Claim: voter ID requirements violate international law

by Walter Olson on December 16, 2011

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking the UN high commissioner on human rights to rule various American states in violation of international law because of the states’ insistence on various restrictions on the franchise, including ID requirements for voters, denial of the vote to convicted felons, and measures that “have reduced the ease of early voting, a convenience that is disproportionately heavily used by African-Americans.” [Guardian; Caroline May, Daily Caller]

{ 16 comments }

1 KDP 12.16.11 at 9:49 am

They forgot to include dead people as part of the disenfranchised groups.

2 theprez98 12.16.11 at 9:51 am

It’s a good thing our courts don’t rely on international law…Oh, wait.

3 L. C. Burgundy 12.16.11 at 10:06 am

I wonder which UN armies will be sent to invade to enforce the ruling?

4 Andreas Moser 12.16.11 at 10:13 am

This UN High Commissioner is not a court, is he/it/she/them?
So, addressing him/her/them/it is pretty pointless if you want to change a US state law.

5 Ed 12.16.11 at 11:30 am

Most states, including PA where I live, offer free non-driver license photo ID cards. The NAACP in the 60’s and today still runs voter registration drives. You would think if they are that concerned, they could also provide the service to take people to get ID’s. Perhaps, they could even arrange with the government to issue their own photo ID’s to certify the individual. If there’s voter fraud there would be a trail unlike ACORN. They should be actively working to insure all elections are honest.

6 mojo 12.16.11 at 11:51 am

There is only ONE “International Law” – the Law of the Sea

There is only ONE Universal Law: Stupidity Kills

7 Uno Hu 12.16.11 at 1:26 pm

I would love to make an erudite comment, one whose eloquence would all but blind the readers. But actually, all that is required in response to this is “Who cares what the U.N. thinks?”

8 kimsch 12.16.11 at 3:02 pm

I had heard that Mexico requires a photo ID to vote. I also seem to remember Iraqis needing ID to vote AND having to have a finger dipped in semi-permanent ink so as to identify who has already voted so that they can’t vote twice…

9 Beckley 12.16.11 at 4:14 pm

@Uno Hu- your point is spot on, but also, people probably should care about the UN, right? It seems like the UN is basically used as convenience dictates by the US and other powerful countries. That’s the point of having power, I suppose.

10 John Burgess 12.16.11 at 4:46 pm

Since moving to FL in 2004, I’ve noticed that it is required to provide a photo ID in order to cast a non-provisional vote. Both photo and signature in a register are needed to get the ballot (now) or access to the electronic voting machines (before).

Voting precincts, at least in my county, are numerous, barely a mile apart, though I’m sure they’re further in the rural areas.

The state does offer free photo ID to those who request it in lieu of a driver’s license. Florida being Florida, it has a strict policy of pulling licenses from drunk drivers. Thus, a not-minute proportion of the population in unable to produce a driver’s license. They definitely need an alternative.

As far as disenfranchising Black voters, I don’t see it.

11 Ben Catoe 12.17.11 at 12:55 am

Nowhere does it say that a driver’s license is required, just a photo id. Florida, and I assume the other states, have a state ID card. It looks very similiar to a driver license, complete with photo.

What I don’t understand is who these people are that don’t have a photo ID and how do they bank, use a credit card, or get government benefits.

There is simply no reason adults shouldn’t have a photo ID, and be required to show it for something as important as voting.

12 a_random_guy 12.17.11 at 11:29 am

“There is simply no reason adults shouldn’t have a photo ID, and be required to show it for something as important as voting.”

Sure there is – if you are interested in voter fraud.

When my mother passed away a couple of years ago, I made a specific point of cancelling her voter registration. The people I talked to thought this was pretty strange – clearly, most people do not bother. Not requiring a photo ID = ability to vote the graveyard.

13 Fox 2! 12.17.11 at 1:00 pm

Even if there was a UN army, it would have to rely on the US for airlift and logistics. And, as is often attributed to Isorroku Yamamoto, “You can not invade the United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

14 kimsch 12.17.11 at 2:40 pm

According to the Guardian “Studies have showed that the proportion of voters who do not have access to valid photo ID cards is much higher among older African-Americans because they were not given birth certificates in the days of segregation.

My question is: How many of these older folk on Social Security and Medicare?

15 Pierre in NJ 12.20.11 at 5:59 pm

I have voted for 40+ years and have NEVER been asked for an ID of any kind. I’ts absurd! I once went to the polls and was refused my right to vote because someone had already voted in my name. The signature in the registration log was not mine and didn’t look anything like mine. When I offered to prove who I was by showing ID – I was still refused! Great country America.

16 gitarcarver 12.20.11 at 9:15 pm

Pierre,

I am confused. It seems the fact that you were never asked for an ID led directly to your vote being stolen. I would think that would mean requiring ID would be a good thing.

As for the signature not matching, there can be any number of reasons for that happening, but what do you want the poll workers to have done? Invalidate the guy who voted in your place? How would they have done that?

Your story is but one of the reasons why a ID should be required.

Comments on this entry are closed.