Should Voter ID Be Required to Vote? (Click for Poll)

March 24, 2014

We live in a constitutional republic, a form of democracy, that allows the people to vote for their representatives in government.  These representatives that we elect effect our everyday lives through laws, taxes and policies.

Because of the great responsibilities and consequences inherent in public office, and the importance of electing good, responsible and accountable people to those public offices, it is imperative that the process for elections be fair and free of fraud.

The best way to ensure fair elections that are free of fraud is to require voters to provide some type of ID that proves that they are citizens eligible to vote. We want to see what you think about this, so vote in our poll below then keep reading to see why we think voter ID works and should be required in all 50 states.

Should voter ID be required in all 50 states?
Yes
No
View Result

The biggest arguments against voter ID are that it is suppressive of the minority vote, because it is difficult for some minority voters to get proper, valid ID.  Of course this is a strawman argument, as many states, like North Carolina, will provide a registered voter with a free ID card if necessary.  It is also unlikely that voter ID laws will suppress the vote totals, as Texas saw their voter turnout nearly double after implementing a voter ID system.

Another argument against voter ID is that it is an invasive violation of privacy of the voter, and voters shouldn’t have to provide ID in order to exercise their rights.  By that same logic then, people should not have to show ID and undergo background checks in order to exercise their Second Amendment rights, or carry a valid ID and liability insurance after passing a test in order to exercise their right to travel by driving a car.

ID cards have become ubiquitous in our society.  We use them for everything from flying on airplanes and using banks to buying beer and cigarettes.  In fact, the use of ID is so ingrained in our society that at a recent protest against voter ID, protestors were required to present a valid ID in order to participate.

One of the main reasons to support voter ID is the poor upkeep of voter rolls across the nation’s states.  Local election boards and commissions have the responsibility to clean and update their voter rolls periodically, removing voters that have died or moved and reregistered somewhere else.  The problem is that the vast majorities of locales don’t communicate with each other, thus it is difficult for the boards and commissions to verify if someone has died or moved, and they are left on the voter roll.

According to NPR:

A new report by the Pew Center on the States finds that more than 1.8 million dead people are currently registered to vote. And 24 million registrations are either invalid or inaccurate.

The Pew study found that almost 3 million people are registered to vote in more than one state.

Of course, not every dead person still on the rolls or person registered in multiple locations will commit voter fraud, but it is possible and the system is vulnerable to be exploited by groups with such things in mind.

Then we have illegal voters, either illegal immigrants that aren’t eligible to vote, or citizens deliberately registering multiple times in multiple places for the express intent of committing vote fraud.

A local NBC news affiliate in Ft. Myers, FL, conducted their own investigation of the voter rolls in their area and discovered dozens of registered voters that were either non-citizens or registered in another state.  According to Townhall:

“We don’t know how widespread this problem is because elections offices don’t keep track of where non-citizens live,” Pierrotti reports, “So we decided to do something that they’d never tried to do before: We found them on our own.” The investigation began by examining state forms on which residents had declined jury duty by checking a box indicating that they weren’t US citizens, and were therefore ineligible to serve. Pierrotti then cross-referenced those results with local voter rolls, identifying at least 94 people who were registered to vote in the state of Florida. Next, he visited some of these people at their homes, where they admitted that they weren’t citizens and professed ignorance as to how they were registered to vote in the first place. But voting records confirmed that they’d exercised their “right” to vote that, as non-citizens, they do not actually possess.

While this is just a small sample from a small area, the results can be extrapolated out across the country.  Just in Florida alone, this sample suggests that there could be approximately 6,300 illegally registered voters.

And then there is the corrupt politician aspect of voter fraud, and why the identity of each voter and their ballot is integral to the integrity of the voting system. One need only look at the 2012 election in Florida’s 18th Congressional District that saw incumbent Allen West ousted by Democrat Patrick Murphy.

A self-professed progressive liberal journalist that writes for Policymic, who claims he hates West and wanted him to lose, was nonetheless disturbed by the allegations of fraud and illegal activities on the part of the Democrat Party during and after that election.  He now claims that West was unfairly voted out of office, and the Democrats cheated to do it.  He points out several irregularities and possibly illegal activities, including:

In Florida a recount is automatically declared if the margin of victory is .5% or less. The original count for the election had West losing by .74%.  The Washington Times said that “On election night incumbent Republican Allen West had maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2,000 votes until Democratic St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker inexplicably ‘recounted’ thousands of early ballots, resulting in a 4,400 vote shift to the challenger.”

The first irregularity occurred when observers were not permitted as per the law to “oversee the count of absentee ballots, those damaged by voting machines, and ballots in which the three pages have become separated,” according to the Washington Times. Additionally, “8,000 military absentee ballots were being counted in an area off-limits to observers.” Democratic Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher and staff were observed being noticeably uncooperative and hostile to individuals trying to observe the counting of the votes. Bucher has also been accused of voter suppression by the Washington Times. “When responding to a court order to open polls to early voters on the Sunday before the election, she only informed local Democrats. Republicans only heard about it later and not from her” said the Washington Times.

The West campaign also complained that “in some precincts of St. Lucie County there appear to be dozens more ballots being counted than the number of voters” explained the Washington Times. West asked Walker for an audit of the poll books to reconcile the discrepancy in the voter count. According to the Washington Times, Walker “has hired an attorney and gone to ground.”

The article goes on to describe possible double and triple-counting of some ballots, while other ballots were completely ignored or lost.  Throughout each “recount”, West still came up just barely short of the margin that would automatically start a complete recount of every ballot.  The Florida Secretary of State even sent auditors to the precincts in question, but nothing ever came of it.  In the end, West eventually conceded and Murphy took the seat in Congress.

These same stories quite possibly played out in various locales and precincts across the country on voting day in 2012, especially in the swing states.  There is ample anecdotal evidence of widespread voter fraud in places like Virginia and Ohio.  Amazingly, these cases of possible voter fraud come from states that don’t require a valid ID in order to vote.

For our form of democracy to work, it requires one person, one vote.  It is crucial that states be allowed or compelled to do whatever is necessary to clean up their voter rolls of everyone that is dead or has moved.  It should also be required that each person attempting to cast a ballot prove that they are who they say they are by presenting a valid ID.

Please share on Facebook and Twitter if you agree that everyone should be required to show a valid ID in order to vote.

Copyright Capitalism Institute, 2011-present.