Tag Archives: Voter ID

West Virginia Legislature Proposes Photo Voter ID, End to Automatic Voter Registration

“Photo identification is necessary in order to ensure legitimacy in our elections.” 

 

Add West Virginia to the list of states considering commonsense legislation to make elections more secure.

 

HB 2781 requires photo voter identification, allows voters without an accepted photo ID to sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot that will be counted if the signature is verified by election officials, and ends the state’s automatic voter registration of driver’s license applicants.

 

Under this bill, voters will present one of the forms of ID to a poll clerk, and the clerk will verify that the name on the ID matches the name on the voter registration card.

 

Delegate Saira Blair, R-Berkeley, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the law would put West Virginia more in line with other states.

The bill includes exceptions for voters living in state licensed care facilities and those with religious objections to being photographed, as well as provisions for providing free photo voter ID cards.

 

HB 2781 also authorizes West Virginia’s Division of Motor Vehicles to share the U.S. citizenship status of voluntarily-registering license applicants with the Secretary of State, who will forward the information to county clerks to help keep non-citizens off the state’s voter rolls.

 

‘No definitive relationship’ between voter ID and turnout

Remember all those headlines last month touting a study that “proved” voter ID laws are racist and suppress minority voter turnout? They were wrong:

A new study by professors from Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania challenges the notion that voter ID laws disproportionately affect minorities.

 

The new study finds “no definitive relationship” between tough laws requiring voters to present identification and a dropoff in Hispanic, black, and other minority turnout.

 

The study comes as a response to another one, published and widely reported in January, that asserted states with voter ID laws drive down turnout on Election Day, particularly among Hispanics. That earlier study, conducted by professors from the University of San Diego and Bucknell University, often is cited by liberal opponents of voter ID laws.

How did the earlier work of Hajnal, Lajevardi, and Nielson get it so wrong? From the new study by Grimmer et al:

Here, we show that the results of this paper are a product of large data inaccuracies, that the evidence does not support the stated conclusion, and that model specifications produce highly variable results. When errors in the analysis are corrected, one can recover positive, negative, or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout. Our findings underscore that no definitive relationship between strict voter ID laws and turnout can be established from the validated CCES data.

“Seventh Circuit Gives Little Hope to Opponents of Wisconsin Voter ID Law”

Opponents of voter ID and other commonsense election integrity reforms enacted by Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature didn’t fare well in federal court last week.

 

A skeptical Seventh Circuit panel was “harshly critical of a federal judge’s finding that Wisconsin’s voter ID law discriminates against black voters” and found “little direct evidence to support ruling the law unconstitutional.”

At oral arguments Friday morning, a Seventh Circuit panel asked virtually no questions of Wisconsin Chief Deputy Solicitor General Ryan Walsh, who argued that the state provides its citizens with the “most generous, voter-friendly system in the nation.”

 

But U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook grilled plaintiff One Wisconsin’s attorney Bruce Spiva.

 

“The Supreme Court has said that knowledge of disparate impact does not prove discriminatory intent,” Easterbrook said, expressing his doubt that the nonprofit carried its burden of proof.

Arguments against the state’s early voting rules didn’t go over any better with the panel.

[Easterbrook] said those challenging Wisconsin’s voting laws were contending that Democrats can expand voting rules to help their party at the polls but Republicans can’t tighten them to their advantage.

 

“That can’t be right,” he said during arguments in a pair of Wisconsin cases.

 

His colleagues on the panel — Judges Michael Kanne and Diane Sykes — showed they had just as many doubts about lower court rulings that struck down voting rules set by GOP Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers.

 

“Under Trump, government flips on Texas voter ID lawsuit, says state didn’t intend to discriminate”

It’s a new day at the DOJ:

The Department of Justice under President Donald Trump will support Texas officials’ claim that the state’s voter identification law did not specifically target minority voters, retreating from the federal government’s previous stance that state lawmakers intentionally discriminated when crafting the law.

The case will be back in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

 

Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos denied a joint request last week from DOJ and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to postpone the February 28 hearing while the Texas Legislature considers a bill amending its voter ID law. SB5 would incorporate affidavit provisions that Judge Ramos ordered the state to use in the November 2016 election.

