04 Mar Photo ID for Voting
As per the Voter ID laws in the United States, every person is required to furnish an official identification before they can register to vote, receive a ballot for an election, or a right to vote in elections in the United States. At the federal level, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 demands voter ID for all new voters in national elections who enrolled by mail and who did not present a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number which matched against government records.
Proponents of voter ID laws debate that they reduce electoral fraud while placing an only little burden on voters. They claim that most 16 and 17-year-olds look like 18-year-olds, so if IDs aren’t required, we could permit them to vote. Without ID it’s difficult to know how old they are. Also, people can register more than one time and say they didn’t vote. Therefore, we do need IDs to vote. Critics who are debating about it claim that, how can one guarantee the fairness and veracity of the process? How can we be sure that the elected official are the ones that people support? If we cannot verify the authenticity of the person voting, how can we be sure of the results? The excuse that people will suppress because they cannot get IDs should be one core issue to be fixed for any governor, senator or president of this country. If tomorrow a promise is made to give a new car and 5000 dollars to citizens those who show any form of identification (approved by state laws), people will undoubtedly get busy and obtain a form of ID in no time.
While on the other hand, people who find no issue in this claim that electoral fraud is remarkably rare in the United States and has been amplified as a problem to construct obstacles to voter participation and that demanding voter ID in effect discriminates against minority groups and those who are less likely to own photo IDs. Also, it is a freedom American citizen enjoy, to have the power to vote at their own will. Putting a provision on that freedom to present ID will put a restraint on the minority or poor. If the government is going to demand it, they need to provide it.
Critics have disputed that the barriers could result in the disenfranchisement of black, Hispanic, and other minority voters; the elderly; transgender individuals; and the poor. Research has shown that cases of voter fraud that would be deterred by voter IDs are rare; research indicates that voter ID laws reduce overall attendance or minority turnout, and research has shown that Republican legislators in swing states and districts with sizable black or Hispanic populations push the hardest for voter ID laws.
At present, 34 states have laws that require voters to present some form of personal identification to place their vote. The remaining 16 states use other methods to verify the identity of voters. Most frequently, additional identifying information provided at the polling place, such as a signature, is checked against information on file.
The best way to ensure participation and maintain a requirement of voter id is by ensuring that the government gears up and provides a proper identification to every citizen. Somehow, the government doesn’t seem to be too interested in this solution.
What is your opinion? Should a photo ID be required to vote?