Last Updated on November 27, 2022 by Lily Connel
A voter ID is an identification card that proves a person’s identity, typically issued by the government or other organizations. This practice has been criticized for being discriminatory against minorities and low-income communities who may have less access to voting centres, not because they can’t prove their identity or because they are not citizens, but because of a lack of funds.
When you are asked to show an identification card when you vote in a US election, the only thing that people in one state have in common with people in another state is that they both can read. The real law behind “voter id laws” is a blacklist of groups who try to vote on their own without going through a middleman. Although it is illegal to write “Black Lives Matter” on your ballot, one must wonder if this law was made to fight voter fraud.
Pros and Cons Of Voter ID Laws – The Differences
|Serial||Pros Of Voter ID Laws||Cons Of Voter ID Laws|
|1.||Reduces fraud Some argue that the fewer people who vote, the better elections will be. This is because if more people voted, they can potentially screw up election results by voting for the wrong candidate or voting incorrectly (Yes/No questions).||Voter ID Laws estimated that these new laws will make it harder for more than 5% of all Americans (around 10 million) to vote. Many of these people are students, a demographic which is expected to generally vote for the Democratic Party. These new laws will make it harder for them to reach voting polls and with there being already a high number of young adults not voting, this will only lead to an even more disenchanted youth population.|
|2.||Prevents repeat voting If someone votes in your state and moves to another, their vote will no longer count. This way, only one person gets to vote in each election.||These voter id laws are being passed but they are being delayed because officials have realized that it will be extremely costly to enforce them. The total cost is estimated to be over $20 million! This money could be better used on providing food to the poor, fixing roads and bridges, and attending to other needs in society. It would be another example of using public funds on private matters rather than the common good.|
|3.||Increases the requirement for identification This requires people to go through more steps to vote. It also makes sure that their identity is valid and that there are no identity violations.||These laws are being passed to address a problem that is not very big. There have been between 0.0002% – 0.0005% of voters who have voted using false ids and there were no reports of this happening at polling booths.|
|4.||Safeguards against fraud Having a picture on an id helps prevent fraud by making sure that you are actually who you say you are. This way, even if someone wanted to switch birth dates or names, they would not be able to since there is a picture of them on the ID. This way, you are sure that you are voting for the right person.||These laws are also infringing on people’s rights to vote because it infringes on their second amendment right. Some people do not have IDs due to religious reasons, they may find it against their religion to have an id. Also, these voter id laws are in some places forcing people to spend more money on them when they can’t afford to do that.|
|5.||Verified account Since identity verification is more complex, it will prevent impersonation.||This is for many reasons. For one, the new law may intimidate some people regarding what they are required of them. Also, these laws will likely result in longer wait times at polling booths because more time will be spent checking the validity of the ids. This may discourage people from voting.|
|6.||Decreases voter fraud Having stricter voter ID laws helps decrease voter fraud by making sure that fake names or fake IDs are no longer allowed to vote at the polls. If the person does not have an ID, then they cannot vote.||Supporters of voter id laws have pointed to other states passing similar laws as a justification for putting this law into place. However, a study was done on different states that have passed voter id laws and there was no evidence that it has resulted in a lower rate of voter fraud. The only thing it did is reduce turnout among younger voters and independents both demographics who are likely to vote democratic.|
|7.||Promotes voters’ confidence in the validity of elections If everyone knows that only one person has voted in each election and it is clear that their identity has been verified, then they will feel more confident voting.||Many people with the intent of committing voter fraud do not vote because they are afraid of being caught. The voter registration process is already very strict which is why the chances of this happening are minuscule.|
|8.||Promotes security Even if someone changes their name or birth date, there will still be a picture on the ID that helps make sure you are voting for the right person. This way, the election will not be compromised because you are sure that it is the real candidate who won.|
Everything You Need To Know About Voter ID Laws
The way that voting was done before identification cards were required was through a system called “absentee voting”, where people could vote from home without being seen. The problem with absentee voting is that it gives people who are not mentally capable of voting the ability to do so. The main blacklists were organized under names like “The Black Panthers” and “The KKK” which sent large groups of people to the polls to vote based on their blacklists.
In 2013, after gaining control over much state legislature following the 2010 elections, Republicans passed a wave of voting laws – referred to as voter id laws – that would require citizens to produce proof of their identity before being allowed to cast a vote. 34 states have or are currently trying to pass voter id laws, with the strictest requiring at least 1 form of government-issued id. As proponents argue, because these voter id laws are not aimed specifically at minorities (who often lack identification), they are not discriminatory. Opponents have shown that these laws disproportionately affect minorities and low-income communities, however. In a study in 2012, researchers at the University of California in San Diego found that turnout in minority communities decreased by 7.9% after voter id laws were passed between 2000 and 2010. This is because many minorities live in poverty or do not have the resources to obtain the required id. The numbers were even higher in states that had passed strict voter id laws: in South Carolina African-Americans’ voting rights decreased by 10.9%, and in Texas, Latinos lost out on 8.5% of their votes.
When voting laws changed to require identification cards, the blacklists changed their operation. They split up into groups of two and worked to make sure that they voted for each other instead of voting on the lists sent to them by these middlemen. The voter id laws were different in every state, but they all shared one thing; the only people who would need an id card to vote were those who were not already on any blacklists. This meant that the people who were too nervous to go out and vote without an id card could be found.
In a society where every person is required to have an identification card, there are bound to be some people who will do anything to get their hands on a voter id card. For these people, the only thing worse than having to vote is not being able to vote at all. Having an identification card can be a way for someone who does not have a job to still make money by selling their id cards online or working as a middleman through the blacklists’ new scheme of pairing up and voting together.