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Are Voter ID Laws Fair?

The majority of States now require photo Voter ID. The issue has been a divisive one, with many believing it unfairly targets the poor and minorities. Do you think Voter ID laws are fair?

67% of writers and pundits say no
see all 15 opinions below

What do you think?
Are Voter ID Laws Fair?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Are Voter ID Laws Fair?"
last 24 hours | voanews
US Voting Restrictions Fuel Tensions - Voice of America
"...Opponents cried voter suppression, saying there is almost no evidence of voter fraud in the state."Illegal voting of all kinds is extremely rare in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney confirmed in an email to VOA. He said most infractions involve people on parole or probation who "have not had their civil rights restored yet."The 2012 presidential election brought two such convictions, Magney said, acknowledging "there may have been more charges and convictions that we're not aware of. Voter photo ID would not prevent this kind of illegal voting." A Loyola University Law School professor found only 31 verifiable cases of in-person voter fraud the kind that would be deterred by photo IDs among roughly 1 billion votes cast nationwide from 2000 to 2014. Walker, now a Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, has vowed Wisconsin will make every effort to ensure that legitimate voters have necessary identification, even if it means offering IDs at no cost to individuals...." see full article

1262 days ago | seacoastonline
Voter ID's aim is to disenfranchise the poor and elderly -
"...The fact is that we do have millions of Americans without I.D.s. Why they might not have identification is irrelevant to the fact that they don't. It doesn't make them bad people, except now they're penalized unnecessarily because of 31 cases of voter impersonation in about 14 years. Millions of Americans will have to jump through expensive and difficult hoops to get official identification in order to prevent a handful of impersonation cases.The cure is way worse than the disease, and that fact tells the tale. Voter I.D. is about making sure that poor people can't vote simply because, statistically, they're more likely to vote Democratic when major Democratic initiatives benefit the poor. That's what it's really about...." see full article

1308 days ago | theappalachianonline
Voter ID laws negatively affect voters and democratic reform - The Appalachian Online
"...While it might seem that voting laws pose no problem, an investigation of the reality shows that they are not only unnecessary but that they can create potentially undemocratic outcomes.The need to curb voter fraud is perhaps the most cited justification for voter ID laws. As has been noted by many researchers and observers by this point, voting fraud is nearly non-existent.Loyola University professor Justin Levitt's report found only 31 credible cases of in-person voter fraud from 2000-14 in elections at all levels, according to an article Levitt wrote for the Washington Post in 2014.Even if the incidence of voter fraud were substantial, other research has shown that much of the voting fraud which does occur happens through mail-in ballots, which would not at all be affected by voter ID requirements...." see full article

1315 days ago | charlotteobserver
Speakers cite burdens of new voter ID law - Charlotte Observer
"...Several speakers, including Lenise Melton, equated the fees associated with getting valid ID to a poll tax. Even though some of the required IDs themselves don't cost anything, various other forms of identification, like an original copy of a birth certificate, are necessary to have that ID issued and do cost money for a new copy.Melton said low-income families who have experienced instability in their housing situations are more likely to have lost important documents and thus are particularly burdened by ID requirements.Read more here:" see full article

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1318 days ago | washingtonpost
Hillary Clinton declares war on Voter ID - Washington Post (blog)

"...No one was expecting fire. But Clinton's speech focusing on some of what Clinton presented as the ugliest truths about voting in the United States was no boilerplate stump speech. Clinton went big. She called for universal and automatic voter registration and a 20-day (or more) period of early voting in every state, before every election. Clinton's speech identified the work of protecting and expanding voting rights as a critical part of her campaign.Clinton talked about the fact that African Americans consistently rank among the most deeply affected by the contours of Voter ID laws, must wait in the longest lines on Election Day and cast ballots at polling sites that very often house fewer machines and poll workers than other sites. That, Clinton told the crowd, is no accident. ..." see full article

1322 days ago | demos
On Two-Year Anniversary of Blow To VRA, New Evidence That Voter ID Laws ... - PolicyShop (blog)
"...As we near the two-year anniversary of Congress gutting the Voting Rights Act, Demos has found new evidence of racial bias in the passage of voter ID laws. Two weeks ago I put forward evidence that racism was tied with stringent voter ID laws. Since then, I've uncovered more evidence. My original case was based on a simple fact: in 2014, whites in the states with the most stringent voter ID laws were far more likely to have racist views about Black people. I supported this data with evidence from Keith Bentele and Ian Vandewalker that anti-black stereotyping strongly predicted the introduction of restrictive voting laws*. To further support the idea that racism is tied with voter ID laws, I combined data from 2010 with the data from 2014.By examining differences between 2010 and 2014 we can get a sense for how the 2012 election and then the 2013 decision striking down the pre-clearance provision of the VRA has affect voter ID laws. I examine two measures: first, the number of states with a photo-ID, second the number of states with a strict photo ID law.** Before pulling in race data, I find that the number of photo ID laws increased dramatically between 2010 and 2014, from 10 in 2010 to 17 in 2014 (the number of strict laws increased from 2 to 8)...." see full article

1322 days ago | bizpacreview
Bad news for Dems: Guess who supports voter ID laws? - BizPac Review
"...As informed citizens know, the media has long been trashing the concept of having a federal voter ID law as being unfair to blacks, unfair to the poor, unfair to Mexicans, unfair to dead people, oh wait, dead people can't vote. (Wink. Wink.)And every time the mere mention of a voter ID law comes out, large news networks go into propaganda-overdrive to squash it...." see full article

