It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. - Winston Churchill
Anybody old enough to remember the presidential election of 2000 will remember the amount of controversy involved with it and the legal wrangling that went along with it. If ever there was a time to cry foul over our election methodology, it would seem to have been then.
[What's happened since then?]
There were some memes with the Black Panthers, ACORN and voting machines that came up, but that didn’t alter the course of our election results. None of these would have changed the outcome of the 2008 election of Barack Obama, however, doomsday alarmists on the right have determined that we need to fuck with our election process. Apparently democracy doesn’t work for everybody.
Despite a 5 year study of our voting methods by the Bush administration to exonerate the highly controversial 2000 election, there has been no evidence that voter identification needs to be proffered at the polls. With the uncontested election of Republican majorities in state houses across the country, artificial methods to discourage voter turnout are proliferating.
According to The Washington Post:
A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.
The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.
The News21 report is based on a national public-records search in which reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of alleged fraudulent activity — including registration fraud; absentee-ballot fraud; vote buying; false election counts; campaign fraud; the casting of ballots by ineligible voters, such as felons and non-citizens; double voting; and voter impersonation.
The article continues to say that only 44% of the fraud cases resulted in actual convictions. Voter impersonation was the least prevalent of voter fraud. Among all the cases, it was found that confusion was the prevailing reason for voting inconsistencies. The article reports that a voter got 2 notices about their polling places because of an address change. The person voted twice because he thought his vote wouldn’t count unless he voted both times.
All this considered, we could have had up to 10 votes invalidated on election days since 2000 had these voter ID laws been in place at the time. It is clearly obvious the right is creating a cure for which there is no disease.