It is sad to see the League of Women Voters squander its credibility by echoing partisan myths about voter ID law [“Is Voter ID Really Worth All These Burdens?" Feb. 6 Xpress]. The League’s defensiveness on the issue suggest a preference for facilitating voter fraud over restoring any confidence in our poorly managed electoral process.
The letter cited some ham-handed “research” announced by Gary Bartlett, the outgoing N.C. State Board of Elections Director. In an attempt to scare legislators away from voter ID, Mr. Bartlett compared the state’s DMV records to his BOE voter registrations and breathlessly concluded that 600,000 people will need N.C. voter ID cards at a cost of zillions!
But grownups might conclude that more than half a million people no longer belong on the voter rolls for any of several plausible reasons.
First, people move out of state and exchange their NCDL for a new license in their new state. While our DMV gets back the old license, there is no law to make DMV share that information. As a result, quite a few former N.C. voters remain on the rolls for years. Second, while many deceased voters get quickly removed, a surprisingly high number do not. And third, non-N.C.-resident college students have exploited our lax election laws by registering and voting from their school address without bothering to obtain an NCDL. All three of these scenarios erode the claim that 600,000 N.C. voters will need an ID card.
And not that our current Justice Department cares, but in both Georgia and Indiana — two states with real voter ID laws — minority participation rose significantly over their demographically similar neighbors: Mississippi and Illinois. Researchers grudgingly surmised that ballot box security can enhance public trust by drawing people back into an electoral process after such obvious flaws are corrected.
So, rather than defending our state’s fraud-friendly election laws, we hope groups like the League of Women Voters would stand beside us to help re-enfranchise voters by supporting solid election law reform.
— Jay N. DeLancy
Voter Integrity Project of N.C.