Mike in Chapel Hill sent me this excellent link a while back and I’ve been remiss in not sharing it. Short version: report on voter fraud in Virginia finds… no in person voter fraud, i.e., the kind the mandatory photo ID is supposed to present. That virtually never actually happens anyway:
As Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) prepares to decide the fate of a proposed voter ID bill in the Old Dominion state, the Richmond Times-Dispatchreported on voter fraud prosecutions stemming out of the 2008 election that “may signal a more significant voter fraud issue than some state lawmakers realized.”
One problem: the type of voter fraud that allegedly took place — namely, felons voting when they shouldn’t have been — wouldn’t have been prevented by the proposed voter ID law.
The Times-Dispatch reports that officials have prosecuted 39 cases of voter fraud out of the approximately 3.7 million votes cast in the 2008 election. The newspaper said that a majority of the 39 cases resulted in convictions and an additional 26 cases were still being investigated…
The newspaper reports that a majority of the cases that they reviewed that resulted in arrests in central Virginia “involved felons who either illegally registered to vote or who illegally voted in the general election, or both.” Virginia bans felons from voting unless their rights are restored by the Governor.
None of the cases, the newspaper said, “appeared to involve someone who misrepresented his or her identity at the polls to vote.” [emphasis mine]
The “integrity of our elections” is threatened not by this type of fictional voter fraud, but my Republicans trying to prevent legitimate voters from exercising their rights (and for what it’s worth, I think it’s an outrage that once you have served your time for a crime you are still denied the right to vote).
The evidence is quite simply overwhelming that Republicans have no great interest in the “integrity of our election system” but simply making it harder to vote for classes of people (i.e., minorities, transient, young people) who are more likely to vote Democratic. Anything else is just hot air. I’d almost prefer some honesty from Republicans on this point.