Let’s get real about voter IDs.

Opponents of voter ID laws may loudly claim that such requirements are unfair because they make it more difficult for minorities and poor people to vote. Nonsense.

What voter ID laws really do is prevent voter fraud.  Given that nobody—including the poor, or, if public assistance is involved, especially the poor—operates in this society without some kind of government-issued ID, it should be painfully obvious that the oft-stated rationale against voter ID laws is false.

Democrats also insist that voter ID laws are unnecessary because nobody commits voter fraud.  To buy this, Mona Charen observes, you have to believe that in a nation with widespread tax evasion, insurance fraud, and identity theft cheats somehow steer clear of voter fraud.

One kind of voter fraud involves non-citizens voting in our elections. Charen reports on a new study that shows how realistic it is for the GOP to fear votes cast by people who are not even citizens of the country:

[P]ersuasive evidence that vote fraud is both real and consequential has appeared. A new academic paper published in the journal Electoral Studies provides evidence of voting by non-citizens that directly contradicts the Democrats’ “nothing to see here” mantra. Under the neutral headline “Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections?” three professors from Virginia universities answer in the affirmative. Using an enormous database of voters nationwide (32,800 from 2008, and 55,400 in 2012), the authors find that about one-quarter of the non-citizens who participated in the survey were registered to vote.

Studying survey responses, the authors judge that non-citizen voters tend to favor Democratic candidates by large margins.

In many states, their participation wouldn’t be large enough to make a difference, but in North Carolina in 2008, the authors calculate, non-citizens may well have tipped the state into Obama’s column. “So what?” you may say. Even if John McCain had won that state, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the national election. True, but remember the presidential race in 2000? Remember “hanging chad” Florida?

Several House seats, and one very significant Senate seat, were probably won by Democrats on the strength of illegal votes. In 2008, the authors note, Senator Al Franken won by just 312 votes in Minnesota. That seat was the sixtieth vote to give Democrats a filibuster-proof supermajority to pass major legislation such as Obamacare. “[Voting] participation by just 0.65 percent of non-citizens in Minnesota is sufficient to account for the entirety of Franken’s margin,” the authors write. “Our best guess is that nearly ten times as many voted.”

Voter-ID laws will not prevent non-citizens from voting. Green-card holders and even illegal aliens get driver’s licenses. But that’s not an argument against voter ID. It’s an argument for issuing driver’s licenses that specify non-citizenship.

As for blacks being “targeted” by voter-ID laws, a study by Reuters found almost no difference (2 versus 3 percent) in the number of white and black voters who lacked ID.

As Charen notes, voting is an almost sacred duty in the U.S.

Sadly, some don't regard it as such and actively fight against ID laws that would protect the ballot box from fraud.   

It is time for advocates of voter ID laws to be frank about why such laws are necessary.

This is particularly disturbing when we are coming up to an election when margins are likely to be razor thin.