Now-former President Obama couldn’t resist a parting shot at election integrity laws like voter ID. A shot that, typically, was full of provocative rhetoric and simply not true:
At his final press conference, Obama promised that he would continue to fight voter-ID laws and other measures designed to improve voting integrity. The U.S. is “the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote,” he claimed. “It traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery, and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise.”
Not even close to being true. “Demonstrably false” in fact, as John Fund, who has written on the subject before, easily demonstrates:
All industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting. Britain was a holdout, but last month it announced that persistent examples of voter fraud will require officials to see passports or other documentation from voters in areas prone to corruption.
In 2012, I attended a conference in Washington, D.C., of election officials from more than 60 countries; they convened there to observe the U.S. presidential election. Most were astonished that so many U.S. states don’t require voter ID.
Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation, is more blunt:
“It’s a complete and total lie… Every Western democracy requires ID — even South Africa … The exact opposite of what he said is true.”
A cursory look at our neighbors Canada and Mexico, which both require voters to show ID, puts the lie to Obama’s claim. But fact-free story-telling to drive a narrative was always more his style, and apparently will continue to be.