States all over the country are enacting laws requiring citizens to have specific, qualifying forms of identification in order to exercise their right to vote. And why not? It's "one person, one vote" in this country. Voter fraud is a scary prospect. What is more important than the integrity of the ballot? Some are whining that this practice would add barriers to the voting process. They say the laws are motivated by a desire for low turn out among those who would have difficulty acquiring a photo ID. These complainers need to offer evidence that it would really create a hardship. Requiring ID is the simplest way to ensure people aren't skewing election results with illegal activities.
Actually, wrong. The onus is on those pushing for these laws to provide substantive rationale for making a change in voting procedures. If it is worth the time to write these bills and get them passed, there must be a reason we need them. It's important to look carefully at any practice that adds another step between the voter and the ballot. So why now? What's changed that makes this an important new procedure? What is the problem exactly?
Are wide swaths of voters are impersonating other voters in an attempt to sway elections? Are narrow swaths of voters doing this? Are any voters doing it? Where is the fraud this is addressing?
What processes have been used to select this as the best solution? Are evaluation tools in place to measure the increase in ballot security that this seeks to provide? Have citizens been given a chance for input on implementation? Why are some states passing these laws still not requiring voters to provide identification when registering to vote? In North Carolina, after turning in the proper paper work, newly registered voters receive a voter registration card in the mail. Under the Voter ID law proposed here, presenting this card would not get you a ballot. Why are these two processes treated differently?
To be fair though, it's hard to generate workable solutions to a problem that doesn't exist.