Commentary

American Leftists Want to Replicate Europe Progressivism, Just Not When It Comes to Voter Photo ID

The pandemic provided Democrats with the perfect excuse to loosen voting laws and to expand mail-in voting across the U.S. They were so delighted with the result, they’ve been on a crusade to make these dangerous measures permanent ever since.

The left claims the voting reform laws recently passed in Georgia and Florida to curb the abuses that many of us believe led to widespread fraud in the November 2020 election, are racist.

President Joe Biden has referred to Georgia’s requirement of voter ID for absentee ballots as an “atrocity.” He called the law “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and “a blatant attack on the Constitution,” according to the BBC.

RealClearInvestigations‘ John R. Lott, Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. His organization recently put together a database of worldwide voting rules which quite clearly shows that U.S. voting requirements are among the most lenient. He summarized his findings in an article entitled, “America the Outlier: Voter Photo IDs Are the Rule in Europe and Elsewhere.”

Contrary to what the Democrats would have us believe, most countries require voters to show identification before casting a ballot. Lott found that “election integrity measures [voter ID requirements] are widely accepted globally, and have often been adopted by countries after they’ve experienced fraud under looser voting regimes.”

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Furthermore, Lott learned that, in some countries, a driver’s license is deemed to be an insufficient form of ID. “The Czech Republic and Russia require passports or military-issued IDs and others use national identity cards. Others go even further: Colombia and Mexico each require a biometric ID to cast a ballot.”

“Of 47 nations surveyed in Europe — a place where, on other matters, American progressives often look to with envy — all but one country requires a government-issued photo voter ID to vote.” Lott notes that “[t]he exception is the U.K., and even there voter IDs are mandatory in Northern Ireland for all elections and in parts of England for local elections. Moreover, [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson’s government recently introduced legislation to have the rest of the country follow suit.”

In fact, Lott cites a recent comment from the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, Kirsten Oswald, that sounds remarkably familiar to the attacks lobbed at Republicans in the U.S.

Oswald claimed that “Boris Johnson’s Trump-like plans to disenfranchise thousands of voters across Scotland and the UK are an act of blatant Tory voter suppression – and must be stopped.” She opined, “There is a very real danger that many lower income, ethnic minority and younger people will be prevented from voting to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. These laws are designed to suppress votes among groups that traditionally vote against the Tories. It’s a disgrace.”

Do you believe that voter ID laws are racist?

And, like many progressives in the U.S., she would like to open up voting to 16 and 17-year-olds, “refugees and foreign nationals with leave to remain.”

The rest of the world views the practice of mail-in voting even more harshly than the U.S.

Lott discovered that “74 percent of European countries entirely ban absentee voting for citizens who reside domestically. Another 6% limit it to those hospitalized or in the military, and they require third-party verification and a photo voter ID. Another 15% require a photo ID for absentee voting.”

Although voter IDs are not required in Japan, Lott explains the Japanese government “provides each voter with tickets that bear unique bar codes. If the voter loses the ticket or accidentally brings the ticket for another family member, polling staff verifies the voter’s name and address using a computer with access to the city’s database.” In that case, the voter would be required to show “government-issued photo identification.”

As I see it, having to present a ticket with a unique bar code is a variation on a voter ID requirement. It’s simply a different way to ensure that one citizen gets one vote.

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New Zealand also provides its citizens with a unique code.

According to Lott, “Australia has by far the loosest rules. …  a photo ID is required to register to vote” only.

I would be willing to bet that before too long, after witnessing the problems created in the U.S. by lax voter ID requirements, the Australians will tighten up their rules.

Most developed countries, according to Lott, did not enact emergency voting measures because of the pandemic. Poland was an exception. They allowed universal mail-in ballots.

“Poland’s rushed plan played out so poorly it dissuaded other countries from following suit,” Lott said.

The Democrats’ argument that asking a voter to show ID is racist, as I see it, is itself racist, and I’m surprised that minorities don’t criticize them for it. It implies that minority voters are too dumb and too incapable to obtain an ID. How racist is that?

Asking a voter to prove that they are who they say they are is essential for election integrity. Those who oppose voter ID laws do so only because it opens up the opportunity for voter fraud. I am convinced that the unprecedented expansion of mail-in voting and the loss of accountability that followed, cost former President Donald Trump the presidency.

Democrats often point to the super progressive governments of European countries as something the U.S. should emulate. With the exception of the U.K. which is in the process of passing voter ID legislation, all European governments require voters to show IDs at the ballot box. There’s a reason for that – Europe values secure elections.

Next time a liberal begins criticizing voter ID requirements, show them Lott’s article.

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Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist, Bongino.com, HotAir, Instapundit, MSN and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist, Bongino.com, HotAir, Instapundit, MSN and RealClearPolitics.
Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.




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