voter id law real id act election
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The Real ID Act Will Take Effect Just in Time for the 2020 Election – and It Will Likely Have a Big Impact

What is the REAL ID Act?

Remember the Real ID Act? Passed in 2005, it requires states to follow new federal security standards when issuing driver’s licenses or ID cards.

After the 9/11 attacks, in which terrorists had obtained fraudulent driver’s licenses, Congress pushed through the Real ID Act to modernize and increase security standards, including the requirement that states verify that a driver’s license applicant is in the country legally, and that the states use biometrics to ensure the authenticity of the person. That meant setting up a federal database to crosscheck applications and to require drivers to show valid birth certificates and Social Security cards.

Seventeen states passed laws restricting or barring the implementation of REAL ID. Due to this, the federal government was forced to delay enforcement four times. Eventually, DHS dropped some of the more extreme measures, such as the national database.

After these repeated delays, the Department of Homeland Security has set Oct. 1, 2020, as the final deadline for U.S. states to implement the REAL ID.

The Real ID Act will implement the following:

  • Title II of the act establishes new federal standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.
  • Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.
  • Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security.
  • Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (similar to bail, but for aliens who have been released pending hearings).
  • Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorism.
  • Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders.

Implications of the Real ID Act

The Real ID Act will affect the 2020 election in two major ways.

The Border

The act amended previous immigration statutes and granted vast and arbitrary powers to DHS. It gives the DHS secretary total discretion in waiving any U.S. laws that stand in the way of wall and barrier construction along the southern border. This means DHS can sidestep any law or policy — as long as doing do expedites the construction of fences, concrete slabs, or similar security state infrastructure at the border. The Trump administration has used these waivers in five times since taking office.

On January 22nd, 2018, for instance, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen waived approximately 20 laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the Antiquities Act in order to build new border barriers in southeastern New Mexico.

On October 10th, 2018, Nielsen invoked the Real ID Act again to waive roughly 25 laws and build gates and new physical barriers in Texas’ Cameron County in the Rio Grande Valley.

Trump’s success in building the Wall and alleviating the national emergency at our border will affect his reelection. Support for the construction of the Wall has reached an all=time high, as the problems at our southern border grow worse by the day. About half of Americans polled believe that we should expand the border. About 70% of Democrats say it would not have much impact on illegal immigration into the U.S. Research disagrees with them — obviously.

The Election

One big implication of the REAL ID is the requirement to show a valid birth certificate and/or Social Security card. If you weren’t born in the U.S., you have to provide a certificate of naturalization or a green card equivalent. The L.A. Times believes that the REAL ID will serve to “divide the population.. into documented and undocumented.” Establishment leftist media agrees.

The United States does not currently issue any general-use document intended to confirm both identity and citizenship. Drivers’ licenses, the most common form of I.D., are issued by the states and are pursuant to a widely varying body of state-specific laws and regulations. Currently, twelve states and the District of Columbia allow illegal aliens to obtain a drivers’ license.

You do not need a REAL ID to vote. However, you do need a driver’s license to get a voter ID card.

An interrelated law, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”), requires states to verify their voter databases against the state DMV databases to ensure data accuracy and integrity. There is an interesting implication there for voting and voter I.D. HAVA defines minimum election administration standards that all states must follow, most notably in the areas of voter identification and database management.

Since the passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (“REAL ID”), a growing number of states have enacted legislation that requires voters to present proof of identification before they can cast their ballots.

Unfortunately, only twelve states require photo identification, with thirteen more currently in the processing of legislating. Can you see the problem this creates?

Because so many states continue to issue driver’s licenses to non-citizens, it is relatively easy for aliens to commit voter fraud through the Motor-Voter system, which forces states to add a voter checkbox on a driver’s license application. When renewing a driver’s license by mail, they simply check the boxes indicating that they wish to be registered as voters and affirming that they are a U.S. citizen. Most often, they are added to the voter rolls without any attempt to verify the applicant’s citizenship.

In 2014, a study released by a team of professors from Old Dominion University and George Mason University estimated that approximately 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted In the 2008 presidential election. In addition, the study estimated that 80 percent of non-citizens who appeared to have voted cast their ballots in favor of one party. Non-citizens are believed to have voted in these elections in numbers great enough to have affected the outcome.

In the 2018 Midterm election, non-citizen voting turned out to be a big problem.

A 2011 Rasmussen poll found that 75% of likely voters “believe voters should be required to show photo identification, such as a driver’s license, before being allowed to vote.”A Pew poll showed that 95% of Republicans, 83% of independent voters, and 61% of Democrats favor requirements that voters should show photo IDs to vote. A 2012 Fox News poll showed that 87% of Republicans, 74% of independent voters, and 52% of Democrats supported new voter ID laws.

A study from Stanford found that non-citizens’ votes have changed significant election outcomes including the assignment of North Carolina’s 2008 electoral votes, and the pivotal Minnesota Senate victory of Democrat Al Franken in 2008. The study says, “In the 2008 and 2010 U.S. elections, non-citizen voters favored Democratic candidates. Non-citizens who reported voting were asked their candidate preferences, and these preferences skewed toward Democrats. In 2008 66.7 percent reported voting for the Democratic House candidate, while only 20.8 percent reported voting for the Republican candidate. 81.8 percent reported voting for Barack Obama compared to 17.5 percent for John McCain.”

Stanford; Richmond, Earnest, et al 2014

The study also found that, “there is reason to believe non-citizen voting changed one state’s Electoral College votes in 2008, delivering North Carolina to Obama, and that non-citizen votes have also led to Democratic victories in congressional races including a critical 2008 Senate race that delivered for Democrats a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”


Stanford; Richmond, Earnest, et al 2014


There is enough evidence of non-citizen voting to indicate that it is an ongoing problem that has a significant effect on American electoral politics. Due to the low risk of penalty, and the lack of effective controls, alien voting is easy. In states without ID requirements, the only check against non-citizens registering to vote is a box on the application form asking registrants to confirm they are U.S. citizens. Given the fact that this affirmation is rarely verified and few violators are ever prosecuted, it is a pointless exercise that does nothing to deter voter fraud.

Ironically, many outspoken members of the Democrat party support allowing non-citizens voting rights, despite the fact that a majority of Americans do not support such actions. But
Democrats know illegal aliens are a vital voting block for them. Just so, preventing border security allows more illegal aliens to enter the country — and then those same aliens vote, historically, for Democrats.  

The good news is that the problem could be addressed through true compliance with the Real ID Act, the implementation of voter ID requirements for all U.S. elections, and the consistent use of an eligibility verification system. But don’t expect that to happen with any Democrats at the helm.

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