Perhaps lost in headlines as of late is the recent news that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld Virginia’s voter ID law.
A separate panel of the same court tossed out a stricter North Carolina voter identification law in July, and the Supreme Court — which is currently split 4-4 (generally) among liberals and conservatives — declined to hear an appeal. A Texas voter ID law was also struck down in the same month by the Fifth Circuit.
The Virginia law allows people who show up without a government-issued or otherwise-approved photo ID to vote, but they have to return within three days with their ID for it to count. Voters without an ID can obtain one for free from board of elections offices around the state.
“In the Virginia case, the appeals court sided with attorneys for Virginia election officials who said the state’s requirement for in-person voting is far more flexible than election measures in other states and was not designed to discriminate,” the Washington Post reported in a loss for the Democrats who had challenged the law on grounds that it violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act.
“The 4th Circuit noted in its ruling that the Virginia legislature ‘went out of its way to make its impact as burden-free as possible. It allowed a broad scope of IDs to qualify; it provided free IDs to those who lacked a qualifying ID; it issued free IDs without any requirement of presenting documentation; and it provided numerous locations throughout the State where free IDs could be obtained,'” ABC News explained.
A Gallup Poll in August of 2016 revealed that 80 percent of Americans support voter ID laws. While the Democratic Party and various civil rights organizations vehemently opposed the requirement to show a photo ID to vote, and have filed lawsuits across the country to block their implementation, such laws are also on the books in blue states such as Connecticut and Rhode Island, in addition to red states, as a way to combat voter fraud.
Voter ID is a requirement in most countries around the world, both developed and developing.
According to National Review Online, none of the plaintiffs in the Virginia case, which the New York Times indicates was largely funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, were actually prevented from voting or were actually unable to get an ID if they needed one.
NRO also noted that that statistical disparity in Virginia is almost nonexistent.”94.6 percent of blacks have ID vs. 96.8 percent of whites.”
Reacting to the Virginia ruling, Bloomberg asserted that “The Supreme Court may eventually weigh in on the Voting Rights Act and voter ID. But with a Donald Trump appointee coming — and the 2008 case on the constitutionality of voter ID on the books — it’s increasingly looking like voter ID laws have a path to legal permanence. That’s a meaningful change from how things looked last summer.”
As alluded to above, the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that Indiana’s voter ID law was constitutional.
Separately, although federal and state courts stopped the Jill Stein-initiated Michigan presidential election recount in midstream, it apparently lasted long enough to reveal “irregularities” in one-third of the precincts city of Detroit, which authorities are now investigating, the Detroit News reported.
The Detroit scenario apparently also prompted the Michigan House of Representatives to pass a voter ID law similar to the Virginia statute. If it passes the state senate, it will go to Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed a voter ID bill about four years ago.
Commenting on the upholding of his state’s law by the Richmond-based 4th Circuit, Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell said the following. “I am pleased that Virginia’s photo ID law was upheld…in a 3-0 appeals court ruling. [The] ruling is a victory for a commonsense law that protects the integrity of Virginia’s elections. Earlier this year, we saw multiple cases of voter fraud throughout the Commonwealth. This law was carefully crafted to provide an extra layer of protection to ensure the sanctity of the ballot box,” CBS 6 WTVR reported.
Republicans control both legislative chambers in Virginia, although the governor is a Democrat. Lawmakers there passed the voter ID law under the previous Republican governor.
The speaker may have been referring to an incident earlier this year when a James Madison University student allegedly registered 19 dead Virginians to vote, as well as allegations that about 1,000 or more illegal aliens were also registered to vote in the state.
In this video below, filmmaker Ami Horowitz asks ordinary people about voter ID laws.
[Featured Image by Eric Gay/AP Images]