Found in the Chicago Defender:
With the presidential race in full swing, the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a case that could have a huge impact on the nation’s electoral system forever. It revolves around an Indiana statue that requires voters to show current state issued photo identification when they cast their ballots. Last Election Day, 61-year-old Valerie Williams attempted to vote in the lobby of her retirement home as she had the past two elections.
She and 31 others affiliated with the case [were not allowed to vote after failing to provide photo ID]. Most failed to comply with the law because they lacked the transportation to get to the local voting office to convert their provisional ballots into actual votes or couldn’t afford state issued identification. They represent as much as 12 percent of all voters, a disproportionate number of them elderly, poor, minorities or disable, who do not have government-issued photo identification.
Huh? I admit it’s sad that people are turned away from polls when people there could verify their identity. Maybe the law could allow for group living facilities which have already verified ID can speak for their members… but that gets into a whole ‘nother can of worms and allows further loopholes for fraud. Maybe states should have a cheap or free ID for those who don’t drive (Like California, I got my first official ID, which was not a drivers license, at 14 for less than 20 dollars).
When the elections can hinge on as few as 100 votes such as Florida in 2000, each vote counts. While you are worrying about disenfranchising (a big word which is used as a bugbear in our fearful society) the poor and elderly (popular poster-children of the bugbear bearing social activists). I’m worried about disenfranchising (see, I can use it too) myself and the millions of other voters who have worked hard and taken the appropriate steps to ensure I have proper identification necessary to function in this society. It is a slight requirement. We are aware of the need and we have a whole year, or two, to get it before needing it for the election.
You may not be aware of the severity of the issue: In Seattle, WA, hundreds of votes are entered by people all listing the Postal Office as their “home”. The assumption is their transients, but there is no proof of that. Any Joe or Sally with nefarious intent could easily register and vote, even though it is against the law to misrepresent your address on voter registration. The difficulty lies in verifying the address of the voter.
Requiring ID puts additional responsibility on the voter, but we do not live in a society where all things are given to us. Instead, we are given reasonable requirements and then allowed to do as we please.
Voter ID is a simple and effective way to mitigate the issue of voter fraud. Fraud disenfranchises everybody, lessening the effectiveness of each and every one of our votes.
Apparently it’s a GOP issue. The Democrats don’t want to stop any fraudsters, phonies, gangs, or assorted nefarious election scammers from exercising their desire to break the law and disenfranchise all of us law-abiding citizens. It’s those nasty Republicans who want to safe-guard the election for us average Joe’s and Jane’s by requiring reasonable levels of identity security into the process.
See my previous post on this for my solution to electronic voting, vote fraud, and voter ID.