Monday, November 3, 2014
Tomorrow is election day in jurisdictions across the United States. Immigration Impact offers a timely reminder that elections inevitably bring allegations that noncitizens are turning out in droves to skew elections. Despite repeated investigations over the years finding no indication that systematic vote fraud by noncitizens occurs, some voters will have to navigate cumbersome voter identification laws designed to address a non-existent problem. Supporters of these laws like to pretend that noncitizens are crowding into voting booths and illegally changing the outcome of critical elections. But the reality is that voter ID laws have little to do with the exceedingly rare occurrence of illegal voting by immigrants, or any other kind of voter fraud. These are laws designed to disenfranchise racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and other social groups that might be inclined to vote. In other words, voter ID laws are meant to limit democracy, not protect it.