Arkansas House approves photo voter ID proposal

The Arkansas House approved a photo voter ID requirement in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment, passing House Joint Resolution 1016 by a 73-21 vote.

The proposal, if referred to the November 2018 ballot and approved by voters, would amend the Arkansas Constitution to include among the qualifications to vote a requirement that a person show photo ID before casing a ballot in person and include photo ID when mailing an absentee ballot.

HJR 1016 has been referred to the Senate.

 

Another bill requiring photo identification when voting in person or by mail, House Bill 1047, also passed the House and the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.

No, We Don’t Need a National Voter ID Standard

Voter ID is good.  But that doesn’t mean national voter ID standards should follow.

 

We don’t need a national voter ID standard for the same reason we don’t need any other national voting standards: because the last thing we need, and the “worst thing that could happen to American elections is to give Washington D.C. more power, any more power.”

The power to mandate or standardize American voter ID laws is the same power that could one day ban all state use of Voter ID. That’s Constitutional law 101. . . . Republicans and election integrity advocates who want to awaken it – and promote national voter identification mandates or standards – would awaken a federal beast that could ultimately ban all state voter ID laws.

 

All across America, states are fighting the federal government so they may execute their Constitutional power to craft and uphold reasonable voter qualifications, especially where keeping non-citizens from casting ballots is involved.  Federal standards over elections are the dream of the institutional Left – and the nightmare of America’s Founders.

Why is it so important that voter ID standards remain a state, not a federal, decision?

Because decentralization of control over elections preserves liberty.

 

The Founders knew the danger of central authority.  They knew people in the future would welcome small trade-offs that undermine this ideal.  National voter ID, but no more!, they’ll say.  So goes the fallacy.

 

Central authority is a greater threat to the integrity of American elections than voter impersonation at the polls.  Even alien voting is a bigger threat to the integrity of American elections than voter impersonation at the polls – and voter ID does nothing to prevent that.

 

Frustration with voter fraud can make a quick fix look like the best fix.  A national voter ID standard is a quick fix that undermines the Constitutional order.  It also invites a dangerous counter-strike the next time the Democrats run the federal government – a federal ban on voter ID.  That’s an outcome I suspect nobody who cares about election integrity would want.  The answer is instead to pass good state voter ID laws, no matter how different each one looks.  That’s the American way.

North Carolina’s Democrat Gov. and AG try to stop SCOTUS review of voter ID case

North Carolina’s newly elected Democrat Governor and Attorney General are attempting to stop the state’s U.S. Supreme Court appeal to reinstate its voter ID law that was initiated by the previous governor, Republican Pat McCrory, but it’s not clear if their efforts to keep the election integrity measure blocked will work or are even legal.

 

Governor Roy Cooper and state Attorney General Josh Stein “sent a letter on Tuesday dismissing private attorneys who had been representing the state in an appeal of a ruling last year by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found key provisions of a 2013 elections law overhaul unconstitutional. . . . But state lawmakers countered that the private attorneys represent the state, not Cooper and Stein, making their move to discharge the attorneys invalid.”

Thomas Farr, a Raleigh attorney who has represented the lawmakers for several years in the elections law case, sent a letter to William McKinney, Cooper’s general counsel, arguing that neither the governor nor Stein have the authority to discharge him and others at his firm from the case and that he and others plan to continue in the case.

Regardless of efforts by Cooper and Stein, the State Board of Elections and its executive director and members continue to be parties to the case, and Republican General Assembly members who sponsored the legislation can petition to intervene in the case to continue the SCOTUS review process.

 

Republican House and Senate leaders were quick to criticize Cooper and Stein’s move to dismiss outside counsel representing the state in its bid to reinstate the law:

“Roy Cooper’s and Josh Stein’s desperate and politically-motivated stunt to derail North Carolina’s voter ID law is not only illegal, it also raises serious questions about whether they’ve allowed their own personal and political prejudices and conflicts of interest to cloud their professional judgment,” Phil Berger, the Rockingham County Republican who leads the Senate, and Tim Moore, the Cleveland County Republican at the head of the House, said in a joint statement.

In April 2016, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder upheld as constitutional all of North Carolina’s 2013 omnibus election-reform law known as the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA), which included a photo voter ID requirement.

