The other day I picked up my grandson at preschool. Even though I had done so several times before, I was asked to produce a photo ID. I was glad to do so. I produce that ID on many occasions; when I use a credit card (because I don’t sign the card), at a hospital along with the insurance cards, when cashing a check, when I board a plane and on and on. Why do we ask for identification? Because people cheat!
Notably when I vote I walk into the polling place, sign a book and vote. Nobody has any idea who I really am and I seriously doubt there is close scrutiny to match my signature with that of the previous year.
There is no doubt that in past years in some parts of the Country voter registration and other requirements were used to prevent minorities from exercising their right to vote, but that was then and this is now. We are in a new world of identify theft, electronic identification and scams, and terrorist threats requiring all kinds of identification indignities.
Here is the argument against voter ID:
… it’s not hard to imagine how low-income citizens, African Americans, Latino Americans, college students, and elderly voters—groups the Brennan Center has identified as the most burdened by new voter laws—might get tangled up on voter day. The Center estimates that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters lack proper identification right now. For African Americans, it’s 25 percent—that’s 5.5 million voting-age black Americans who could get turned away at the polls for being undocumented and unphotographed.
How can I even address the above without being sarcastic? The elderly, the elderly, college students? And because you are African-American or Latino you can’t obtain appropriate identification to vote? Why is it we insist on bringing everything down to the lowest common denominator? If I were in one of these groups I would be insulted. Wait, I am and I am insulted.
Rather than worrying about the modest requirement to produce identification when voting, we should be more concerned with basic qualifications required to vote. Of course there are no such requirements resulting in the morons on Jay-Walking who think the three branches of government are part of a tree having the same right to vote as anyone else. Even the Founding Fathers could not agree on who should have the right to vote limiting such privilege to men and property owners for a time.
I realize this goes against the grain of idealized liberty, but voting carries with it some responsibility. Is it unreasonable that those people who help determine our fate as a nation meet some basic requirements such as being fully literate, being able to pass the same test required for citizenship or demonstrate a fundamental understanding of something … almost anything? Even meeting such requirements won’t shield us from the uninformed and just plain wackos among us, but that is the price of a republic we must live with.
Our high schools should have a course specifically designed for voter literacy (history, civics and economics) that each student is required to pass to gain the right to vote . . . and then when they do vote to provide identification.
Is that too much to ask?
Oh, what are the three branches of government? How many Senators are there? Which branch of government writes tax laws? What is the purpose of a tariff? Just checking.
- PA Law Prohibits Voting Without Photo ID (myfoxphilly.com)
- Florida investigation reveals 180,000 non-citizens may be registered to vote (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- 5 Million Votes Could Be Lost Due to Discriminatory Requirements (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Voter Identification Laws Should Be Upheld (thomasbrianauthor.wordpress.com)