4th Circuit Upheld Virginia Voter ID Law

Tuesday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Virginia's voter ID law:

In Lee v. Virginia State Board of Elections, the court held that not only does the photo-ID law “not impose an undue burden on minority voting, there was no evidence to suggest racially discriminatory intent in the law’s enactment.” Therefore, there was no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and no constitutional violation either. 

The court’s description of the evidence presented by Elias and the plaintiffs shows just how frivolous this case was. Elias produced 14 “voter-witnesses” to support the Democratic party’s claims, yet as the district court found, “none of the voter witnesses was actually denied his or her right to vote.” In other words, out of the more than 5.6 million registered voters in Virginia, the Democratic party couldn’t find a single one who was unable to vote because of the law. So much for the Left’s constantly repeated theme that voter-ID laws “suppress” votes. . . .  

The evidence that the Virginia legislature passed the ID law with the intent to discriminate was almost equally pathetic. . . . Moreover, the court observed, the ID-law was passed “through the normal legislative process, and that process was unaccompanied by any facts or circumstances suggesting the presence of racially discriminatory intent.” This made the Virginia legislative process “in no way like” the process in North Carolina over its voter-ID law, which a different panel of the Fourth Circuit held as invalid in July in NAACP v. McCrory. Thus, this panel did not have to follow the other Fourth Circuit panel’s decision over the North Carolina law. . . . 

One final note. Those opposed to voter-ID laws consistently claim that huge numbers of American voters have no ID and no ability to get one. Yet when it comes to actually producing evidence to support that claim, opponents always fall short. In fact, in this lawsuit, they couldn’t produce a single Virginian who didn’t have an ID or who couldn’t easily get the free ID provided by the state.

The entire decision is well worth reading.  The Fourth Circuit rightly recognized, as the Supreme Court said in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, that inconveniences do not constitute a substantial burden on the right to vote, especially when a state is attempting to protect the integrity of its elections and has taken steps to ensure that no eligible voter loses the opportunity to vote.