Curious whether new restrictive state voting laws requiring photo ID will damage the credibility of this year’s election outcome, I sent email queries over the past week to several conservative analysts. I found their responses illuminating. Amy Kaufman, director of congressional relations at the Hudson Institute, wrote that “while there are changes to many states’ registration programs, these will not be an impediment to the victor.” She argued that Florida is “attempting to reduce voter fraud by purging possible noncitizens. Those people have the right to be readmitted by proving citizenship. It appears that over 500 of the roughly 2500 on that list have come forward to show documentation.” A colleague of Kaufman’s at the Hudson Institute, Michael Horowitz, was more outspoken, declaring that “requiring some form of identification of voters seems to me not merely reasonable but long overdue.” In Horowitz’s view, the “accusatory rhetoric” of Attorney General Eric Holder “about the alleged racism of those who support the I.D. reforms — unspeakable because he’s the Attorney General of the United States, not someone running for mayor of the District of Columbia — merits condemnation from progressives, not a threat that Republicans will lack political legitimacy.”
… The debate over voter ID laws has the potential to shape public perception of the fairness of the 2012 election. The most volatile combination of events on Nov. 6 would be a very close election in which Mitt Romney wins the electoral vote with knife-edge victories in states like Florida, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. If new voter ID laws survive legal challenges in those Republican-controlled battleground states, a marginal Romney victory would powerfully reinforce the belief on the left that some lawfully registered voters were denied the right to exercise their franchise.
Conversely, if local and federal challenges to voter ID laws are successful, and Obama wins a tight re-election race, the belief on the right that felons and illegal immigrants cast crucial ballots will be reinforced. In both 2000 and 2004, we hardly need reminding, the vote in the Electoral College was so close, 271-266 and 286-251 respectively, that a shift in just one state would have produced a different winner.
Full Article: Voting Rights, Voter Suppression and 2012 – NYTimes.com.