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Position Paper for Voter ID Laws

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 527
  • Category: Law Voting

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Voter ID Laws are laws that have been enacted in 30 States that require voters to showcase their ID (What form/how stringent the policy is varies from state-to-state) before they can vote. These laws have recently come under the national spotlight and have caused a controversy in both public and political opinion. First adopted as early as 2003, these laws are designed to prevent voter-ID fraud (People registering as someone they are not and voting). Interestingly enough, the voter ID law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2008.

Proponents of voter ID laws claim that they help combat voter fraud. Republicans, the majority of whom support these laws, state that these laws ensure the integrity and quality of the voting system. For those who say that these laws undermine the voting rights of the elderly, low-income and poor because it potentially restricts them from casting their vote, supporters of the law reject this notion by stating that there are not many people who will be un-eligible to vote solely due to the voter ID laws. They support their argument by claiming that Democrats simply exaggerate the effect that voter ID laws would have and that they are only making it an issue because they fear that Democrat-leaning voters will be unable to cast their ballot.

Opponents of voter ID laws claim that they disenfranchise certain groups of voters and discourage voters as a whole. They see these laws are just another obstacle on the already-much-avoided path to voting. More specifically, they claim that these laws curb the rights of the minority, low-income and elderly as they have a more difficult time in obtaining proper ID. Ironically enough, the 3 aforementioned groups tend to typically vote Democrat. Democrats often draw a parallel between these voter ID laws and Jim Crow Laws, which placed restrictions on the ballot and severely curbed the power of blacks to cast their votes.

My stance on the voter ID laws is that they should be legal and in every state, but with some reservation. I believe that the average American who is even slightly involved in politics and is relevant to the general community around him/her and is concerned about the the current state and future of the country will have some sort of ID. An overwhelming majority of Americans have some sort of ID, whether it be a photo ID or not; Bank statements, driving license, bills, credit cards, memberships and etc are all forms of ID accepted in MOST States that have the voter ID laws. If one must have ID to purchase alcohol or nicotine-containing substances then I do not see a problem in the requirement to have ID present when playing a part in the country’s future, casting their vote. If one is truly dispossessed or unfortunate enough not to meet any criteria of having some form of ID then it is the State’s responsibility to have an exemption available for such individuals as well as immediate aid available for those that cannot obtain a simple ID are in need of it.


1) http://www.propublica.org/article/everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-know-about-voter-id-laws

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_ID_laws#United_States

3) http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/measuring-the-effects-of-voter-identification-laws/

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