Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws
The state chairman of Indiana's Democratic Party resigned recently as a probe of election fraud in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary widened.
State law requires a presidential candidate to gather 500 valid signatures in each county to qualify for the ballot. Barack Obama may not have met it. Investigators think 150 of the 534 signatures the Obama campaign turned in for St. Joseph County may have been forged.
Yet Democrats say that measures to guard against vote fraud are racist Republican plots to disenfranchise minority voters.
Republicans "want to literally drag us back to Jim Crow laws," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla, chair of the Democratic National Committee.
The NAACP has asked the United Nations to intervene to block state voter ID laws. It may have an ulterior motive for opposing ballot security measures. An NAACP official was convicted on 10 counts of absentee voter fraud in Tunica County, Miss., in July.
Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, said vote fraud is rampant in African-American districts like his in Alabama.
"The most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African-American community is the wholesale manufacture of ballots at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt," Mr. Davis said. "Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too mentally impaired to function cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights."
Laws requiring photo IDs suppress minority voting, Democrats charge. The facts say otherwise. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.
"Concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing," concluded researchers at the universities of Delaware and Nebraska after examining election data from 2000 through 2006.