John Fund: Sure, Republicans Focus On Voter ID For Political Reasons

John Fund, the former Wall Street Journal columnist who has been promoting voter ID laws for years, admitted Tuesday that some Republicans focus on voter ID laws which restrict in-person voting over laws which could limit absentee voting because the GOP has a perceived electoral advantage when it comes to voting by mail.

“Absentee vote ballot fraud is the tool of choice amongst fraudsters,” Fund told a group of bloggers munching on Chick-Fil-A at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. “Everytime you see a truly massive, coordinated effort at voter fraud, it usually relies in part on absentee voter fraud.”Fund said that many voter ID laws “take some provisions to curb absentee ballot fraud,” with a few exceptions. But he confessed that Democrats had a point when they say that Republicans focus on voter ID because of a potential electoral advantage.

“I think it is a fair argument of some liberals that there are some people who emphasize the voter ID part more than the absentee ballot part because supposedly Republicans like absentee ballots more and they don’t want to restrict that,” Fund said. “But the bottom line is, on good government grounds, we have to have both voter ID laws and absentee ballot laws.”

Fund and former Bush-era Justice Department official and current Heritage Foundation fellow Hans von Spakovsky have a book coming out next week titled Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk. Fund offered a pretty dire prediction of how things will go at the polls in a few months.

“The thing I fear most is that we’ll have five, six or seven Floridas this November, where the election is close enough that there’s no longer a margin of victory you’re talking about, there’s a margin of litigation, and we will not know the winner of the presidential race for hours or days or perhaps in the case of somewhere like Florida, perhaps for quite sometime, and the next president takes office or continues in office under a cloud,” Fund said.

Fund and von Spakovsky attacked a report from the Brennan Center which claims that millions of voters lack valid photo identification and will be prevented from voting in November.

“Is there a single person in this room who believes that you can function in this society without an ID? Now there may be some very elderly people, there may be some very isolated people, there may be some bed-ridden people who don’t have ID. Now, I say to you, let’s get them an ID,” Fund said.

Von Spakovsky also said it “makes perfect sense” for Ohio to allow members of the military, but no other Ohio voters, to vote in the three day period before the election. The Romney campaign has been falsely claiming that the Obama campaign is suing to prevent members of the military from voting early when in fact they would like to allow all Ohio voters to have that opportunity.

“If you’re a regular Ohio citizen, the fact that you may be out of town election day for a business trip and you therefore know that you should early vote or vote by absentee ballot, that’s extremely different circumstances than most members of the military find themselves in,” von Spakovsky said. “If you’re stationed in Ohio, you can suddenly get orders that you’re going to be dispatched to Afghanistan, you may suddenly get orders for a field operation unannounced… they are under circumstances caused by their military service that others aren’t, and giving them a little bit of extra time to be able to early vote makes perfect sense.”

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