Senator Rand Paul, likely Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, told a group in Louisville this week that there is no "objective evidence" that blacks are being precluded from voting. Writing at Politico, the National Review's Rich Lowry went further, suggesting that Hillary Clinton's recent speech against voter ID laws was racial opportunism and that such laws are "a victimless crime," given voter fraud. Both Lowry and Paul are wrong, for different reasons.
Voter ID laws are specifically ones in which voters would need to provide specific forms of ID before voting, though the term is generally used to refer to other efforts to restrict voting access, such as North Carolina's ban on same-day registration. As Lowry notes, the rationale for these laws is the argument that voter fraud must be curtailed. And just last year, he reports, 10 people were charged with fraud in the Milwaukee area alone!
Objective data shows limited incidents of vote fraud, as the Washington Post noted last year. Since 2000, there have been 10 incidents of voter impersonation — among the millions of voters over seven federal election cycles. Further, those 10 people in Milwaukee were all charged. Meaning that the existing laws are clearly sufficient to catch them.