Analysis Debunks Study of Voter ID, Disenfranchisement

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Recent Study by Left-Wing Think Tank Based on Dubious Numbers, Questionable Methodology

A recent study touted by the Yes on 1 campaign that claims repeal of Election-Day Registration (EDR) in Maine would disenfranchise voters has been exposed as false by a leading national expert on election law.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Elections Commission and Justice Department voting counsel, examined claims made by the left-wing Brennan Center for Justice in a recent study. Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and has written extensively about the pattern of questionable research released by the Brennan Center.

Mr. von Spakovsky writes that the Brennan Study “is dubious in its methodology and especially suspect in its sweeping conclusions. It is based on a survey of only 987 “voting-age American citizens,” although it contains no infor­mation on how it was determined whether a respondent was actually an American citizen entitled to vote, and might easily have included illegal and legal aliens, felons, and others who are ineligible. The survey then uses the responses of these 987 individuals to estimate, based on the 2000 Census, the number of Americans without valid documentation.”

The article calls the findings of the Brennan Study “fallacious” and “flawed”, and refers to the study and its support from newspaper editorialists as “myth-driven diatribes against common-sense election reform that the vast majority of the American people agree with, no matter what their race or political background.”

Mr. von Spakovsky also cites a recent report released by The Maine Heritage Policy Center on the issue of Election-Day Registration repeal:

“[The] Brennan Center claims that 630,000 potential voters will be affected by the elimination of Election Day voter registration in states like Maine because that is how some voters registered in 2008. Again, there is no evidence that such individuals will not register prior to Election Day like all other voters. The Maine Heritage Policy Center just released a study concluding that Election Day registration “had no recognizable impact on voter turnout in Maine since its implementation in 1973. In fact, the three lowest turnout years since 1960 occurred after EDR was implemented.” California voters defeated a 2002 referendum to implement Election Day registration 59 percent to 41 percent, and even such liberal newspapers as the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle warned against its implementation because of the potential for voter fraud.”

“The Yes on 1 campaign is becoming notable for its lack of candor surrounding the question of Election-Day Registration,” said Lance Dutson, chief executive officer of The Maine Heritage Policy Center. “From their misleading claims of an all-volunteer signature effort to their hollow claims of disenfranchisement, Yes on 1 continues to put forward erroneous or misleading information. The facts show clearly that Election-Day Registration repeal is a common-sense way to help ensure the integrity of our elections, and the people of Maine would be better-served through a more honest dialog about this issue.”

Mr. von Spakovsky’s article can be found here:

MHPC’s study on Election-Day Registration can be found here: