Voter identification is the suppression of voters



By Ambre Malzahn

Rushford, Minnesota

In recent years, the GOP has introduced various voter identification laws in many states claiming that in order for an election to be truly fair and valid, we need to have some kind of government-provided identification to show our individual citizenship status. This push is designed to force citizens to jump unnecessary hurdles to prove their status on the pretext that they prevent deceased people from voting, stop ballot harvesting and stuffing, and prevent citizens from voting twice.

When assessing the need for laws like these, Justin Levitt, professor at Loyola Law School, tracked voter fraud that could have been stopped by requiring voter ID from 2000 to 2014 and did found 31 credible allegations during a period when more than a billion ballots were thrown away. He postulates that many of these allegations have not been investigated and that some of the 31 will be debunked after an investigation, possibly due to “two different people with the same name, or someone. one that connects to the wrong line of a register.

In short, voter ID requirements are ultimately a solution looking for a problem. One (hopefully) unintended consequence of this push for stricter election laws is the discriminatory way they are implemented.

A study by Caltech and MIT found that election officials in New Mexico, where a strict voter identification law is in place, did not always ask for ID to verify the identity of the voter, with 64.7% of voters saying they showed some form of identification. The most common form presented was the voter registration card (more than half declared), with a driver’s license being the second most common form only 1/3 of those times. The study also found that minority groups were more likely to be asked for ID, with a probability for Hispanic male voters of 92%, while the probability of a white female voter was around 69%. and an 83% white voter. . All of this to say that people of color are more likely to face more roadblocks when in the voting booth, if they are even able to get there.

For those with stable resources, the thought of having difficulty identifying themselves is almost laughable. In fact, 11% of US citizens of voting age – over 21 million Americans – do not have government-issued photo ID, with 25% of them being African Americans. The percentage of white Americans of voting age without a photo ID is only 8%. There are many factors that can prevent a citizen from obtaining an identity document, including many costs for obtaining supporting documents, travel and waiting during working hours at the expense of the applicant. These costs are estimated to be between $ 75 and $ 175, a significant amount for low-income families. Travel costs can include public transport costs, if one does not have a car or even a driver’s license. It is common for people in a more metropolitan area not to own a car, but instead choose to use public transport or ridesharing apps / taxi services. Additionally, those in rural areas, although more than likely having a driver’s license and a car, may still experience issues in the form of the distance they have to travel to get to the nearest office. This can have a particular impact on the elderly or people with disabilities who make it difficult or almost impossible to stay in a car for long periods of time.

To sum up, voter IDs are just another way to control the ballot boxes and skew the results based on discriminatory actions against minority groups and low-income families – groups Republicans see as more likely to be. vote democrat. GOP officials must be held accountable for their attempts to undermine the voice of citizens while bragging about a problem that does not exist.


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