Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Voter ID

Of all of the political and policy arguments that have taken place in recent years, the one that makes the least sense to me is the debate over voter ID. Problems in recent elections -- think of the 2000 presidential election and the as yet unresolved election of a U.S. Senator from Minnesota --reveal the prospect of a total breakdown of confidence in our election process. Voter ID is not the only solution to those problems, but it is a reasonable part of the need to make sure that every legal vote counts -- and that ineligible ones do not.

The apocalyptic claims of opponents of Voter ID seem to me to be debaters points with little or no connection to real life. How many people really have no form of photo identification? If some do not, is it really that much of a burden to get one, especially when options for a free ID are being included? Could not all of these efforts at opposing this law be just as easily exercised in behalf of helping people obtain identifications? Is there not value in this common sense approach to preventing voter fraud?

People who want to compare this to Jim Crow laws can't really be serious, can they? These over the top claims are emotional and not based in reality. The legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud clearly outweighs the insignificant -- and for the most part nonexistent -- burden it imposes.

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