By Matthew Hoh |
Of course photo ID should be required to vote. Each of our votes controls trillions of public dollars and unfathomable amounts of political power. The motives that would tempt some to cheat at elections are obvious, yet some state officials insist on leaving the process as vulnerable as possible while at the same time calling theirs "the best election system in the nation."
Who would maintain a checking account at a bank that allowed withdrawals without first checking ID?
Voter ID is just common sense and one has to question the motives of those who oppose it. They talk about cost using inflated figures and mass disenfranchisement of such outrageous numbers of people, but their claims defy belief. They also tend to insist that there is no voter fraud. There never has been and never will be any voter fraud, they'll insist, despite hundreds of recent convictions for voter fraud (200 in Minnesota alone since the 2008 election) and a declaration of the U.S. Supreme Court that "the United States has a long history of voter fraud" when it upheld Indiana's strictest-in-the-nation voter photo ID requirement as not merely constitutional, but necessary to prevent fraud. The landmark opinion said there "is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State's interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters" and that states have "justification for carefully identifying all voters participating in the election process."
Other states that have implemented a photo ID requirement to vote have seen voter participation increase. Clearly, greater confidence in the system leads to greater, not lesser turnout. Just look at Indiana and Georgia. When the usual voter ID opposition groups (American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, NAACP, et al.) brought their claims of disenfranchisement to court, the courts found not a single person who would be unable to vote because of voter ID laws.
There's no doubt that some currently lack ID, but that's not a permanent situation. All voter ID laws require that the state provide ID at no charge, which is a requirement of the U.S. Supreme Court.
All states that require ID to vote also provide a second-chance ballot, called a provisional ballot, for those who are unable to produce ID on Election Day. Those ballots are set aside to be verified before being counted.
Voter ID is painless, necessary, and just plain common sense. It should be easy to vote, but also hard to cheat. Voter ID is the solution.
About Dan McGrath Chairman of ProtectMyVote.com
Hans A. Von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation
Wendy Weiser Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law