Democrats keep claiming that voter fraud is a myth.
But voter fraud has mattered in plenty of American elections. Take Lyndon Johnson’s election to the U.S. Senate in 1948, when LBJ won by manufacturing enough fake votes to turn a 20,000-vote deficit into an 87-vote win. Others point to voter fraud in Illinois and Texas during the 1960 presidential election; indeed, we may never know whether Kennedy actually “won.” Chicago was infamous for counting the votes of dead people. In 1982, U.S. Attorney Daniel Webb found that at least 100,000 fraudulent votes were cast. In 1994, Democrats obtained control of the Pennsylvania state Senate through large-scale voter fraud using absentee ballots. In 2008, illegal voting made a decisive difference in a U.S. Senate race, giving Al Franken a seat from Minnesota — one could argue that Franken’s vote allowed Obamacare to get through the Senate.
San Pedro, Calif.: Eighty-three absentee ballots were sent to different registered voters who all supposedly lived in the same small, two-bedroom apartment.
Chicago: An investigation by CBS Channel 2 found people who had been registered to vote after their death — a total of 119 dead people who had voted 229 times.
Virginia: In an examination of just eight out of the Commonwealth’s 133 counties and independent cities, 1,046 illegal aliens were discovered to have illegally registered to vote.
New York: In an undercover video, even Democrats were recently caught complaining about the amount of voter fraud created by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to give out ID cards without checking recipients’ identities.
Many of these problems would have been avoided if voters had to register in-person using a valid photo ID. This simple, commonsense requirement is standard in about a hundred countries around the world.
Moreover, many countries’ voter requirements are more stringent than anything even being discussed in the United States. Mexican voters must present voter IDs, which include not only a photo but also a thumbprint to help ensure people don’t register more than once. The IDs carry holographic images, embedded security codes, and a magnetic strip with still more security information. As an extra precaution, multiple-voting is further prevented by dipping voters’ fingers in indelible ink.
Many countries’ voter requirements are more stringent than anything even being discussed in the United States.
Mexican voters cannot register by mail — instead, they must go to their registration office and fill out forms for their voter ID. When the voter card is ready three months later, the voter must make a second trip to pick it up from the registration office. Absentee ballots must be requested at least six months before the election.
And yet somehow people in Mexico are still able to vote despite these restrictive rules. In fact, the voter-participation rate actually went up after the 1991 reforms. The new rules gave people confidence that their votes actually mattered.
Supposedly, though, a photo ID is too much to ask of American citizens.
There is evidence that, even in the U.S., voter-ID laws are associated with increased voting rates. And there hasn’t been any evidence that voting regulations disproportionately harm minorities, the poor, or the elderly.
Unfortunately, the fate of Americas recent, limited experiment with voter-ID laws will be determined by this election. After Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia’s death earlier this year, Democratic-appointee-dominated district and appeals courts around the country have had free reign in striking down voter-ID laws. Their rulings will be upheld if Hillary Clinton wins and gets to appoint Scalia’s replacement, which will result in a 5-to-4 liberal majority on the Supreme Court.
There is a real cost to voter fraud. The rigging of elections undermines the government’s legitimacy and discourages lawful voting. Today’s election will determine whether states have any chance of solving this problem.
— John R. Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of The War on Guns.