Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who now supports voter ID laws as a method of preventing voter fraud but refuses to discuss any particular instances he says he witnessed, is again declining to provide any examples of voter fraud he witnessed, claiming doing so would turn the debate over voter ID laws into a ‘he-said-he-said’ controversy.
“If you think I made it up, you’re entitled to do that, and if you think there’s no credibility and I just made it up because I had nothing to do some day, that’s your prerogative,” Davis told TPM in a phone interview on Tuesday.
We gave Davis a ring after we saw his interview with the Daily Caller in which the former Alabama Representative suggested that rather than disenfranchising African-American voters — as most voting rights experts agree voter ID laws could — such laws were necessary to protect black voters from corrupt political bosses in his home state.
He claimed that special interests were “cooking the [ballot] boxes on election day, they’re manufacturing absentee ballots, they’re voting [in the names of] people named Donald Duck, because they want to control politics and thwart progress.” Davis previously wrote that he had “heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.”
Davis didn’t provide any examples this time around either, and law professor Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog wasn’t buying it.
“Let’s see some proof, or at least some names, Mr. Davis, as to voter fraud actually happening today in significant numbers aside from absentee voter fraud, which is the main source of voter fraud but one about which voter identification laws do nothing,” writes Rick Hasen.
“In fact, I’d like to see proof of a single vote in his region of someone voting in the name of ‘Donald Duck’ (not to mention proof that doing so will allow ‘them’ to ‘control politics and thwart progress’),” he continues.
Davis said readers are entitled to think that he made it up, but that he’s under no obligation to provide specifics.
As for that mention of someone voting as “Donald Duck,” Davis told TPM he read about it in the media. We think he meant a high-profile case of individuals associated with ACORN falsely registering fake voters as “Mickey Mouse” and “Donald Duck” to make a few quick bucks. As the Associated Press reported officials with the organization told election officials when they suspected bogus registrations, but they were still required to submit them under law. Voting rights advocates say there isn’t a correlation between fake registrations and fraudulent voting.
“I’m not trying to convince any readers of Talking Points Memo that voter ID is a good thing,” Davis said. “While I certainly respect your publication, that’s my position and you have every right to disagree with it.”