Voter ID Laws

Topics: Voter turnout, Voting system, Elections Pages: 6 (2148 words) Published: October 26, 2013
Voter ID Laws

The right of any citizen of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.” - The 26th Amendment. (Campus Congress, August 30, 2011). The right to vote guaranteed by the constitution is under attack. Restricted Voter ID legislation is being passed in state after state. These voter ID laws claim to combat voter fraud by requiring voters to have specific government issued photo ID’s when voting. The problem is they don’t actually prevent voter fraud.

Analysis
In 2007, the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law released The Truth About Voter Fraud, the most extensive analysis of voter fraud claims to date. The report finds that most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless. The study reports other election irregularities rather than fraud by individual voters. The type of individual voter fraud supposedly targeted by recent legislative efforts to require certain forms of voter ID simply does not exist. (Campus Congress, August 30, 2011).

Problems
Problems at the polls that do exist are; malfunctioning voting machines, unprepared poll workers, aggressive groups outside polling stations, long lines at the polls, uncertified voting machines, flawed email voting, and voting machines that change or do not allow the voter to vote for a specific candidate. A voter in Pennsylvania says when voting during the Presidential election the voting machine simply would not let him vote for Barack Obama. "I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the 'active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said: 'It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.' and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded a video.” (Jazeera, Al, November 7, 2012). It is interesting to me that these types of irregularities are common and yet they go on without question, while the topic of voter fraud that cannot be proven to be a valid problem is such a huge concern for Republican officials. No matter what side of the debate one is on, all should have the right to vote. “The integrity of the voting system should be a nonpartisan endeavor,” Martinez-De-Castro said. “If voter fraud is a real problem, we need to figure out ways to deal with that, and the magnitude of the response should match the magnitude of the problem.” (Aba Now, August 6, 2012).

Voter ID
Restrictive Voter ID legislation is being passed in state after state. These voter ID laws claim to combat voter fraud, by requiring voters to have specific government issued photo ID’s when voting. The problem is they don’t actually prevent fraud. In fact someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter impersonation fraud. (Campus Congress, August 30, 2011). Statistics

Republican law makers in South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Tennessee have all passed laws to require voters to show a government issued photo ID. Let’s look at Wisconsin where a voter ID law has been passed. Out of 2.9 million votes cast in 2004 there are only 18 reports of fraudulent votes none of those votes where casted by someone impersonating someone else. Voter ID laws not only fail to prevent voter fraud,...

References: National Conference of State Legislatures. (October 24, 2012) Voter
Identification Requirements
Democalypse 2012 – Right Said Fraud. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from,
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-october-2-2012/democalypse-2012---right-said-fraud
Steve Colbert - The Colbert Report. (July 20, 2011) Voter ID Laws. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from, http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/392598/july-20-2011/voter-id-laws
Jazeera, Al
Retrieved November 26, 2012 from, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/11/201211617032532829.html
Campus Congress
Garland, Maurice. (2012) WWII Veteran Victimized by Florida’s Stupid Voter ID Laws. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from, http://www.loop21.com/life/voter-ID-laws-suppression-florida-wwii-veteran
Andrews, Wyatt
CBS Miami (May 29, 2012) Decorated Broward War Hero Targeted In Gov. Scott’s Voter Purge. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from,
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/05/29/decorated-broward-war-hero-targeted-in-gov-scotts-voter-purge/
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