by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Crime Prevention Research Center, which I run, has compiled a database on voting rules worldwide. It shows that election integrity measures are widely accepted globally, and have often been adopted by countries after they have experienced fraud under looser voting regulations.
All 47 European countries, except parts of the United Kingdom, require a government-issued photo ID to vote. Now, the UK has introduced legislation to mandate IDs in the rest of their country. Only seven U.S. states have similarly strong photo ID requirements.
In the United States, merely requiring a unique ID number for absentee ballots generated corporate boycotts in Georgia. Compare that with Europe, where 74 percent of countries entirely ban absentee voting for citizens who reside domestically. Another 21 percent require people to collect their absentee ballots in-person and to present photo ID. Some of those countries limit absentee voting to those who are hospitalized or in the military, and they require third-party verification plus photo voter ID.
Even during the lockdowns, few exceptions were made to this standard in Europe, unlike in the United States. Poland allowed mail-in ballots for everyone last year as a one-time measure, as did two cities in Russia. But Poland’s plan played out so poorly that it dissuaded other countries from following suit. France made more limited exceptions, temporarily allowing sick or at-risk individuals to vote absentee.
In some countries, even driver’s licenses aren’t considered authoritative enough forms of voter identity verification. The Czech Republic and Russia require passports or military-issued IDs. Other countries use national identity cards. Still others, such as Colombia and Mexico, require a biometric voter ID.
The fact-checkers should have had a field day investigating Biden’s claims of European leaders’ concerns about the threat photo ID and absentee ballot requirements have for democracy. Instead, it’s been crickets.