Why don't we talk about the real reason voter IDs are important?
Heritage legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund point out today in the Wall Street Journal that throwing out voter ID laws in Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina won't help minorities in those states.
The Supreme Court said in 2008 that voter ID laws are not unconstitutional and do not make voting harder for minorities. And yet three federal courts subsequently have thrown out voter ID laws in these three states. The three rulings are based on false readings of the Voting Rights Act, designed to halt racial discrimination in voting.
Von Spakovsky and Fund write:
The basic charge is that these state laws were intended to, or would have the effect of, preventing voters, particularly minority voters, from casting ballots. Yet as[Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones, who wrote a dissenting opinion] said, “despite extraordinary efforts to find voters ‘disenfranchised’ by [the Texas law], the DOJ could not uncover any, and no representative of the plaintiff organizations found any of their members unable to vote” because of the law.
The same is true in North Carolina. The Justice Department was contesting that state’s voter-ID law, the elimination of same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting, and the state’s limiting early voting to “only” 10 days. The plaintiffs, in addition to failing to produce witnesses unable to vote because of these changes, produced no voter-turnout information to support their false claims. The actual turnout data show that voters were not kept out of the polls by any of these requirements.
The Justice Department’s so-called experts claimed that turnout would be depressed because—in a patronizingly racist claim that the Fourth Circuit believed—black voters are “less sophisticated” and can’t figure out how to register and vote. But as the district court had already discovered, black voters in North Carolina actually “fared better in terms of registration and turnout rates in 2014, after the new law was implemented, than in 2010, when the old provisions were in place.”
African American voting has actually increased disproportionally to white voting in states that have voter ID laws. Moreover, none of the dire predictions about suppressing black vote in voter ID states have come to pass. Fund and von Spakovsky conclude:
What Judge Jones said in the Texas case applies to all of these decisions: They move “us another step down the road of judicial supremacy by potentially subjecting virtually every voter regulation to litigation in federal court.” This is a road where purposeful racial discrimination “can be ‘inferred’ even without a shred” of evidence. They are prime examples of “unauthorized and extra-legislative transfers of power to the judiciary” that “disable the working of the democratic process.” And harm the security and integrity of the election process.
Something else that harms the integrity of the election process is voter fraud.
Along with judicial supremacy in the election process, this is what must be discussed.
Everybody in this society, even the very poor, has an ID. The reason we need voter ID laws is to prevent voter fraud.
Does anybody think that this is not at the bottom of the furor over voter ID laws?