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Voter ID – Protecting the Integrity of Elections Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow Center for Legal & Judicial Studies The Heritage Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Voter ID – Protecting the Integrity of Elections Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow Center for Legal & Judicial Studies The Heritage Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voter ID – Protecting the Integrity of Elections Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow Center for Legal & Judicial Studies The Heritage Foundation

2 Virginia Senate Bill No Individuals voting in person must show either:  Virginia driver’s license  U.S. passport  Photo ID issued by local, state, or federal government  Student photo ID issued by Virginia college  Employee photo ID issued by employer  Photo voter registration card

3 Free Photo ID Senate Bill No specifies that the Virginia State Board of Elections will provide (through General Registrars): “voter registration cards containing the voter’s photograph and signature for free for those voters who do not have one of the forms of identification specified…”

4 Claims Made about Voter ID  “It will impose considerable inconvenience and expense to solve a problem – voter impersonation – that simply does not exist.” Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 6, 2013  It is un-American… Virginia Democratic Party  It is a poll tax… Virginia Del. Jennifer McClellan and Sen. Donald McEachin  It suppresses the vote of minorities, the elderly and the poor. Brennan Center

5 Voter ID Can Prevent  Impersonation fraud  Voting under fraudulent or fictitious registrations – both as to the identity or the residential address of the voter  Voting by illegal aliens  Double voting by individuals registered in more than one state

6 Voter ID is not “un-American”  Americans overwhelmingly support voter ID as a common-sense reform  That support crosses all racial, ethnic, and party lines  Quinnipiac University Poll of Virginia voters (Feb. 21, 2013) who support photo ID to vote: 75% of all voters 75% of all voters 79% of Whites & 66% of Blacks 79% of Whites & 66% of Blacks 95% of R’s; 57% of D’s, & 78% of I’s 95% of R’s; 57% of D’s, & 78% of I’s 77% of Men and 74% of Women 77% of Men and 74% of Women Are all of these voters “un-American?”

7 Voter ID is Not a Poll Tax!  Every state that has imposed a photo ID requirement provides a free ID to anyone who doesn’t have one  This issue was raised in several of the unsuccessful lawsuits filed against state voter ID laws  Courts have rejected the claim that incidental costs associated with obtaining an ID are poll tax

8 Common Cause of Georgia v. Billups 439 F.Supp.2d 1294, 1354 (N.D. Ga. 2006) “[Such an argument] represents a dramatic overstatement of what fairly constitutes a ‘poll tax.’ Thus, the imposition of tangential burdens does not transform a regulation into a poll tax. Moreover, the cost of time and transportation cannot plausibly qualify as a prohibited poll tax because those same ‘costs’ also results from voter registration and in-person voting requirements, which one would not reasonably construe as a poll tax.”

9 Voter ID Does NOT Suppress Turnout or Prevent Anyone From Voting In federal lawsuit against Georgia’s voter ID law, ACLU & NAACP claimed there were hundreds of thousands of voters w/out ID – couldn’t find a single witness unable to vote: “[This] failure to identify those individuals ‘is particularly acute’ in light of Plaintiffs’ contention that a large number of Georgia voters lack acceptable Photo ID….[T]he fact that Plaintiffs, in spite of their efforts, have failed to uncover anyone ‘who can attest to the fact that he/she will be prevented from voting’ provides significant support for a conclusion that the photo ID requirement does not unduly burden the right to vote.” Common Cause of Georgia v. Billups, 504 F.Supp.2d 1333, 1380 (N.D. Ga. 2007)

10 Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita 458 F.Supp.2d 775, (S.D. Ind. 2006) “Despite apocalyptic assertions of wholesale voter disenfranchisement, Plaintiffs have produced not a single piece of evidence of any identifiable registered voter who would be prevented from voting pursuant to [the photo ID law] because of his or her inability to obtain the necessary photo identification.”

11 Crawford v. Marion County Election Board 553 U.S. 181 (2008)  U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s photo ID law in 2008 as constitutional in an opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, calling it the strictest law in the country: “[F]lagrant examples of such fraud…have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists, that occasional examples have surfaced in recent years…that…demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”

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14 Georgia Compared to Other States  2008 General Election vs million voters – largest turnout in state’s history 4 million voters – largest turnout in state’s history Democratic turnout up 6.1 % points – 5 th largest increase in nation Democratic turnout up 6.1 % points – 5 th largest increase in nation Overall turnout up 6.7 % points – 2 nd largest increase in nation Overall turnout up 6.7 % points – 2 nd largest increase in nation  2010 General Election vs % of registered blacks vote vs. 42.9% in % of registered blacks vote vs. 42.9% in 2006

