Forced Voter ID Laws Are Un-American

In the 2008 election season, only 56 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots. That’s not something to be proud of, considering how many people in other countries are denied the right to vote and that not all that long ago women in this country were unable to vote. Every presidential election hovers in the 50 percent range for voter turnout, except for a few seasons in the '60s where 60 percent of registered voters came to the polls.

I love to vote and cast my ballot in all elections big and small. I consider voting more than a right; it is a privilege. Meanwhile, legislators in my home state of North Carolina are hell bent in passing voter ID laws, though Governor Perdue has vetoed it. It seems to me that we need to spend more time engaging our citizens in the voting process and embracing their civic duty than denying Americans their vote.

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We all benefit from more a more engaged populace. And may I add that my state, and this country, have bigger proverbial fish to fry. I cannot understand the need for voter ID legislation when, in the end, it disenfranchises so many Americans.

There is so much hoopla about alleged voter fraud, yet I have yet to see the data. I urge you to do your homework and look into this matter for yourselves. Under George W. Bush, the Justice Department launched a five-year voter fraud probe that resulted in just 86 convictions across the entire country.

I’m not suggesting that fraud does not exist, it certainly does in every aspect of politics. Sad, but true. However, in the scheme of things, I think it’s more important to get more Americans to the polls. Let’s just stop and examine the real reason behind voter ID bills. Denying fellow Americans their turn at the ballot is unjust, unfair, and un-American.

We've become so divisive in this country that it almost seems satirical. There's palpable hate. We, the people has morphed into Me, the person. We have forgotten and ignored the principles of our founders. That's probably because most people didn't take the citizenship test that my mom and dad took.

My family doesn't take its U.S. citizenship for granted. We cherish it. And we cherish the democratic process that gives us the right to vote. It's important to me that my sons appreciate our democratic process. Their grandparents earned the right to vote in this country. Their great grandmother grew up during a time when women were not allowed to vote. My sons are first generation Americans. I don't take that for granted and I don't want them to either. I believe in making easier for Americans to vote, not more restrictive. I cannot support a law to deny fellow Americans their right to vote.

It seems to me that the impetus behind this partisan measure is to prevent many voters who are traditionally Democrats from voting. This is simply a case of more politicking and staging attacks on the already disenfranchised. The legislators pushing for voter ID laws are looking out for the best interest of our citizens, they are looking out for their own best interests.

 

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 Chris Phan

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