Allegations of voter fraud against associates of Michael McGee, Jr., have brought the following reactions from the Democrat side of the blogosphere. This, they say, is voter fraud and would not have been prevented by voter id.
Because we don't have many people convicted of fraud that voter id would have prevented, there is no need for it.
There are two problems with this. First, the relatively few "identification" related convictions may just as readily be a function of the fact that we don't require identification - not at all to vote and not much to register. We allow organizations that are functionally partisan to register to voters.
During the 2004 election, I was a poll watcher at the Washington Park Library polling place. The woman running the place was a consummate professional and there was, at one point, eight lawyers on site.
You could have waltzed in there and voted in the name of someone else or someone dead and we would have had no chance of catching you.
If a number of people did this, what might show up later would be anomalies in the number of votes or the addresses of voters. These might be clerical errors or there might be evidence of fraud. It may or may not be possible to tell which.
Second, the notion that identification-related fraud "doesn't happen" requires one to believe either that no one cares enough about the results of election to try or, unlike every other area of human endeavor, we all manage to become saints when making some of the most important choices a community must make.
My guess is that there isn't widespread identification fraud because someone would talk, but that's about the only way to catch it. Still, we normally don't accept the absence of confession as equivalent to the absence of crime, see. e.g., racial discrimination which also has a low rate of confession and "capture."
Opposing voter ID seems to be a choice to accept the potential (and, to some degree, the reality) of fraud because you don't think it's "fair" to require someone who wants to vote to go to the trouble of getting identification or, more accurately, because you know that many of the people whose votes you want won't think it's worth the effort.