Voter ID Proponents Point to Laws in Other Countries

A wave of recently-enacted voter ID laws in the U.S. has raised the ire of Democrats, who fear that requiring voters to present photo identification will disenfranchise minorities, students and seniors.

This week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington is hearing arguments on Texas’s voter ID law, which requires voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to cast their ballots, The Post’s Sari Horwitz reported.

That’s on top of the South Carolina law, which the Justice Department has also challenged, as well as eight other states that passed voter ID laws last year. Proponents of the law have argued that such measures are not a threat to voters’ rights because similar voter ID restrictions are in place in democracies around the world. “If [voter fraud] is not a problem at all, how do you account for the fact that the Commission on Federal Election Reform ... recommended a voter ID requirement, and many other countries around the world have voter ID requirements?” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said during a 2005 argument in a Supreme Court case that upheld an Indiana photo ID requirement.

Do other democracies require voters to carry photo IDs when they vote? Many do, but the laws aren’t as strict as those in Texas and South Carolina. According to a Harvard Law & Policy Review study, plenty of democracies do require voters to show identification, but many make allowances for those citizens who, for whatever reason, don’t have official government IDs.