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.