by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef’s latest Forbes column explores the potential impact on voter fraud from a recent 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.
Ballot fraud is illegal in all states, but some of them have taken steps intended to prevent it because a) it’s almost impossible to kick out an illegal vote once it has been cast and b) vote fraud is extremely hard to detect and prosecute. A small step in that direction is a law requiring people to show valid picture identification before they’re given a ballot.
Indiana has had such a law since 2005 and its constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board in 2008. Indiana’s Secretary of State, Connie Lawson, notes in this article that voter turnout increased after the law’s implementation and that there is no compelling evidence that any voters have been blocked from voting due to the stricter identification requirements.
However, on June 29th the Fourth Circuit struck down a similar North Carolina law enacted in 2013 in NAACP v. McCrory. The three-judge panel (one Clinton appointee and two Obama appointees), chose to disregard the evidence that the law was enacted to deal with a real ballot integrity problem and instead looked at it as a Republican conspiracy to deprive black citizens of the right to vote. Judge Motz wrote in her opinion that the law targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision,” even though the law applies to all citizens without regard to race and free ID cards are available from the state.
Judge Motz also resorts to the assertion that vote fraud is a problem that doesn’t exist, which raises a logical question: how does she know that it never happens or only with extreme rarity? How can anyone claim knowledge that things are not happening? Anyway, there is abundant evidence that vote fraud does happen and with regularity. …
… Invalidating a law over nothing more than assumptions about bad motives in enacting it is politicized judging at its worst. This National Review editorial puts the point well: “Te Fourth Circuit went out of its way to ignore evidence, impugn the motives of North Carolina’s legislature, and concoct specious legal rationales to forward a political agenda.” …
… The Fourth Circuit’s decision, along with a similar one in Wisconsin, is part of a coordinated assault by the left on elections. As attorney J. Christian Adams writes in this article, “The integrity of our elections is suffering from a coordinated, multi-million dollar attack on multiple fronts. It’s far more complicated than one centralized high-powered conspiracy to ‘rig’ the election. A more sophisticated understanding of what is happening is essential to combat the real threat.”