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