July 18, 2024

Voter ID Laws Rankle Left

Legal scholar Jeffery Toobin thinks laws requiring voters to show a valid picture ID before voting are biased in favor of Republicans.  This argument makes sense given the affinity of poorer Americans to vote Democratic.  But is that relevant?  Two principles of free and fair elections are contradictory, that we count every vote and that every vote be from a legal voter.  A picture ID seems to be the ideal compromise.


I thought it was a bad decision, but a predictable one because it was a very clear attempt by Republicans to stop Democrats from voting.

Ali from Think Progress:

…there are as many as 21 million voting-age Americans without driver’s licenses. Thirteen percent of registered Indiana voters lack the documents needed to obtain state identification.

Indeed, getting one’s identification in order can be an annoying process, particularly for the elderly, infirm, and/or poor.  However, the presidential election is more than 5 months away.  That’s plenty of time for every interested voter to get their paperwork in order.

Every election has its inconsistencies, the Bush/Gore fiasco in Florida being only the most infamous example.  Between electronic voting and voter identification the validity of upcoming elections will be better than ever before.  I would think that the losing side of the Bush/Gore recount would be in favor of any mechanism that would ensure no such mess happens again.

Judging from the comments on Ali’s post that’s not the case.  Numerous people call the voter ID law a form of poll tax, which is ridiculous on the face of it.

The obvious solution would be to put a picture on the voter ID card that voters – at least in Texas – are required to present.  How hard is that?


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

View all posts by marc →