Every registered Mexican voter has a Voter ID card, complete with photograph, fingerprint, and a holographic image. It’s not just the existence of the card that’s important, but how it is used. At the Mexican polling station, there is a book containing the photographs of every voter in the precinct. When a Mexican voter presents his card, the poll worker looks up his photo to see if it matches up. If it does, a mark is made next to the photo in the book, and the voter is allowed to cast his ballot.
When I was there on July 5th, a voter’s photo ID didn’t match up with her photo in the book, because she brought her previous voter ID and not her current card. She wasn’t allowed to vote, and had to go home to get her current ID.
After voting, ink is applied to the Mexican voter’s thumb. That way, if he shows up at another polling site to vote, they know he’s already voted elsewhere. (The ink wears off after a few days.)
In contrast, U.S. voter registration is a joke. In many states, it’s not even necessary to prove one’s citizenship or identity. Registrars have been instructed not to be inquisitive about applicants’ citizenship, or lack thereof.
It should come as no surprise then, that the last few years have seen more and more examples of voter fraud coming to light, including the casting of ballots by non-citizen voters.
Whenever Americans try to require photo ID, it typically gets opposed by Hispanic activists who say it’s discriminatory. That’s ironic, since photo ID is a requirement in Mexico, which is the world’s biggest Hispanic country. The solution for U.S. states is to adopt a Mexican-style photo voter ID system, at government expense.