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The Fight Over Voter ID Laws

September 4th, 2012

Fresh off the long Labor Day weekend, officials in Texas are promising to take their fight over voter ID all the way to the Supreme Court.  Their promise comes on the heels of a federal appeal court ruling that deemed the Lonestar state’s voter ID law — which would have required voters to show a government-issued photo ID when they arrived at the polls — racially discriminatory.

At the same time, South Carolina is going through the same thing, as lawmakers there argue their case in front of an appellate court.  In fact, the federal government is currently suing a number of states over voter ID laws.

So, what’s all the fighting about?

Several states (which happen to have predominately-Republican state legislatures) have passed laws saying that voters need to provide some form of government-issued ID in order to vote.  In fact, 30 states require some kind of proof that you are who you say you are when you show up on Election Day.

Seems like a good idea, right?  After all, this is YOUR VOTE we’re talking about!  Heck, you have to show a photo ID to buy Sudafed these days!  Why would it be tougher to clear up your runny nose than to exercise something as important as your right to vote?

Supporters of voter ID laws say that providing ID is a great way to prevent voting fraud at the polls — especially when you consider that voting fraud is alive and well (http://ourvoicecounts.com/2012/08/29/proof-that-voting-fraud-really-is-a-problem/).  Plus, they argue, getting a government-issued photo ID is free.  So, what’s the harm?

Opponents of voter ID laws say they’re racist — because many of the U.S. citizens who don’t have a government-issued photo ID are minorities.  That, they say, is proof of voter suppression.

What do you think?  Should you have to prove who you are in order to vote?

 

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