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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PonyC... PonyChaser

You used your pay stub, Stacey? How did you get that job? Every single job I've ever had, including my first, in high school in the '80's, required some sort of identification - an approved photo ID, and a SS card, for starters. So unless you were working for cash, you had to have some sort of ID, in order for that employer to be legal and file all of the FICA, etc., that they had to deal with.

chigi... chigirl1228

Nope never in ten years have I lost my wallet. Guess I'm just organized. ;) knock on wood. My wallet with my debit cards, credit cards, ID cards and other important things stays in my purse and never moves. My purse stays on my shoulder 100% of the time.

bills... billsfan1104

Pony, I was just about to ask Stacey that. My employer required a photo id.

nonmember avatar Elaine Almquist

Voter ID laws prevent eligible voters (homeless people; the poor; 1/3 of married women who do not have proof of citizenship with their current legal name on it, aka birth certificate doesn't show married name; black people born before birth certificates were legal for black people to acquire, many victims of Hurricane Katrina who don't have paperwork anymore, etc. ) from voting. None of those other things you "need" an ID for are constitutionally-protected rights, and most of them do not actually require an ID such as flying (you can bring multiple other forms of identification if you don't have a picture ID), buying alcohol (most states only require presentation of certain ID types if the establishment is accused of violating liquor laws). but they have also never been shown to protect the integrity of elections. There were 250 claims of fraud in the Supreme Court's photo ID case, and the SJC found that there was not one proven case of a fraudulent vote that photo ID laws could prevent.
You make it seem like Voter ID laws are common sense. Actually, they are a solution in search of a problem, and harm democracy by limiting the ability to participate.

nonmember avatar Lexi Jordan

Wow I am shocked that you didn't have to present ID in the US. In Canada you have to present photo ID and your voting card which is mailed to you before the election.
It might be a hassle but it is so worth it, it is very hard to cheat the system here.

nonmember avatar Guest

Elaine Almquist; "250 claims of fraud in the Supreme Court's photo ID case"

Yet not one documented example of someone who is eligible to vote being prevented from voting due to voter ID laws.

JAFE JAFE

Stacey is full of baloney unless she was working for money under the table. When we hire someone we have to have a copy of their SS # and state ID on file. There is NO possible way with taxes to hire something with no legal ID AND SS #. The state and federal government would be on top of us RIGHT NOW. 


I'll go one step further and say that we also need to know if you are ordered to pay child support and it comes out of your paycheck. It's the law. So I cry foul on that statement Stacey. Uncle Sam is everywhere.

nonmember avatar Ralph Zazula

There are many problems that exist today with voting fraud. They may best solved by simply requiring voters to be verified. One way to verify is to use photo ID's. There are many other effective ways to verify a voter’s identity meaning one should not need to have a photo ID in order to vote.

It is easier to identify fraudulent voting when the requester asks for the ballot of a deceased person. It is much more difficult to identify the ballots cast in the name of living voters who did not show up in person. Since in most cases the polling officials are not even looking to identify such activity, it is not reported and classified as non-existent.

Photo ID's help to enable officials to verify that voters actually are who they claim to be. Many other methods can also be used to due the same thing, reasonably verify the identity of voters.

It is far more important that we as a society realize that identifying voters is more important than one method or another. Holding officials accountable and training them to do their jobs of protecting against voter fraud is perhaps the most critical issue. Properly punishing those who criminally violated the voting laws is another very important point that state legislatures need to address.

Show ID to Vote. Show "I Deserve" to Vote. It is more than just a photo ID.

Learn more about all sides of the voter fraud issues at http://ShowIDtoVote.com or on facebook.

Ralph Zazula
ShowIDtoVote

nonmember avatar EmmaFromÉire

I'm Irish, and this is standard practice here, so you can't be voting as somebody else. It's simply to ensure fairness of vote.

Saerise Saerise

It is $12.50 here for a state ID. That's not so bad.

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