In the wake of a controversial Supreme Court decision to back Indiana’s strict voter id law, which requires current, government-issued, photo id to vote, Mass State Rep. Karyn Polito is pushing to change Massachusetts laws to match.
At MassVOTE, we believe this would be a mistake. The penalties for voter fraud are high: 5 years and/or $10,000 per offense. For several years, the Justice Department under Alberto Gonzalez engaged in a wild goose chase scouring the nation for voter fraud cases, often with the intent of harassing voter registration efforts conducted by groups like ACORN and the League of Women Voters. In a 3 year period, bringing the full power of the Justice Department, they were able to make only 9 charges of multiple voting, resulting in just 5 convictions. Mr. Gonzalez’s partisan efforts were a national disgrace.
A new, strict voter ID law for Massachusetts is unnecessary. It would slow down the flow of people through the polls on Election Day. Worse, some people without ID — or those who rarely use it and may not know where it is, including, for example, many elderly citizens who do not drive — will be turned away. We can do better.
For more info, watch Professor Lorraine Minnite testify about the ‘voter fraud fraud’ before Congress over on YouTube.