- - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zombies, who just won’t stay in the graveyard, are back with us again, and not just on the screen in “World War Z” and “The Walking Dead.” It turns out that 1,100 of the dearly departed are active in Maryland politics.

Maybe lots more than that. The nonpartisan watchdog group Election Integrity Maryland sampled 36,000 names on the state’s voter rolls and counted 1,100 who had gone to a better precinct in the sky. Extrapolated statewide, this could mean 100,000 dead voters are eligible to continue voting, but local and state elections officials aren’t interested in doing anything about it. This might not matter if Maryland bothered to verify that voters are alive and are who they say they are when they show up to vote. There’s nothing to stop a Marylander from voting once for himself and once more for a great-great-grandfather who died at Antietam.

North Carolina has a better idea. Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a law Monday requiring voters to present photo IDs at the polling booth, reducing the early-voting period and ending same-day registration. “While some will try to make this seem to be controversial,” says Mr. McCrory, “the simple reality is that requiring voters to provide a photo ID when they vote is a common-sense idea.”

It’s only to prevent fraud, but that’s too strong for Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, who stands up bravely for zombie rights. He signed legislation earlier this year that authorizes same-day voter registration and extends early voting. This puts Maryland out of the mainstream; more than three-fifths of the states require some form of voter-ID from a voter before he (or she) casts a ballot.

The new North Carolina law has, as expected, been challenged in court by the ACLU and related liberal groups. They argue that requiring voters to show a government ID card will lead to exhaustion, attacks of the vapors and suppression of voting by minorities, young people and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, in remarks to the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, on Monday decried laws like North Carolina’s as “a sweeping effort to construct new obstacles to voting and addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud.” But some phantoms are real. A grand jury in Frederick County indicted a woman last month for voting on behalf of her dead mother. There’s no way to know how often this happens, but even once is enough to diminish the integrity of elections. A voter-ID law, is simple and obvious, and would inconvenience only a zombie.

The Washington Times