Trust the science, we’ve all been told. Well, the science has spoken again: Voter ID laws aren’t discriminatory and don’t suppress anyone’s vote.
For years, liberals have peddled fabricated claims about voter ID requirements, asserting that they give an advantage to the Republican Party by “discriminating against African Americans” and suppressing their vote. They pooh-pooh the notion that such laws protect the integrity and security of elections.
Not only do black Americans not believe that voter laws discourage or prevent them from voting, but in 2019 a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research—based on turnout data from 2008 to 2018—concluded that voter ID laws “have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.”
Now another study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, once again has categorically refuted the myth propagated by the Left that voter ID laws, as the study says, place a “disproportionate burden” on “historically disadvantaged groups such as the poor and people of color” and therefore hurt candidates of the Democratic Party.
The researchers said they studied the “electoral fortunes” of both political parties in “races at the state level (state legislatures and governorships) and federal level (United States Congress and president) during 2003 to 2020.”
The study concluded that the first voter ID laws actually “produced a Democratic advantage, which weakened to near zero after 2012” so that today, voter ID laws have “negligible average effects.” That is academic-speak for saying voter ID laws have no effect on the ability of the candidates of either the Republican or Democratic parties to get elected.
In other words, voter security benefits both parties and all Americans.
The new study points to numerous reasons why this is the case. The researchers’ conclusions emphatically demonstrate that Republican support for an issue doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad for Democrats.
In fact, in contrast to the myth of voter suppression, the study found that both parties saw an increase in voter turnout after implementation of voter ID laws. This mutual increase is itself a benefit worth pursuing. Not only is this a refutation of the Left’s claims that these commonsense reforms amount to “Jim Crow 2.0,” but the increased voter turnout actually strengthens diverse voter representation in our country by including more citizens in the election process.
Voter ID laws have the additional benefit of furthering policies that nearly 8 in 10 of Americans support. These laws are so uncontroversial among the public that they scarcely need vindication from a study such as this.
Perhaps this study can help persuade some of those who don’t support voter ID to support its use in elections. And it’s hard not to surmise that the reason voter turnout went up in states that implemented such election integrity measures is because those reforms increased the confidence of voters—no matter which party they support—in the integrity of their elections.
It’s hard to understand why liberal and Democratic Party leaders keep opposing voter integrity measures in the face of this evidence and the overwhelming support of their own constituents for such election reforms. Instead of relying on facts and data, they continue their insults, slander, and humiliation tactics to discredit the overwhelming consensus among the public on this issue.
This line of attack led Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to harm Georgia’s businesses by moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. And this kind of thinking led President Joe Biden and twice-failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to unfairly and unjustifiably compare anyone who supports election integrity to racists and seditionists.
The latest study stops short of advocating better election security provisions, although this is hardly surprising.
Despite the fact that the study categorically refutes the narrative spun by the Left, the academics who published it still exist in a world where academia is a war zone for non-heterodox, non-left-wing thought. Despite the accuracy of the data, to come out publicly in support of election integrity and commonsense reforms such as voter ID is academic suicide.
This study rejects the narrative spewed for years about the one-party benefit of election security measures. The facts reject the notion that Americans are too dumb to understand electoral security. The facts support voter ID, and the people do too.
So, trust the science: Secure your elections.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal