Voter I.D. Laws Maintain the Integrity of Elections

driver's licenseSeveral states have recently passed laws requiring citizens to present valid identification in order to vote, sparking partisan controversy over the legality and/or morality of forcing voters to prove their identity. Thirteen states have passed voter I.D. legislation since January 2011, mostly with Republican support.

Voting rights advocacy groups claim that the intent behind the laws is to suppress Democratic votes, since those most likely to not have government-issued identification (young people, the elderly, and ethnic minority voters) tend to vote Democrat. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous even testified in front of the U.N. Human Rights Council that these laws “come after our right to vote.”

Some Democrats feel so strongly against voter I.D. laws that they have called for a boycott of Walmart, Coca Cola, and others that have backed the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization pushing the legislation. Rep. James Clyburn, who is leading the charge to get government I.D. to the estimated 2-3 million Democrats that lack it, says that the laws point back to the “Jim Crow” era.

This is not about racism or suppressing anyone’s vote -- this is about preventing voter fraud. We can’t pretend to live in a world where everyone is honest all the time, because we don’t. Sometimes people get so blinded by their desired outcomes that they’ll do shady things in order to achieve what they believe to be the best outcome.

There are charges right now against four Indiana Democrats that allegedly forged signatures to get Barack Obama onto the 2008 primary ballot for that state. ACORN is famous for promoting voter fraud. Nine cases of fraud in 2011 city elections have been identified in Iowa. There are several more examples from Florida, and probably many more from around the country. These were just from the first page of a Google search for “voter fraud cases.”

Fraud happens, and the best way to combat that is to require voters to prove their identity. Anyone that can vote can obtain state-issued I.D., and if they can’t afford it, people like James Clyburn will rally the troops to raise the funds needed. Americans are the most generous people on the planet, and we’re obsessed with equal rights. No way is anyone not going to be able to get an I.D. because they can’t afford one. 

We need voter I.D. laws to protect the integrity of elections, so that Americans can know their vote, not Mickey Mouse’s counts. I get asked to show I.D. when I buy Children’s NyQuil for my sick kids, for Pete’s sake. It’s hardly unreasonable to be asked for it when voting for the leader of the free world.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read Do You Support Voter Identification Laws?


Image via khawkins04/Flickr

2012 election, law, politics

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MomaL... MomaLlama

I agree, I remember the first time I went to vote and they just asked for my name and I signed the book.  I couldn't believe that they just took my word that I was who I said I was.  I knew plenty of people who were registered to vote but weren't voting, I could have just gone to one of their precincts and gave their name as my own.  State ID's are cheap and they are valid for a long time (in most states longer than a driver license, some states don't expire at all).  If you don't have an ID how do you cash checks? or by alcohol?

bills... billsfan1104

Agreed and agreed. You need photo ID to cash a check, to get benefits, to buy alcohol or cigarettes and a host of other things. It doesnt cost that much money to get an ID from DMV.

jagam... jagamama0710

I don't see a problem with it either.

Stacey. Stacey.

Voting is a right, its not the same as cashing a check, buying alcohol, or cigarettes. If the gov't wants to make having an ID mandatory, great I've no problems with that, but they should issue ID's for free to people who cant afford one/dont have one. Down here it is $25 for just an ID.


Moma, I didnt have an ID for a long time. Not everyone drinks or writes checks. I never needed one until I got my drivers license (I used public transpo), there was never a reason for me to be ID'ed. Chances are someone super poor/on welfare arent writing checks, or going out drinking, and these people are the ones affected by this, so your question is kind of a moot point.

Stacey. Stacey.

No way is anyone not going to be able to get an I.D. because they can’t afford one. 


Please, dont give me that shit. There are plenty of people who cant even afford their next meal, and you want me to believe everyone will get an ID through donations? I will believe it when I see it.

nonmember avatar Brittany

Totally agree Jenny!! And Stacey, even if you're poor and unsure where your next meal is coming from, according to http://www.welfareinfo.org/ you need an ID to be able to collect welfare benefits.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Requiring a state ID to vote means charging people to vote. It's illegal and unethical. Loads of people don't have an ID because they have no need for them. Until I was 26 I didn't have any RMV IDs because I didn't drive and I had no need for a liquor ID.

MomaL... MomaLlama

Working at a bank it is incredibly frustrating when someone comes in and wants to cash a check and doesn't t have an ID I CAN NOT cash a check for you. Sorry, through it in the garbage because it is a useless piece of paper. I will lose my job.  ATM down and want to withdrawal from your benefit card?  sorry.  If you are super poor and can't afford one (13.00 in pa) fill out some forms and they will give you one. 

nonmember avatar JustMe

Quote: "Voting is a right, its not the same as cashing a check, buying alcohol, or cigarettes. If the gov't wants to make having an ID mandatory, great I've no problems with that, but they should issue ID's for free to people who cant afford one/dont have one. Down here it is $25 for just an ID." HOLY MOLEY! The MOST I ever spent on an ID (I lost my DL)was $12 when I got my FIRST ID, it was free... I agree though that if you are going to REQUIRE ID for something that is a legal RIGHT, you should be able to have the fee waived on a State ID (as opposed to a DL)to be used for that purpose... perhaps at the time of voting registration?

chigi... chigirl1228

I don't have a problem with this either. I always carry 3 forms of ID on me anway. My voter's card, driver's license, and SS card.

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