So the Supes decided today that it’s OK to ask for ID at the polling place.
I’ve got somewhat mixed feelings about this; on one hand, it’s almost certainly true that elderly, poor and minority voters – who are certainly more likely to vote Democratic – are more likely not to have licenses or to be discouraged from voting, which makes this a regulatory decision that will have clear electoral impact.On the other, it’s important to recognize that the test case was filed on behalf of a woman who actually was found after the fact to have illegally registered in both Indiana and Florida. So it’s hard to argue that this issue is a myth.
In the first lunch I ever had with Brad Friedman (who is still pissed at me, I’m afraid…) I suggested that politically, those of us in favor of plugging the holes in the vote tallying and counting systems – who were typically of the left – could broaden our coalition by agreeing to ID’s and steps to generally secure the registration and voting part of the chain.
Brad was bitterly opposed. He pointed out – legitimately – that the best study that had been done on the subject originally showed no significant evidence of registration/impersonation fraud. That’s real data.
So I’m slightly conflicted on this. I’d like to see a fraud-resistant voting process – end to end, from registration to recount. And I’d like that process to be electorally neutral – i.e. to have no impact on nonfraudulent voting. I’m not sure this decision meets the latter of those two criteria, and I’m not sure what to do about it.