North Carolina is joining the American mainstream. It is joining at least 30 other states to adopt a voter-ID law. Such laws enjoy broad public support. A Washington Post poll last year showed that the very groups that leftists claim will be disenfranchised actually support the law by wide margins. 65 percent of blacks and 64 percent of Latinos support voter ID.  So much for the narrative that Voter ID is a war against poor minorities – because they support it more than whites.  According to a Marist poll for McClatchy, minority support for Voter ID is at 83%.  White support, 82%.     Low-income support is 84%.  Higher income support: 82%. While the deltas are small, what isn’t small is the aggregate support across all demographics.

Opponents claim that by requiring every voter to display specific forms of government-issued identification, it will disproportionately affect the very minorities and low-income people that support it overwhelmingly.

But let’s look at some of the opponent’s claims. First, the constitutionality of voter ID isn’t in doubt. The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter-ID law in 2008 in a 6–3 decision written by now-retired liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. The evidence suggests that voter ID laws don’t suppress the votes of anyone. Hans A. von Spakovsky, a voting expert at the Heritage Foundation, points out that major, dispassionate studies show no effect on turnout. Groups opposed to Georgia’s voter-ID law, passed in 2005, sued and struck out at federal district court. As von Spakovsky writes, “The court pointed out that after two years of litigation, none of the plaintiff organizations like the NAACP had been able to produce a single individual or member who did not have a photo ID or could not easily obtain one.”

So, at least according to the Supreme Court, nobody’s rights are being violated by Voter ID laws. Let us also note that Sweden and Switzerland both have Voter ID laws. Sweden is certainly not regarded as a backward, redneck country, nor is Switzerland. And in Rhode Island, the Democrats passed a Voter ID law.

Opponents of the law also like to say that fraud is “nonexistent.” But to the contrary, it was recently revealed that fake signatures got Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the primary ballot in Indiana in 2008, and Milwaukee County charged ten people earlier this year with voter fraud in 2012. As the Supreme Court noted in the Indiana case, “Flagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this nation’s history.”

Even if fraud is neither massive nor decisive, it nonetheless should be prevented to the extent possible. Every fraudulent vote disenfranchises a legal and legitimate voter. Certainly counting every legitimate vote is a goal worth pursuing, yes?

Opponents complain that the law is cutting back on early voting, from 17 days to ten days. But the state makes up for the reduced days with more sites where voters can vote early and greater hours of operation.

The left claims the law ends same-day registration. But the majority of states — including New York — don’t allow same-day registration.

According to the ever-balanced Huffington Post,  “It would also cut back on the hours allotted for early voting, prohibit people from registering on the same day that they vote, and cancel a popular program to register high-school students — practices that have boosted electoral participation among young and black voters and may have helped President Barack Obama carry the state in 2008.” It seems that Huffington’s objection is that the law doesn’t offer enough advantage to traditionally democratic voters.

I suppose that, if someone has never had a driver’s license or state ID, has lost his birth certificate, can’t afford a new birth certificate copy, lost his marriage license, lost his Social Security card, lost his passport or never had one, has never filed a tax return or never kept a copy of a tax return, W2 form, or any other of the tax documents the IRS sends to US taxpayers, has never been in court or, if he has has never retained a copy of any of the documents generated by that court appearance, has not kept his high school diploma or any other record from high school and the high school and all its records were destroyed by fire, or has a typo in any document he does have, doesn’t have the $7 fee that the state will waive anyway so doesn’t have any money, has no legs, has no wheelchair, has no one to drive them to any of the numerous places one can register to vote, can’t write, can’t use the mail because they have no mailbox, no paper, and no pen, just does not want to trouble to get any of these documents out of her drawer or file cabinet, or is not a citizen but wants to vote, then NC’s law would make it difficult to vote.

But there is an argument for making voting more, rather than less, difficult. As I said in the past, “Rights are inextricably and intimately bound up with responsibilities. The right to vote, like any other right, is not absolute. Having the right to free speech does not require that anyone provide you a platform, nor does the second amendment require the government to give you a gun. Likewise, the right to vote does not require that the government allow you to do it early, or at your convenience, or at your choice of location. Sometimes the hard work of being a good citizen requires sacrifice. It may not require heroic virtue, but it requires some effort. Voting on election day is not that great a sacrifice that it should be abrogated capriciously.”

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