Voter ID Law
Posted: October 24, 2014
I have never been in favor of having to show identification to vote. I don't think there is rampant voter fraud in Wisconsin and I think, despite my conservative tendencies, that the effort being spearheaded mostly by Republicans will only have a negative impact on voter turnout.
I am pleased that the state's highest court has shot down the Voter ID Law in Wisconsin. Even though a nationwide poll found that nearly three-quarters of all voters believe they should be required to provide their identity before voting, I don't believe much in polls or surveys come election time.
Having said that, there is one point that I would like to make which has given me the opportunity to reflect on my thoughts about Voter ID: "Does a perceived absence of voter fraud prove there is no voter fraud? In other words, the absence of evidence is not evidence.
At least 16 Republican-dominated states have tried to implement photo identification requirements at the polls. That number changes depending on which courts strike down or uphold the laws. The U.S. Supreme Court last weekend upheld the Texas Voter ID law, which is considered one of the most restrictive in the country. It should be noted that, prior to the Voter ID law in Texas, an official with the Texas attorney general's office testified last month that there have only been two instances of voter fraud in the last decade.
It's been estimated that 10 percent of the voting public do not have the proper identification needed to vote. If that number is correct, then it would be incumbent upon those who are pushing for Voter ID laws to make sure the proper IDs are readily available.
I lived near Chicago growing up. In that city, it was only a joke when people would say, "Vote. And vote often." However, if anyone really believed that voter fraud is happening in Wisconsin, I would tell them to prove it. Even though the absence of evidence is not evidence, I still don't believe that there are many Wisconinites who cheat at the ballot box.
RANDOM THOUGHT: I watched both of the gubernatorial debates the past two Friday nights and came away with one thought: Why were the debates held on a Friday night? It's the second-lowest night for television viewing of the week (next to Saturday) and any rebuttals or comments about the debates get hung out to dry in the news cycle. It would have been more productive to have the debates on a Tuesday or Thursday night when at least the news media would have a chance to discuss the candidates and their views without waiting for the debates to become an afterthought on Monday morning.