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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ashjo85 ashjo85

It is far better to put assistance programs in place to help those very few who can truly not afford the cost of an ID (an ID is much cheaper than a driver's license in my state anyway) than to allow the huge loopholes we currently have for voter fraud. I don't understand the resistance!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

When I lived in Philly you had to show your ID when voting and when you showed them your ID they would mark your name off the list. It's a great idea to show your id.


For those of you who claim not to have an ID, how do you cash a check or have a bank account or go to the doctor? For insurance purposes a spot check of IDs is very common at doctor appts and sometimes to pick up a prescription. Also, here in MN, you can get a free ID when you go to vote. It's "free" so the democrats should like that. It's on our ballot now and I sure hope the voters vote to do it. We have a lot of voter fraud here. We went without a governor for 6 months because of voter fraud. What's the big deal?

nonmember avatar Anon NY

Most states require ID for social services. That is how they attempt to keep track of who is supposed to receive benefits. Is that discriminatory too?

Frankly, the argument is political, nothing more. By screaming discrimination it's another unfair tactic of the republicans to prevent folks from voting. However, there hasn't been a strong argument to not require it except "it's not fair to the poor and elderly". Since states already require ID for social services that point is moot. In other words, if someone is too poor to get an ID they are not recieiving benefits - as that is already a requirement..

nonmember avatar Guest

The "cost of an ID" issue is a red herring that was laid to rest over twenty years ago when some states started passing voter ID laws.

All states that require an ID to vote will provide a voter ID card free of charge to anyone who wants one.

Can anyone think of any (legitimate) reason to oppose Voter ID laws other than to facilitate fraud?

Stacey. Stacey.

Jafe, I didnt use a bank account, I didnt drive, and I used to be on Medicaid (I only had to show pay stubs, my SS card Ive had since birth, and a doctor issued pregnancy test to get on this). I never needed an ID until I started driving. It is possible to not need one. My old job, when I needed the gov't assistance, I had a job issued pay card that direct deposited my money, and I withdrew it at the ATM.

Ive no problem with showing an ID for voting, just not everyone has the money for one, even though to most of us they are "cheap".

Stacey. Stacey.

Brittany if you dont have an ID you are allowed to make someone with an ID the reciprient, kind of like power of attorney, same for people on welfare who dont pass their drug test. Also, down here, they give you a printed piece of paper with your name that is good for gov't checks such as WIC and food stamps.

nonmember avatar kaerae

@chigirl - You carry your SS card on you???? Wow, that is a horrible idea! You must be incredibley confident that you will never lose your wallet...that is just asking for identity theft!

nonmember avatar kaerae


Celia... Celiacelia

i was thinking the same thing as kaerae, thats a horrible idea, you need to keep your ss card in a safe not your wallet cause you can replace an i.d but a ss card well that a whole different story

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