDs to millions of people who apparently don’t want or otherwise need them.”

Most of us cannot fathom how a person goes through life in today’s society without ever needing a photo ID? The editorial even notes:

“In theory, there isn’t anything wrong with requiring photo IDS to vote, just as they are required to drive, board a plane or cash a check.”

So, how did this even get turned into an issue?

USA Today mentions a case in Minnesota where 7 suspicious votes were collected but no charges were filed. Countering that, apparently 12 “or so” nuns in Indiana couldn’t vote because they didn’t have picture IDs. According to USA Today, it’s a common choice for nuns to not have government-issued photo IDs. They claim one in 11 do not have them, though it’s unclear if that means one in 11 Americans or one in 11 nuns (the link goes to 2010 Census data about gender and age – and doesn’t even mention IDs).

Nonetheless, their argument is voter ID laws apparently suppress minority votes and aren’t necessary. But according to Hans A. von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation, voter ID laws help:

“Defeat and deter impersonation fraud at the polls, voting under fictitious names, double-voting by individuals registered in more than one state, and voting by non-citizens.”

And a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (JSPES) report seems to refute the Left’s contention. They found that turnout for black voters in Georgia (which has some of the strictest voter ID laws in the country) increased by 5% from 2004, when the laws were not in effect, to 2008, when they were in effect.

Indiana is yet another example. They saw an increase of voter participation of over 8 percentage points in 2008, after reforming their voter ID laws in 2005.

If this is the case, the question for liberals is why do they dislike voter id laws so much?

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