When the United States was first established under the Constitution in 1787, not all men could vote — much less women, who wouldn’t have the uniform right to vote until 1920. Universal suffrage for all citizens is one of the few constitutional changes which can be truly said to draw negligible amounts of controversy — though it is understandable why the Founding Fathers initially restricted who could vote, you’ll likely never meet anyone who thinks we should go back — but with new rules and ideals come all the responsibilities necessary to make them work. The new voter ID laws that have recently been implemented in Wisconsin and Ohio are a good step toward ensuring that the agency of American citizens is not diluted by political crooks and opportunists.
The fact of the matter is that voter fraud happens. Our nation has a long history of voter fraud, the most famous cases being the Democratic machines of Chicago, New York City and Boston. Though fraud is not as widespread and blatant as it was back then, the problem is the same. The more people that vote when they’re not supposed to, the more your vote doesn’t count as much as it’s supposed to. The effects of voter fraud are magnified even more in elections that are closely split, when every vote literally makes a difference. Especially in a constitutional republic like ours, this can result in the winner of an election not being a legitimate representative of your interests and have far reaching policy implications.
The voter ID laws being considered by many states across the country are a commonsense solution to making sure that voter fraud is a thing of the past. In comparison to other voter ID laws that are already in place in many states, which only require a non-photo ID not issued by a government, the new ID laws require that the ID be issued by a government — such as a drivers license or even just an ID card — and have a photo of the individual on it. These requirements just make sense. Practically speaking, most people who have a government issued ID are legal citizens of the United States. Thus, while it is not guaranteed, it is more than likely that they are entitled to vote. With regard to the photo requirement, think of it this way: If SOS Liquor in I.V. needs to look at the photo on your drivers license to make sure you are the person you say you are, why would that not be a reasonable requirement to practice the most important right we have? Furthermore, as even liberals repeatedly point out, I am not the only Jeffrey Robin in the world and you are not the only your name here. A photo requirement ensures that you get to vote and others with the same name aren’t mistaken for you and prevented from voting.
These new voting laws only make sense and are well designed for the purpose of eliminating voter fraud. California ought to follow the rest of the nation in implementing these commonsense measures.
Daily Nexus conservative columnist Jeffrey Robin says every vote counts — unless it’s a fraudulent one.
In Response, Left Said:
I don’t doubt that my counterpart has earnest intentions for supporting voter ID laws. I really don’t. And he’s right that voter fraud does actually happen, even in an advanced democracy such as our own. However, requiring an expensive government-issued identification card, which your Access Card is not an example of, doesn’t solve the real fraud issues, which are far more commonly purging voter rolls, discarding valid ballots and manipulating election results.
The fact that at least 10 percent of Americans do not possess such IDs is evidence enough that these laws will significantly affect turnout levels. The fact that this 10 percent is largely made up of individuals belonging to constituencies that consistently vote in certain ways raises questions as to the intentions of their most powerful proponents. The fact that every potential voter is vetted by state governments, even with same-day registration, demonstrates that very few if any non-eligible persons ever cast ballots.
The minuscule number of cases of this imaginary ballot-stuffing technique makes the laws redundant, as does the number of effective mechanisms for challenging questionable elections practices. Commonsense measures are rarely common sense, and the evidence points to these new, repressive laws as prime examples of that.