October 2, 2012

ID’d at the polls: Why voter ID laws are important in securing a fair election without fraud

Many have made the extreme claim that voter ID laws are akin to poll taxes.

The recent push by state governments to pass laws that would require voters to show identification in order to receive a ballot has sparked a great debate across the nation.

It’s a push credited to the republican party and greatly opposed by democrats who claim that it’s discriminatory against poor people, the elderly and minorities. The logic behind this being that poor people don’t get passports or driver’s licenses because they’re too poor to buy cars or plane tickets, that minorities are just generally poor and that the elderly don’t drive because they’re, well, elderly.

For these exact reasons, most of the states that have proposed voter identification laws have included in their proposals services that would allow anyone to get a free government-issued photo ID. Some of these states, such as South Carolina, have even supplied voters with carpools to take them to state DMVs.

Here’s a high school history lesson: The U.S. passed the Fifteenth Amendment after the Civil War so that freed slaves could not be barred from voting just because they were black. So, some clever and cruel people came up with the poll tax. The poll tax forced people to pay to vote, basically. These former slaves had just worked their whole lives for no wages and so they couldn’t afford to vote. The U.S. began passing laws that banned poll taxes or anything that meant that people had to pay money in order to vote. Today that means a state can’t pass a law that would force you to spend a dime in order to cast your ballot.

This is why the states that are passing voter ID laws are making concessions so that no one has to pay a penny or meet certain qualifications in order to get a picture ID.

The entire Democratic claim of discrimination is a load of crap, formed by lobbyists who are panicked at the idea that the people who depend on the shelling out of welfare checks and Medicare benefits won’t be able to figure out which line they should get in at the DMV.

These same people required attendees to the Democratic National Convention to check in with their IDs.

To be fair, maybe this whole thing is a Republican ploy to squash the votes of the poor people who love President Obama and the fact that they no longer have to pay their hospital bills. I wouldn’t be surprised, given that we’re currently suffering through a political climate that serves the interest of parties, not people. It is at the hands of the Republican Party that the rich get tax cuts and this, understandably, can create some animosity from the have-nots.

All of this aside, my vote means absolutely nothing if someone else can come in behind me and place an illegitimate one. I would rather go through the hassle of obtaining a photo ID than to leave a door open that would allow a group like ACORN to place a vote for me. I would rather go through the process of handing over my ID to person after person in order to verify my identity, than to vote in a nation where the validity of my vote, and every other vote, can be compromised because of even one person who tipped the polls in another direction.

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Photo courtesy northcountrypublicradio.com

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