Voter ID: A Common-Sense Measure that Benefits all Americans
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
Election security and integrity is still in the forefront of many Republicans’ minds. Democrats scoff and disregard the claims of fraud in the last Presidential election, while many Republicans fume and believe that the investigation into the alleged fraud was a farce. However, what many people forget is that in 2000 and 2004 the roles were reversed. Many prominent Democrats alleged that the Presidential election was stolen from Al Gore and, later, John Kerry by President Bush. As a person who wants every American to feel as if they are empowered and their vote counts, I was concerned then and I’m still concerned now. It is also clear to me that despite its current portrayal, election integrity is not a Republican issue, it is an American issue and has been for many years.
As long as our elections are truly fair and secure, the outcome of each election is of far less consequence to us all. We may be upset by a particular outcome, but we know that no matter how far left or how far right we go, we can always go back in the other direction if we decide that things are not working out as planned. However, if our elections are manipulated or just plain fraudulent, each election is possibly the last before we reach a tipping point of power and our country is truly lost. Reaching that tipping point is the fear of many, on both sides of the aisle, and those concerns should not be dismissed. Looking at history, civilizations don’t last forever and one sure way to expedite that demise is to lose control to a dictator or oligarch.
One of the most basic, common sense, and easily achievable means to begin the process of reassuring voters of the security of our elections is through the requirement to present government issued identification when voting. We must present an ID to accomplish countless tasks that are far less important than voting. Despite the routine requirement to possess and show identification in our daily lives, we have vocal, partisan groups calling this requirement for voting immoral and even racist. The very concept that one race is any less capable of obtaining a government issued ID than another is both ludicrous and insulting to the members of that group. And, it turns out that about 70% of African-Americans, the group ID opponents claim to be protecting, are in favor of voter ID laws; per multiple main-stream polls.
Opponents of voter ID laws also claim that voter fraud by this method is labor intensive and not a significant problem. The fact is, that because of the nature of the practice, we have no idea of how pervasive it really is. Even if their claims are correct and it is not a large-scale practice, which I find difficult to believe by how fiercely they oppose such a common-sense measure, it is still voter fraud that is easily preventable. On a small scale, would it change an election result? Probably not. But, sometimes elections, especially local elections, do come down to just a few votes. In those cases, that fraud, which is not a “significant” problem, just changed the lives of every resident subject to the results of that local election. That does not even factor in that the fraud offset the votes of as many legitimate voters; effectively disenfranchising them.
Because the outcome of our elections has a significant impact on all aspects of our lives, common sense would dictate that every reasonable measure be taken to ensure that the process is fair and secure. Reasonable individuals, of all political parties and beliefs, should contact their elected leaders and tell them to support voter ID laws as a beginning, common-sense step in the process to protect the integrity of our elections so all Americans know their vote matters.