Fact Check: The Truth about Voter ID

by Joe Rooney for Congress

On Monday night, Rep. Allyson Schwartz held a public discussion with Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, here in PA 13.  Like many on the left, Schwartz and Wasserman-Schultz criticized voter ID laws as racial discrimination.  This isn’t the first time that liberals have unfairly attacked efforts to end voter fraud, and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last.  From Hans von Spakovsky in National Review, here are a few inconvenient facts about voter ID laws:

“Election data in Georgia demonstrate that concern about a negative effect on the Democratic or minority vote is baseless. Turnout there increased more dramatically in 2008 — the first presidential election held after the state’s photo-ID law went into effect — than it did in states without photo ID. Georgia had a record turnout in 2008, the largest in its history — nearly 4 million voters. And Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election, the fourth-largest increase of any state. The black share of the statewide vote increased from 25 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. According to Census Bureau surveys, 65 percent of the black voting-age population voted in the 2008 election, compared with only 54.4 percent in 2004, an increase of more than ten percentage points.

For those who might reply that this was because Barack Obama was on the ballot, think again. Mississippi, with an equally large black population and no voter ID, had its Democratic turnout increase by only 2.35 percentage points.”

von Spakovsky finds similar data in Indiana, another state with a tough voter ID law.  He also cites studies from the Heritage Foundation and three different universities to support the claim that voter ID does not discriminate against black voters.

Voter ID laws make it possible for prosecutors to crack down on impersonation at the polling place.  This election is one of the most important in our lifetime, and we can’t afford to let unscrupulous fraudsters rob the American people of their say.

As Monday night’s event made clear, Schwartz stands with the chairwoman of the DNC and her fearmongering, not with law-abiding voters and the facts about voter ID.