July 23, 2024

Voter ID a Good Idea

A new Slate article says that Indiana’s Voter ID law is “harmful and worthless”, but I’d have to say that it’s Walter Dellinger and Sri Srinivasan’s piece that fits that description.

Indiana’s law is a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist. The voting fraud it purports to address is illusory. And the means it employs needlessly make it far more difficult for some citizens—especially those who are low-income, elderly, or lack easy access to transportation—to vote.

A photo-ID requirement, in fact, is essentially of no benefit in preventing voter fraud, and it disenfranchises scores of legitimate voters.

Frankly I don’t know the “some citizens” who they are talking about.  In Texas most people get their voter ID card while obtaining or renewing their drivers license.  Or other photo ID, if they cannot drive. 

I’ve never met a person who couldn’t whip out one of these on demand to verify a check or credit card.  It’s this mythical oppressed person who does not exist, save by choice, in the transient and/or illegal immigrant community.  Neither of these groups is likely to vote, although without a voter ID law either could.

The authors say that the case “will say a lot about the kind of democracy America aspires to be.”

That’s right.  Nothing is more fundamental to democracy is the vote.  And nothing is more fundamental to exercising one’s right of citizenship than demonstrating you are who you say you are.


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.

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2 thoughts on “Voter ID a Good Idea

  1. I’ve found this issue to be quite puzzling and I’ve long wondered just who or what segment of the society can’t procure a State issued I.D. It would seem from a report heard on NPR last night that the stumbling block is the certified copy of the birth certificate. I’m a parent and we went through that song and dance to get the kids, first their DPS I.D. and then the Driver’s license. Do not those who live off gov’t benefits, food, housing, medicaid, etc. not have to provide I.D.?

    The authors are correct in one thing, the case will say a lot about the kind of democracy America aspires to be. If they rule against voter i.d. requirements, I think it says that America aspires to be a democracy of questionable elections. I already question the validity of the election results. Clinton’s win in N.H. is one case in point.

  2. Interesting question about the food stamp program and ID – I do not know.

    I will say that I’d much rather give away food and other basics of life without ID than to allow unidentified voters to cast ballots.

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