1323 days ago | mic
One Chart Shows the Depressingly Racist Truth About Voter ID Laws You Tried ... - Mic
"...While this doesn't necessarily prove voter ID laws are explicitly motivated by racism, there is evidence to suggest conservatives understand that keeping certain kinds of people away from the polls is kind of the point of voter ID laws. One study, for example, found very racist states have seven voting restrictions proposed every two years, while less racist ones see four. In the predominantly Southern and Midwestern states where the laws are being enacted, getting a valid ID can be very difficult for impoverished people and minorities in particular. It's hard to imagine the Republicans proposing the laws don't know about this...." see full article

1326 days ago | rgj
Voter ID fraud is a myth - Reno Gazette Journal
"...If we could channel our founding fathers, they would be horrified by Nevada's unnecessary plethora of voter ID bills that, for the most part, assault the precious right of all our citizens to vote.Thomas Paine said it well: "The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected."The primary right of Nevadans to vote has been quietly challenged during this legislative session by 16 bills, half of which require the voter to present proof of identity with a card issued by the overwhelmed Department of Motor Vehicles. Twenty-one thousand Nevada voters would need an ID card, at no cost to the citizen but major cost to the state. It would include the voter's name, signature and photograph as identification for the right to vote...." see full article

1331 days ago | reviewjournal
Voter ID widely supported; state should get on board
"...Voting is one of the most precious rights we have as citizens. Perhaps that is why Americans continue overwhelmingly to support voter ID requirements. A recent poll found that 70 percent of registered voters are in favor of identification laws. Support is not limited to Republicans; rather, it is present across all racial and political spectrums. A majority of black, Hispanic and Democrat respondents indicated support for voter ID.Yet a small but vocal minority oppose voter ID and claim such laws disenfranchise voters.Reality, however, has proved otherwise.The Nevada proposal is modeled after an Indiana law upheld by the Supreme Court. A study by the University of Missouri in 2008 found that turnout actually increased in Indiana's first election after its voter ID law was effective. Since then, Indiana has seen no significant decrease in Democratic voter turnout...." see full article

1332 days ago | mysanantonio
States voter ID arguments spurious
"...Did the state have the intent to discriminate against minorities in particular by passing this law? That's what's being tested in the state's appeal of a District Court ruling that found the state's law discriminatory and unconstitutional.Among those disproportionately affected by lack of ID are minorities, the elderly and low-income folks people who have a habit of voting for Democrats much of the time. There are an estimated 600,000 Texans of voting age without the identification required to vote.This is something the Texas Legislature surely knew when it passed this law in 2011.Even as it defends this law after two federal courts have said there was the intent to discriminate, the state still contends this is really about protecting Texas against voter fraud which occurs so infrequently that Texas' law is to fraud prevention what massive aerial spraying is to killing a single gnat...." see full article

1332 days ago | motherjones
Ted Cruz's Iowa Chairman Spent $250K to Stop People From Voting - Mother Jones

"...He spent more than $250,000 to fund a full-time investigator tasked with uncovering voter fraud. The investigator produced only six successful prosecutions during two years on the job. A 2014 report issued by Schultz's office recorded only 117 suspected cases of illegal voting during a two-year period, 27 of which led to charges. Yet Schultz's investigation inadvertently showed that the system shuts out almost as many legitimate voters, as the report noted that 20 ex-felons who should have been allowed to vote were turned away from the polls.Schultz paid for that investigator with funds provided by the federal government's Help America Vote Act, a 2002 law intended to make access to the ballot easier, not more restrictive. In 2013, the state auditor's office sent a letter to Schultz suggesting that he may have been misusing those federal funds fighting voter fraud wasn't on the list of approved uses for this money and the auditor recommended that Schultz come up with a plan to repay the funds...." see full article

1332 days ago | motherjones
Ted Cruz's Iowa Chairman Spent $250K to Stop People From Voting | Mother ... - Mother Jones

"...Cruz's views on voter ID don't seem far off from Schultz's. In 2013, while the Senate was debating a comprehensive overhaul of the country's immigration laws, Cruz introduced an amendment that would have allowed states to require "proof of citizenship" photo ID laws. That same summer, Cruz applauded the Supreme Court's decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, a decision that has opened the floodgates for voter-suppression laws across the country.By snatching Schultz away from Santorum, Cruz has boosted his appeal to Iowa social conservatives, especially those who share the notion that voter fraud is a real and present danger...." see full article

1332 days ago | americablog
John Ashcroft's son pushing constitutional amendment to allow voter ID in Missouri - AMERICAblog (blog)
"...Put another way, if passed, Missouri's photo ID law could disenfranchise over seven percent of the state's presidential electorate. All for a a performative, nativist attempt by Republican politicians in the state to prove to their pearly white constituents who's got the least inclusive interpretation of the democratic ideal...." see full article

1333 days ago | therolladailynews
Missouri secretary of state candidate files voter ID initiative petition - The Rolla Daily News
"...St. Louis attorney Jay Ashcroft filed the proposed constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office to permit a photo ID requirement. Republican supporters, including Ashcroft's opponent in the GOP primary Sen. Will Kraus, have pushed to amend the state's constitution since the Missouri Supreme Court declared photo ID requirements unconstitutional in 2006.Supporters of requiring photo ID at the polls say it would prevent in-person voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections. But Democratic opponents say the measure would make it harder for minorities, women and the poor to vote. Ashcroft said he supported making it easy for people to get any ID that would be required and said the constitutional amendment would simply allow lawmakers in the future to enact requirements if they chose to do so...." see full article

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