We have written about voter fraud in the past, and trust us – it is a serious problem. Given the likelihood that the 2012 presidential election will be close, this issue could once again be at the forefront of the national debate. For this reason, former Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) should be applauded for reversing his position on voter ID laws.
I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.
When I was a congressman, I took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician. Without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists who contend that requiring photo identification to vote is a suppression tactic aimed at thwarting black voter participation.
The truth is that the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.
The case for voter ID, however, is a good one, and it ought to make politics a little cleaner and the process of conducting elections much fairer. I wish I’d gotten it right the first time.