In an attempt to combat election fraud in Oklahoma, state Sen. John Ford (R-Bartlesville) has introduced a bill which would require Oklahoma voters to show identification when they go to the polls. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a photo ID -- it could be a voter ID card, a copy of a current utility bill or bank statement, a government check or paycheck, or any other government document showing the voter’s name and address.
John Fund, author of Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, has a very interesting piece ('Voter-Fraud Rethink') in today's Wall Street Journal. And today in a conference call of those of us who run the various mini-Grover franchises around the country, I asked John if Oklahoma's proposed law is strong enough.
"It's a start," he said, though he definitely prefers requiring a photo ID, even if it's simply an employee badge or something and isn't officially state-sanctioned. And he believes it's important to couple a voter ID law with absentee-ballot reform, lest the cheaters who are shooed away from the polls simply turn their attention to absentee-ballot fraud. Absentee ballots are becoming much too widespread, he said, and should be reserved for those who are really sick, are out of town for an extended period, and so on. Instead of expanding the use of absentee ballots, he says, we should encourage early voting at official polling places -- at least there you still have poll watchers and other safeguards.