North Texas Daily

Voter ID laws: A comprehensive fix for a fake problem

Voter ID laws: A comprehensive fix for a fake problem

Voter ID laws: A comprehensive fix for a fake problem
October 26
12:00 2018

The U.S. was founded on the premise that the government should serve the people, and over the past two hundred years, that is what this country has worked toward. When it comes to fighting for minorities’ and women’s right to vote, we have seen several steps forward. But now, certain segments of our country are taking steps backward.

The cause of this regression is the series of state laws referred to as “voter ID laws” which essentially make it harder for people to vote, in order to stop a widespread “problem” that doesn’t exist.

The goal of Voter ID laws is to make it harder for people to falsely cast ballots by making them present a form of identification when they show up to vote. While this might seem to make our elections safer and the results more secure, in reality these laws have little effect on the problem they set out to stop.

The reasoning behind the ineffectiveness behind these laws is not because they fail to implement significant restrictions, but rather because the problem is so small that there isn’t much to catch. In a 2017 study published by the Washington Postit was discovered that these Voter ID laws do in fact suppress minority voting.

If it is clear these types of laws are not serving the greater public interest, we need to pay more attention to why they’re being implemented to begin with. For states with strict photo ID laws, such as Texas, getting proper identification can present a big problem for those who don’t have the means to easily obtain such identification. 

Laws like the ones we have in Texas require voters to provide a form of photo ID that is sanctioned by the state in order to vote. A strict photo ID law was proposed last year in North Carolina and was determined to be made to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”  Problems arise with these cases primarily based on the types of IDs that are designated as valid by the state because, by not allowing certain forms of identification, it can hurt the ability of some groups of people to be able to vote.

Laws limiting the types of IDs people can use to fulfill their constitutional duty put an undue burden on those who are too poor to be able to get around these restrictions. These forms of identification often requires going to a government office during working hours — a luxury most lower-income adults do not have.

All these downsides must then lead us to questioning why these sorts of laws that restrict the rights of Americans based on income are put into place to stop a fictional issue. With the tendency for lower income Americans to vote for more left-leaning politicians and voter ID law’s tendencies to target lower income citizens, it is not hard to draw conclusions.

The Constitution grants all American citizens the right to vote, and it should not be a game of deciding who can vote and who can’t if they are citizens. Regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, we should all be able to agree that inventing false crisis to be able to gain a political lead is wrong, and we should encourage all who are able to vote to do so. Anyone who has a problem with making sure we’re doing everything we can to ensure that all citizens can vote regardless of their socioeconomic status has a problem with the Constitution, too.

Featured Image: File

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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