It’s long been popular for those on the political Left to point to Europe as the model for how nations do things. What, then, about voter ID? Turns out the countries in the EU overwhelmingly require it. Excerpt:
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. The 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, Boris Johnson’s government recently introduced legislation to have the rest of the country follow suit.
Criticisms of the British leader’s voter ID push are similar to those heard in the U.S. The Scottish National Party claims his voter ID push targets “lower income, ethnic minority and younger people” who are less likely to vote for Johnson’s conservatives and therefore represents “Trump-like voter suppression.”
Yet despite such pushback, Britain looks set to follow countries in Europe and elsewhere with stricter voting regimes, few of which temporarily relaxed any of their voting rules during the pandemic.
Seventy-four 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.
Similarly, government-issued photo IDs are required to vote by 33 nations in the 37-member Organistion for Economic Co-operation and Development (which has considerable European overlap). Only the UK, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia currently do not require IDs.
The whole “ID required to vote – racism” argument is horseshit in any case, as anyone with enough brains to pound sand understands. It’s almost impossible to do business in our modern society without a government-issue ID. You can’t open a bank account, you can’t buy a house, you can’t travel on a commercial airline, you can’t do much of anything. And even those who don’t have an ID – the number of which probably falls into the range of a rounding error – then my take on that is that if you can’t be bothered to go get a state ID, then you probably shouldn’t be voting in any case.
The Constitution guarantees the states “…a republican form of government.” We can’t have that without the citizenry having faith in our elections. Election integrity means election security. Election security means knowing who votes, and ensuring that all legal votes are accurately counted. Verifying a voter’s identity is the first, but not the only, step in ensuring just that.