A fierce debate regarding secure voting practices has once again been brought to the attention of the Supreme Court.
On Sept. 25, the court announced it would review an Indiana law that grants the right for polling employees to check photo identification of voters. The Indiana Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union believe the law unfairly limits the participation of elderly and poor voters unable to maneuver the complicated bureaucratic system to obtain ID. They feel the law needs to be reviewed and ultimately revoked before the 2008 congressional and presidential elections to avoid complications during these crucial events. However, Indiana lawmakers feel the law is necessary to ensure those who are qualified to vote are the ones participating on Election Day. In addition, this unnecessary review has the potential to spark frivolous court cases across the nation aiming at the elimination of this necessary regulation.
While maneuvering through annoying automated phone systems or speaking with less-than-pleasant Department of Motor Vehicles employees is not my idea of a fun afternoon, it is far from impossible. Scheduling an appointment to obtain either a driver license or an identification card is simple. And though it may be a less favorable choice, if one doesn’t have access to a phone, the DMV has ample seating for drop-ins. Even my grandparents had virtually no trouble scheduling an appointment and sacrificing a few hours to pay a small fee for an ID. I cannot imagine that Indiana’s DMV is much different from California’s, and to call the system “complicated” is just plain wrong.
Granting poll workers in Indiana the ability to check for photo ID is merely a safeguard to ensure those who are truly entitled to vote are having their voices heard. The voting process is fundamental to our government, both local and national, and I don’t feel that it’s an outrageous request to require photo identification.
While it is true that this law would place some restrictions on who gets to vote, I don’t understand why this would be a bad thing. If an individual can’t work through the bureaucracy to obtain photo identification, should we really trust them to make important decisions at election time?
Voting is the backbone of our government, and the Constitution does its best to give those who deserve voting rights that option. Decisions that elect candidates to office and make crucial choices about potential laws are much too important to leave unguarded. Citizens who do not feel that voting is important enough to take a small amount of time to obtain ID should not be allowed to voice their opinion. This law serves as a tool to weed out unenthusiastic voters, who are almost always uneducated about issues and candidates. These are not the people we want showing up on Election Day. If participating in your nation’s electoral system is important enough to you, you’ll do whatever is necessary to vote.
Democrats are becoming more blindly idealistic, and this situation attests to that. It would be great to live in a world where Americans don’t have to worry about who is voting and only those entitled to participate are the ones at the polls. This just isn’t the world we live in.
The voting system is far too important for the functioning of our government to hold loose laws that do not adequately protect this vital system. The Democratic Party of Indiana and the ACLU are being unreasonable in feeling this law restricts voting rights for everyone. The fact is getting an ID is not difficult, and if an American has trouble doing so before the 2008 election, they have no one to blame but themselves. It’s a shame that this law is not put in effect for all states.