Yes, Voter ID Laws: What’s the Problem?
(ThyBlackMan.com) A week from today I will head to a nearby apartment complex to cast my vote in the Florida Primary. When I walk into the precinct I will happily hand over my ID to the poll worker who will then direct me to a private booth to do my citizen’s duty. I have absolutely no problem being asked for ID to vote. You have to have ID to register to vote in the first place. Why should anybody take your word for who you say you are without some kind of proof. (Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the country.) While I don’t agree with the Republican argument behind the need for voter ID i.e. voter fraud, I don’t see how this specific tenet of new voting laws will disenfranchise all voters.
My mother always taught me to have an ID no matter where I go. I had a state ID as a child which then became a driver’s license at the age of 16. I’ve been carrying ID since I knew what a purse and a wallet were and I don’t see why other people simply can’t do the same. If you’re older and no longer drive why don’t you automatically change your license into a state ID? If you are young and don’t have ID how else are you getting through life? Identity has to be verified for a job, for any type of government benefits, and even to receive coupons at most stores. While I know the statistics of those who don’t have ID I still don’t understand why.
If the argument is on the principle that voter ID laws will lead to other pre-emptive measures to keep people who typically vote Democrat from voting I wholly understand but don’t agree. The ACLU and the League of Women voters by all means should sue states for voting laws like Florida that will purge the voter rolls of eligible voters. Voting rights and civil rights groups by all means should sue states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio for voting laws that limit the number of days of early voting, squeeze the time between a registration drive and when those documents should be turned in, decrease the number of precincts in heavily populated areas, and make votes by mail from members of the military or any other count less than a standard vote. Those fights should be fought in court every day until November 6, 2012 and after. The fight on simply showing ID is a losing game.
In high school and maybe now even in some middle and elementary school students must have an ID to prove they belong to that institution. The same in college. If you are paying for something by check or credit card a cashier may ask you for ID. You can’t get into Sam’s Club or Costco without it. If you drive without ID and are caught you are ticketed at the least and taken to jail in the worst case scenario. In this country there is no life without ID. This notion a poll worker shouldn’t question your identity on one of the most important decisions affecting the country is absolutely preposterous.
I say fight the fight to diminish the voice of the people by targeting the elderly, minorities, or ex-cons who in some states do regain the right to vote after serving their time. That is a fight worth having to keep the democracy honest, the election process veritable, and the results the work and the will of the people. But the argument that having an ID to vote is a burden is lost on me. Just about everyone I know including my over 80 year old grandmother has an ID. While she may get peeved to have to dig it out of her purse at the precinct before being allowed to vote. She still has it.
In a country where you can’t fly from state to state without showing your ID at least twice, it makes no sense the petty arguments being had over showing ID at the polls.
The voter ID fight I believe will be a failure among Democrats if that becomes the basis of the argument to repeal or block new voting laws in states with Republican majorities. Instead the fight should focus on making sure the marginalized aren’t further diminished in an effort to seal victories for candidates through calumnous ways that will actually make a difference in the future of this country. Voter ID is not one of those ways. Deliberately limiting the right to vote by limiting people’s access to vote is a fight worth going 10 rounds and then some.
What is the best way to make sure all eligible voters are allowed to vote?
Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper
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