Why Do Liberals Fear Discussing the Truth of Voter ID?

Published Tue, Mar 27 2012 5:23 AM

The conservative and libertarian Federalist Society has been so successful in large part because they welcome debate of liberals and conservatives. The conservatives there do not fear the left, nor even fights within their "own"; they feel in a fair argument their side will win out. The left has tried unsuccessfully to come up with an equivalent group to the Federalist Society and can't, because liberals fear debate. Voter ID is a great example of such an issue.

The left continues to play the race card on Voter ID because they know that truth is against them. Not quite as bad politically but just as bad intellectually is the fact they shun their follow liberals who dare disagree with them. In this post I will briefly discuss how they delve into the world of scandal mongering.

A prime example of this is Professor Rick Hasen in his recent blog posts on his upcoming book and in a released chapter of the book entitled "The Fraudulent Fraud Squad." Hasen leads the Election Law blog, a source for "election law, campaign finance, voting rights, initiatives, redistricting, and the Supreme Court nomination process." Yet, Professor Hasen refuses to discuss bipartisan, nonpartisan or liberal support for voter ID.

And finally after reviews of the released chapter of his book, my post calling him out on Big Government, and blogs here; he has mentioned the biggest and most important commission on voting this century, the Carter-Baker Commission, in a parenthetical comment! That's right, a parenthesis.

But that's not all. When Professor Hasen finally mentions Carter-Baker, he discusses only the unofficial, not-published-by-the-bipartisan-commission dissenting opinion. (And in my own parenthetical the author of that dissenting report at a Federalist Society debate on voter ID last year announced he would support photo voter ID, albeit in a special circumstance.) What really happen with Carter-Baker that Professor Hasen and others like him are so scared to discuss? Experts from all fields on voting, both liberals (led by former President Jimmy Carter) and Conservatives (led by former Secretary of State James Baker), came to the following conclusion on voter ID:

The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs are currently needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.

So who does Professor Hasen do instead of discussing the conclusions on voter ID of the distinguished Carter-Baker commission? He attacks select conservatives who support voter ID. His sources for these attacks include what he describes as an "Internet Muckraker." Liberal scholars who don't toe the liberal line like those on Carter-Baker commission on voter ID are ignored but "Muckrakers" who attack conservatives are 'proof' for his case against ID. The dictionary.com definition of muckrakers is (emphasis mine): "to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, or the like, especially in politics." Professor Hasen seems to be admitting that to prove his case against voter ID he has to use "National Enquirer" level allegations against supporters instead of reports by scholars on the actual issue.

Professor Hasen is not alone in this. Those who support the disenfranchisement of legal voters through vote fraud and oppose tools such as voter ID will do whatever it takes: play the race card, scandal monger, cite or write deceitful studies, etc. all to avoid discussing the issue and to instead attack the messengers supporting voter ID.

Part 2 in my response, on nonpartisan support for voter ID and proof of vote fraud, will be published here in an upcoming post. I wish liberals like Professor Hasen would use bipartisan or non-partisan reports, but apparently they are afraid even to discuss them.

Share |


# Rick Hasen said on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:11 AM

My response is at electionlawblog.org and below (without links):

Michael Thielen digs himself deeper into a hole. The released chapter of my forthcoming book discusses the best academic studies available on voter i.d.  The simple reason my book does not cite any evidence from the Carter-Baker commission is its age: it predates the Indiana voter i.d. law (the first of the stricter voter id laws implemented).  Instead, I focus on the actual empirical work on voter id, including important work by Pitts, Erikson and Minnite, and Ansolabehere and Persily.  There is no original empirical research in the Carter-Baker report: only (unsubstantiated) claims about voter confidence, claims which Ansolabehere and Persily tested in an article published later in the Harvard Law Review.

The truth?

Virtually no evidence that voter i.d. laws prevent the kind of fraud (in person, impersonation voter fraud) which is a serious threat in American elections.

No evidence of a link between voter i.d. laws and voter confidence.

The chapter explains these points in detail.  I have yet to see good empirical evidence refuting either of these two points.  Certainly nothing in Carter-Baker does.

And, for the record, I have come out before and in the last chapter of the book I will come out again in favor of a national voter identification card, with all the costs paid for by the government, and registration conducted by the government (not third party groups) and the optional use of a thumbprint instead of the voter identification card for voters who choose to use it.  This would be part of a package of fundamental reforms to make our election system more uniform, efficient, and fair.

# Maya Noronha said on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:43 AM

The Carter-Baker Commission's Dr. Robert Pastor did conduct a study with empirical evidence about voter ID - www1.american.edu/.../VoterIDFinalReport1-9-08.pdf

# Michael Thielen said on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:17 PM

In response to the post above by Rick Hasen, are you serious?  "the best academic studies"?!? In other words not the best or even academic studies but rather only "studies" that support your and the far left's point of view.  You use an "Internet Muckraker" instead of a commission of liberal and conservative experts on Carter Baker.

You rely on a study by someone who learned about voting (cheating?) while working for ACORN affiliate Project Vote but ignores PhD Robert Pastor,  director of the Center for North American Studies and the Center for Democracy and Election Management and an appointee of the Clinton and Carter administrations.

Sorry Professor Hasen, your argument is not factual and not even on point.  

Leave a Comment