“Iowa Poll: Majority support mandatory voter ID”

According to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, 69 percent of Iowans think voters should have to present government-issued identification before casting a ballot.

 

A voter ID requirement is part of the Election Integrity Act proposed by Secretary of State Paul Pate and introduced in the Iowa House earlier this month.

It’s Time for Only Citizens to Vote in Texas

We need citizenship verification in voter registration.

 

The conviction of Texas resident and Mexican national Rosa Maria Ortega for illegally registering and voting multiple times is the latest proof of why we need more than just a check box to make sure that only eligible citizens are registering and voting in American elections.

 

In Texas, home to more than 4.5 million immigrants, lawmakers are again proposing legislation to verify the citizenship of Texans registering to vote. Other state legislatures are considering similar proposals to prevent non-citizens like Ortega from illegally participating in elections.

The Ortega case perfectly demonstrates the necessity of these bills. The voter registration process is one of the remaining aspects of elections that still rely on the honor system. . . .

The honor system failed with Ortega and is failing across America. Unfortunately, this problem was created by the Motor Voter law in 1993 which made the failing honor system federal law.

More than half of Texas immigrants come from Mexico, a country that already requires proof of citizenship to join the voter registry and a government-issued photo voter ID to cast a ballot.

The only people who will suffer from citizenship verification laws are ineligible non-citizens who try to vote in our elections.

 

Just electing a new President does not fix the problems with the integrity of our elections. Washington isn’t the solution when it comes to election integrity anyhow—nor should it be.

 

If Texas’ voters want to see free and fair elections, they must demand them from Austin.

The same applies to voters in every other state.

Why the North Carolina voter ID case matters

By hearing North Carolina’s voter ID appeal, the Supreme Court can stop the Left’s transformation of the Voting Rights Act into a partisan political weapon.

They may never admit it, but the civil rights industry is tired of spending millions of dollars only to lose most voter ID fights in court. Instead of declaring defeat, the strategy has shifted to changing the rules of engagement, and trying to transform the Voting Rights Act into something it isn’t. . . .

 

The civil rights industry, which includes swarms of career employees in the Justice Department, has been losing voter ID fights for the better part of a decade. . . .courts have acknowledged that such laws do not target minorities and are equally applied to all. It certainly does not hurt that federal judges are aware that polling shows how voter ID is more popular among poorer minorities than wealthy liberal whites.

 

Because voter ID is overwhelmingly popular, and because courts have largely supported it, they are trying to change what the Voting Rights Act means. They are trying to transform the law away from a protecting against real world disenfranchisement, to a statistical game that aims to protect Democratic political power. If an election theoretically has a disparate impact on Democrats, then the Voting Rights Act is violated.

 

They can press this ugly transformation of America’s most important civil rights law because they have spent 30 years stoking the flames of racial polarization and trying to make “black” synonymous with “Democrat.”

In April 2016, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder issued a 485-page ruling dismissing all claims in the challenge to the state’s 2013 omnibus election reform bill that included voter ID, but in August the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling “by substituting its own version of the facts, even though appeals courts don’t see witnesses, and even though experts for the United States were found to be not credible. This difference between two courts was because of how the Voting Rights Act was read.”

Before the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that existing federal preclearance obligations were based on outdated justifications — an action in popular press falsely branded as “gutting the Voting Rights Act” — North Carolina was held to a standard of guilty-until-proven innocent any time that it wished to change even the slightest election procedure. . . .

 

North Carolina’s election laws are no longer supposed to be judged on those unconstitutional standards, thanks to Shelby. But that didn’t stop the court of appeals from using a bold new version of the Voting Rights Act that imported those obsolete standards. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the surviving provisions, requires real world causality, where someone actually suffers electoral defeat or denial of the right to vote. The law requires a real world “totality of circumstances” inquiry, not statistical games.

 

The dispute over how to read and enforce the most critical component of the Voting Rights Act has now landed on the Supreme Court’s doorstep. The Public Interest Legal Foundation and others have submitted briefs to support North Carolina’s request for a hearing on its voter ID law. The court of appeals transformed the Voting Rights Act into something it is not. In doing so, it converted the law into a raw partisan weapon that will be used to help Democrats.