The Supreme Court appears very close to deciding FOR the Voter ID law in Indiana. My esteemed colleague in DC and I have had a discussion about voter fraud vs. disenfranchisement.
On one side:
“The real question is, does it disenfranchise anyone?” Todd Rokita, Indiana secretary of state told CNN. “After six elections in the state of Indiana, the answer has been no. … That’s why the opponents to this keep losing in court.”
State officials claim that voter turnout actually has increased 2 percent since the law took effect. But Rokita concedes the state has never presented a case of “voter impersonation,” which the law was designed to safeguard against.
And on the other side:
Among those cited by Democrats is Mary-Jo Criswell, a 71-year-old Indianapolis Democrat, who could not vote last November because she had no driver’s license or valid passport.
She previously had used a private bank-issued card with her photo when voting. The former precinct committeewoman had difficulty rebuilding an identity trail, and still does not have a valid photo ID. Criswell said in an affidavit she felt intimidated by the burdensome bureaucracy she claims is needed to vote.
Does anyone but me see the problem with this logic? I have the following questions:
- What percentage of the population does not have a valid driver’s license, or photo ID?
- How much does it cost to get a photo ID?
- Does it take any more time or physical ability to get a photo ID than the act of voting itself.
- If either the cost or the effort or “bureaucracy” is too burdensome, what’s wrong with an absentee ballot?
- On that note, how does one register to vote if one does not have a photo ID at the time of registering? If a photo ID is not necessary to register, shouldn’t the State of Indiana just make it required to issue a photo ID at the time of registration if the person does not possess said photo ID? I can’t imagine the cost for that being too prohibitive.
- And, why would anyone want anyone to be able to vote without a proper ID? It seems very simple to me that making the case for Voter Disenfranchisement via requiring a photo ID is much harder than for the possibility of Voter Fraud by just “signing a poll book” without a photo ID.
- Doesn’t it seem logical that the reason there has never been a case of “Voter Impersonation” brought to the courts in Indiana is because if it did happen, there’s little way to prove that it did, since the impersonator is unlikely to come forward and the impersonatee is unlikely to even know he’s being impersonated? And doesn’t it follow that since the crime of Voter Fraud is almost impossible to prove after the fact, and so easy to prevent ahead of time, that a photo ID just makes sense?
- Conversely, can’t one logically conclude that since Voter Disenfranchisement is very easy to prevent ahead of time, that helping voters without IDs get them makes a lot more sense than fighting to allow just anyone to vote as anyone without photo ID?
Or am I missing something?
Update: It appears that the lady cited as an example for the “disenfranchisement” has been proven to be guilty of…guess what?…voter fraud. Turns out the ID she tried to use in the previous election was a Florida Driver’s license, and she was registered to vote in two States. So she got caught, and now is screaming “disenfranchisement.” Well…there…you…go. Hat tip to Hot Air.