US Is Outlier: Photo ID Required to Vote in Nearly All European Nations and Beyond


As Democrats make a hard push to ban voter ID requirements and expand mail-in absentee voting nationwide through House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, other nations — particularly those in Europe — stand in sharp contrast.

John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, wrote in a piece for RealClear Investigations this week that photo IDs, far from being seen as racist or a means to suppress the vote, are the rule in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

The photo ID requirement is seen as a means to counter voting fraud.

A voting rules database compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that in “47 nations surveyed in Europe — a place where, on other matters, American progressives often look to with envy — all but one country requires a government-issued photo voter ID to vote.”

“The exception is the U.K., and even there voter IDs are mandatory in Northern Ireland for all elections and in parts of England for local elections. Moreover, Boris Johnson’s government recently introduced legislation to have the rest of the country follow suit.”

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The National Conference of State Legislatures found that 36 states have laws requiring some form of identification to vote.

Former President Donald Trump hammered HR 1 saying in a statement last month the U.S. should adopt voter ID laws nationwide.

Do you think photo IDs should be required to vote nationwide?

“The Government of the United Kingdom is proposing that anyone who wants to vote in a British election should show photo ID to eliminate any corruption and fraud and ‘ensure the integrity of elections,’” Trump said.

“This is exactly what we should do in the United States, unlike the Democrats who want to abolish Voter ID laws with passing their horrible HR 1 Bill,” he continued.

Trump encouraged all states to eliminate mass mail-in voting and ballot harvesting, both practices HR 1 mandates.

Regarding mail-in voting, Lott wrote, “Seventy-four percent of European countries entirely ban absentee voting for citizens who reside domestically. Another 6% limit it to those hospitalized or in the military, and they require third-party verification and a photo voter ID. Another 15% require a photo ID for absentee voting.”

“France banned mail-in voting in 1975 because of massive fraud in the island region of Corsica, where postal ballots were stolen or bought and others were cast in the names of dead people,” he added.

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Closer to home, Mexico has much stricter voting requirements in place nationwide than the U.S. as a means to counter voter fraud, Lott reported.

In 1991, our neighbors to the south “mandated voter photo IDs with biometric information, banned absentee ballots, and required in-person voter registration. Despite making registration much more difficult and banning absentee ballots, voter participation rates rose after Mexico implemented the new rules.”

“In the three presidential elections following the 1991 reforms, an average of 68% of the eligible citizens voted, compared with only 59% in the three elections prior to the rule changes. Seemingly, as people gained faith in the electoral process, they became more likely to vote.”

HR 1 passed the House in March in a 220 to 210 vote, with no Republican support and one Democratic defector.

Senate 1, HR1’s counterpart, deadlocked last month in a 9-9 party-line vote in the Senate Rules Committee.

CBS News reported that despite S 1 not being recommended by the committee, due to the tie vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can still bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration.

However, without ending or altering the filibuster rule, it is not likely to pass the evenly divided legislative body.

At the May committee hearing, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said, “This bill has everything to do with Democrats trying to rig the election to stay in power and to disenfranchise voters.”

GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah concurred, writing in an Op-Ed for USA Today, “The true purpose of H.R. 1 — better characterized as the ‘Illegal Voting Act’ — is not to increase legal voting. It’s to increase illegal voting and crack down on criticism of the government.”

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