Liberals in America often say they believe the US needs to be more like Europe. The next time I hear that I will respond, “So, that means you want more restrictive laws on abortion and more voter integrity laws.” As I documented last month, if you look at the abortion laws in most European countries, they are quite like the Mississippi law currently being considered by the Supreme Court. That is also the case when you compare our voting laws to European countries.
Professor John Lott, in a speech he delivered at Hillsdale College last September, spoke on the topic of election integrity. He began by reminding us that sixteen years ago the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform proposed a uniform system of requiring a photo ID to vote. It also pointed out that widespread absentee voting made vote fraud more likely. And the commission lamented that voter files contain ineligible, fictional, and deceased voters.
It is important to remember that none of these claims were controversial sixteen years ago. They came from Democrats like former president Jimmy Carter and Republicans like former Secretary of State James Baker.
He then documented that of the 47 countries in Europe today, 46 of them currently require government-issued photo IDs to vote. The one exception is the United Kingdom, but even that isn’t much of an exception. Many parts of the UK do require voter ID, and the British Parliament is now considering a nationwide requirement.
What about absentee voting? Of the 47 European countries, 35 of them don’t allow absentee voting for citizens living in country. Another 10 countries allow absentee voting but require voters to show up in person and present a photo ID.
If we truly want the US to be more like Europe, then we should have more of these election integrity laws.