15 Indiana Compared to Other States  2008 General Election vs Turnout of Democratic voters increased 8.32 % points – largest increase in nation Turnout of Democratic voters increased 8.32 % points – largest increase in nation 59.2% of Black VAP voted vs. only 53.8% in % of Black VAP voted vs. only 53.8% in 2004 Pres. Obama won – 1 st Democrat since 1964 Pres. Obama won – 1 st Democrat since 1964  2010 General Election Black share of vote went from 7% in 2008 to 12% in 2010 Black share of vote went from 7% in 2008 to 12% in 2010

16 University of Missouri Study  Turnout increased by 2 percentage points overall in Indiana in 2006 in first election after voter law in effect;  No evidence that counties with higher percentages of minority, poor, elderly, or less- educated populations suffered any reduction in voter turnout:  “[T]he only consistent and statistically significant impact of photo ID in Indiana is to increase voter turnout in counties with a greater percentage of Democrats relative to other counties.” Jeffrey Milyo, “The Effects of Photographic Identification on Voter Turnout: A County Level Analysis (2007)

17 University of Delaware & University of Nebraska-Lincoln  Examined data from 2000, 2002, 2004 & 2006 elections;  Found voter ID laws do not affect turnout, including across racial/ethnic/socioeconomic lines:  “[C]oncerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing.” Jason Mycoff, Michael Wagner, & David Wilson, “The Empirical Effect of Voter- ID Laws: Present or Absent (2009)

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19 American University  Survey of registered voters in Maryland, Indiana, and Mississippi  Less than 0.5% had neither a photo ID nor citizenship documentation  “[S]howing a photo ID as a requirement for voting does not appear to be a serious problem in any of the states” because “[a]lmost all registered voters have an acceptable form of photo ID.” “Voter IDs Are Not the Problem: A Survey of Three States,” Center for Democracy & Election Management (2008)

20 You Cannot Function Without ID in Today’s America Photo ID is needed to:  Open bank accounts  Cash a check  Rent cars  Check into a hotel  Board an airplane  Buy cigarettes  Buy alcohol  See a doctor  Apply for food stamps or Medicaid  Send a package through UPS  Buy a gun  Get a prescription filled  Access federal buildings  Get into a federal courthouse

21 Loving v. Virginia 388 U.S. 1 (1967)  “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”  “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

22 New York City Marriage License  Both parties must provide name, current address, country and date of birth, name and country of birth of both parents, Social Security number, and marital history.  Application fee is $35, payable by credit card or money order.  Both parties must present proper ID: Non Driver ID Card with photographNon Driver ID Card with photograph Driver’s license with photographDriver’s license with photograph Learners Permit with photographLearners Permit with photograph Active US Military IDActive US Military ID PassportPassport US Certificate of NaturalizationUS Certificate of Naturalization US Alien Registration CardUS Alien Registration Card US Employment Authorization CardUS Employment Authorization Card

23 Marriage License, City of Philadelphia  Application fee is $80 payable only by cash or money order.  Applicants must produce a CURRENT, VALID PHOTO ID: a driver’s license a driver’s license non-driver’s license non-driver’s license international driver’s license international driver’s license passport passport military I.D. military I.D. resident alien card or consulate card resident alien card or consulate card  Applicants must also provide a Social Security card or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity which reflects the applicant’s Social Security number. The City of Philadelphia advises that “NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE TAKEN WITHOUT THESE DOCUMENTS.”

24 Marriage License in Fairfax County, Virginia  Both parties must appear before the Clerk to obtain a license and must be 18 years of age or older (proof of age is required with EITHER A VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE WITH PICTURE, PASSPORT OR MILITARY IDENTIFICATION).  If a party is 16 or 17 years of age a parent must appear with identification.  Application fee is $30 payable by cash or credit card

25 Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Washington, D.C. Office

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27 Voter ID is Not Only Answer  Other measures are needed to secure integrity of elections: ID for absentee ballots (KS, PA, AL) ID for absentee ballots (KS, PA, AL) Proof of citizenship to register to vote (KS, GA, AZ) (Obama DOJ agreed GA law not discr. under VRA) Proof of citizenship to register to vote (KS, GA, AZ) (Obama DOJ agreed GA law not discr. under VRA) Use of jury summons forms to correct registration records Use of jury summons forms to correct registration records Participation in new Kansas cross-check program Participation in new Kansas cross-check program Database comparisons with federal databases & county/state records Database comparisons with federal databases & county/state records Fraud investigation unit at State Board Fraud investigation unit at State Board


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