Speaking at the White House Thursday, on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, President Barack Obama said that people do not take advantage of the lack of voter ID laws to cast fraudulent votes in other peoples’ names.
The president based his conclusion on government data on the number of people the government prosecutes for this crime.
“Sadly, too many states are making it harder for folks to vote–instituting photo ID laws that on the surface sound good,” said Obama.
“But I am certain, because we’ve actually looked at the data on this, that almost nobody wakes up saying, I’m going to go vote in somebody else’s name–doesn’t happen.”
Here is the excerpt from Obama’s speech where he explained why he opposes requiring people to have a photo ID to vote:
At the state levels, we’ve got some outstanding members of state legislatures–California, Florida–who have been championing mechanisms to get more people voting: Early voting, online registration.
But sadly, too many states are making it harder for folks to vote–instituting photo ID laws that on the surface sound good. If you poll the average American, they’ll say, yes, you should have to show your photo ID. But, in practice, it turns out that for seniors and for poorer folks, that’s not always easy to do. And by the way, it doesn’t actually address a real problem because there are almost no instances of people going to vote in somebody else’s name. It’s just not a–it turns out it’s just not a common crime.
You know, folks might think about, you know shoplifting. Attorney General, you know more about the crime statistics than I do, but I am certain, because we’ve actually looked at the data on this, that almost nobody wakes up saying, I’m going to go vote in somebody else’s name–doesn’t happen.
So the only reason to pass this law, despite the reasonableness of how it sounds, is to make it harder for folks to vote.