Professor Rebuts Arguments Against Voter ID

Pennsylvania Professor Matthew Rouso published an Op-Ed yesterday entitled:  “Voter ID Would Protect Voter's Rights, Not Inhibit Them.”  In the Op-Ed Professor Rouso in his own way debunks the two main arguments against voter ID. 

The first argument he effectively rebuts is the lack of convictions:  


Opponents of voter ID laws to prevent fraud would quickly note that less than six-dozen cases in a state as big as Texas is almost nothing. But how often could we reasonably expect somebody who votes illegally to get caught when no identification is required? Shoplifters only get caught about one in fifty times and that’s with firms who have a huge incentive to catch them. Without voter ID, does anybody really think that illegal voters would be caught more than one in a hundred times? I don’t. With 66 cases exposed, this means a conservative estimate indicates that there have been at least 6,600 cases of voter fraud in the past decade in Texas alone. That doesn’t sound so trivial anymore, does it?


Professor Rouso is just scratching the surface here.  Other problems include limited resources to prosecute a “victim-less” crime that almost certainly guarantees charges of racial and political bias from the other side of the political spectrum from the criminal. 


Professor Rouso also addresses the second argument:


The second argument is that voter ID laws inhibit the right to vote. This is also incorrect. A voter ID requirement strengthens voters’ rights by protecting the votes of all who vote legally. When voter fraud occurs, it dilutes and weakens the votes of all law-biding voters. One could make a reasonable argument that by not forcing identification and encouraging fraud, you’re violating the promise of one person, one vote. Law-abiding voters are having their votes diluted by fraudulent votes.


We could not agree with the Professor more on that one.  The Professor concludes his Op-Ed by writing:


Opponents of voter ID claim that the law restricts voter rights and is too expensive. They’re wrong on both counts.  Given the benefits of a voter ID law and the low cost of implementation, there are two reasonable explanations for people to oppose voter ID laws. One is ignorance. The other is the understanding that there is widespread fraud, they’re benefiting from it, and they want to keep this illegal advantage.


Given the history and background of leading vote fraud deniers like the Brennan Center and Al Sharpton, the latter unfortunately seems all to all often to be true of the opponents.