Voter fraud has a history of plaguing elections, inspiring a growing number of states to enact voter identification laws in recent years. The issue was the focus of a debate Thursday at the National Press Club between Heritage senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky and Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.

Proponents of voter ID laws believe they reduce fraud and improve the integrity of elections. Opponents argue these laws decrease voter turnout and disenfranchise minority voters.

“One of the key principles of any fair election is making sure that the person who casts the vote is legally eligible to do so, and the fairest way to do that is by making sure that individuals authenticate their citizenship when they register to vote, authenticate their identity when they appear at the polling places,” said von Spakovsky. “Those kinds of requirements also increase public confidence in our election process.”

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