When the topic of disenfranchising American citizens comes up, it is no doubt very serious. In the last couple years, some politicians of the GOP have enacted voter ID laws, and Republicans have generally accepted this notion, despite evidence that there is little to no voting fraud.
Democrats have come out against voter ID laws, calling them discriminatory.
Should we ID?
Yes. Even though documented cases of voter fraud are minimal, voter ID should be required at the polls. In order to execute the vast majority state and federal rights, you must show proof of identification; why would voting, an exclusive right to law-abiding American citizens over the age of 18, be an exception?
Is voter ID discriminatory?
Is voter registration discriminatory? No one seems to have any quips with the current registration process, so why would they be against voter ID?
One argument I have heard for this is: It’s a choice not to register to vote. Isn’t it a choice not to have a state-issued ID, too, provided measures are in place that allow for equal opportunity?
Another argument is the obstacles for poor voters: If the issue is resources, can’t the same be said for voter registration? In order to register to vote, you must have a legal address, a driver’s license number (which is a state-issued photo ID) or a social security number. You must also have access to a computer, have the ability to show up in-person at your state’s Secretary of State office, or be qualified under the disabilities provisions or a member of the armed services to receive your registration form by other means.
Elderly: Some have pointed out that some elderly do not have access to or even have their social security numbers, and/or do not have their birth certificates to get one. Bottom line is: if you are going to exercise your right to vote, you need to be able to verify your citizenship in some way, just like you need to do for anything else. However, all efforts should be made on the part of the local government to assist the elderly in retrieving this information, so the can advantage of all benefits of citizenship.
Cost: State issued photo IDs cost money. In the case where cost is an issue, photo IDs should be provided at no cost to those who can prove hardship.
Lost ID: I am not going to come up with suggestions, but measures should be put in place, in circumstances of lost ID. No one should lose their right to vote because they misplaced or had stolen, their identification.
Some voter ID measures have been passed and implemented too quickly for registered voters to have time to comply with the new law. If voter ID is going to be passed into law, there needs to be a grace period, to give everyone a chance to get their documents in order.
Again, when dealing with the possibility of disenfranchising registered voters, every angle needs to be covered to ensure that all qualified citizens are allowed the time and resources necessary to comply.