A study debunking the progressive left’s oft-repeated arguments about voter I.D. laws has recently been released, and it doesn’t look too good for the race-baiting class. In fact, if the American public were to become aware of the results, the far-left would lose one of their favorite “conservatives are racist” tropes. However, the report also casts doubt on the claims made by conservatives on the issue.
The commonly-accepted progressive liturgy on voter I.D. laws states that checking identification at the polls is nothing more than an insidious plan to prevent poor, hapless minorities from casting their votes on election day. Even though the majority of Americans support the implementation of voter I.D. laws, the progressive left persists in spinning their usual yarns about bigotry and the myriad evils of white males. On the other side, conservatives argue that these laws are necessary for preventing election fraud. But according to the new study, both sides might be wrong.
Results of the Study
Enrico Cantoni at the University of Bologna and Vincent Pons from Harvard Business School conducted a study analyzing voter turnout in U.S. states that require identification at the voting booth over an eight-year period. According to the study, “Strict ID laws have no significant negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any subgroup defined by age, gender, race, or party affiliation.”
As for the left’s claims of racism, the study determined that the laws “do not decrease the participation of ethnic minorities relative to whites.” Well, it looks like that narrative has just gone down the proverbial drain. But, interestingly enough, the study may have also dispelled a popular belief on the right regarding voter identification laws.
Cantoni and Pons also found that laws regarding identification at the polls are not effective at curbing voter fraud. After looking at documented cases of election fraud in states that have voter I.D. laws, they discovered that requiring the electorate to show identification does not prevent fraudulent activity.
This finding isn’t too shocking when one considers deception involving illegal immigrants that occurred in Texas during the midterm elections. Investigative reporting outfit Project Veritas revealed that in several cases, illegal aliens were allowed to cast votes without showing I.D., despite the fact that the Lone Star State requires it. Laws are only effective when people obey them.
Death of a Narrative?
Despite the results of the study, it is unlikely that the left will stop using the voter I.D. issue to label their opponents as racist. For them, the issue isn’t whether or not the narrative is true, but whether it is useful. And race baiting has been the progressive’s most cherished weapon against their political opposition.
Conversely, this revelation also has ramifications for conservatives, who have long believed that such laws are essential to prevent people from subverting the election process.
The fact that four out of five Americans favor voter I.D. laws demonstrates that progressives aren’t fooling anyone with their narrative about race, but it also shows that most people are quick to assume that regulation will solve the problems related to dishonest voting and that such laws will actually be enforced on the ground. While voter fraud is not a widespread problem, it can have deleterious consequences to close elections. Perhaps instead of focusing on voter I.D. legislation, it might be time to consider other options, such as crosschecking voter registrations across the nation and using paper ballots.