Photo ID, Provisional Balloting Necessary to Preserve Integrity of Voting Process

Nov 9, 2007

WASHINGTON — Today, the Subcommittee on Elections, led by Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Subcommittee Ranking Republican Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., received testimony from witnesses expressing concern with the Same-Day Voter Registration Act of 2007 (H.R. 2457), an election reform bill introduced by Representative Keith Ellison, D-Minn. As written, H.R. 2457 would force states to allow voters to register on election day without requiring safeguards, such as photo ID requirements, to prevent fraudulent voting practices.


During the hearing, witnesses discussed the likely consequences of forcing election administrators, who are constantly faced with staff training limitations and shortages, to perform the additional task of registering voters on election day. Former Minnesota Secretary of State, Mary Kiffmeyer, spoke not only about the likelihood of longer lines and greater staffing challenges, but also the threat same-day registration without safeguards poses to the integrity of this nation’s election system. In her testimony, Kiffmeyer warned, “In this day of illegals potentially gaining access to the driver license system, the verification of citizenship and accuracy of the connection of the ID card to the person voting is only common sense.” She also noted, “Anyone who thinks that there is no stealing of votes should go home and next time don’t lock their doors or cars when leaving.”


Concerns about the integrity and security of the voting process were echoed by North Carolina state Representative Tim Moore. Moore indicated that H.R. 2457 would not only facilitate voter fraud, but also disenfranchise legitimate voters. Said Moore, who recently fought a similar measure in North Carolina stated in his testimony, “before and during debate the state House was shown examples of voter fraud, where registered voters were turned away from the ballot box because records showed they had already voted.” Moore also noted that, “this occurred almost certainly because another individual had misrepresented themselves and voted in their place.”


Another election safeguard that was recommended by election experts testifying before the Subcommittee was the practice of casting provisional ballots for same-day registrants. According to election experts, this provision would allow election administrators sufficient time to validate voters’ eligibility. In her testimony, former Secretary of State Kiffmeyer suggested, “If provisional voting is implemented with verification of ID at time of registration, provisional voting can become the safeguard to making voting easy, but cheating hard.”


In advance of today’s hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member McCarthy had requested that additional witnesses be permitted to share their experiences and concerns with same-day voter registration mandates in order to fully inform the Committee on the legislation’s impact. However, for the third time, that request was denied by Subcommittee Chairwoman Lofgren. In an effort to ensure that a diverse range of perspectives are represented, Ranking Member McCarthy was once again forced to invoke the right to a separate hearing.


For more information, contact the Republican Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.