Accuracy in Media

Chris Matthews made it clear on Friday night that he isn’t a supporter of voter ID requirements, but thinks that taking a picture of voters at the polls is okay if it helps prevent voter fraud.

Matthews: Why don’t you just have a little cellphone there and take a picture of everybody who votes? Nobody’s going to be offended by that.

Maybe Matthews forgot, but we already take peoples’ pictures when they apply for a driver’s license, passport or other form of government ID. Has Matthews actually been to a polling place recently? Who is going to take the picture? How would the picture of the voter be verified that it is really the person casting the ballot? And Matthews didn’t address the administrative nightmare of having to deal with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of photos that would need to be verified in the larger cities and towns.

I have worked at polls in Maryland and despite the fact that ID isn’t required, many voters have voluntarily offered their ID when obtaining their ballot. In fact, it has become widely expected that it may be necessary in a post 9/11 world.

Voter Id laws don’t prevent voters from voting, as they are given a provisional ballot which will be counted once election officials determine the voter’s identity. Also, for those without an ID, they can still cast an absentee ballot or vote by mail in many states, which may be easier than going to the polls.

Liberals love to claim that voter ID laws disenfranchise Blacks, Hispanics and the elderly, who tend to vote Democratic, but as usual they lack the data to prove it.

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