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Voter ID Requirement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Starski   
Monday, 29 June 2009 04:40

 

Justices of the United States Supreme Court examined the constitutionality of laws requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot, in January 2009. As of right now, 24 states have enacted laws requiring a government-issued ID in recent years. Indiana is strictest, requiring anyone voting in person to present a current government photo ID. Since the 2000 election this has become a partisan topic, with Republicans for voters to have a government-issued ID and Democrats against having any regulations when it comes to voting.

 

Republicans believe that this solves the major problem; the laws will reduce voter fraud through impersonation at the polls. Additionally, when it comes to voting, it is argued that people have plenty of time during the year to apply and receive a valid government-issued ID. Lastly, it is believed that these laws are a preventive approach to voter fraud and hopefully maintains the integrity of the voting process.

 

Democrats believe the opposite. They say that voter fraud is an issue but does not happen at the polls, but happens on the institutional end with ballot box stuffing, voter machine manipulation, registration list manipulation and absentee balloting. Research from Tova Wang (Democracy Fellow at The Century Foundation), who did a federally mandated report on the question found that fraud does not happen at the polls. This is additionally backed up by Royal Masset, who is a consultant that has been in 5,000 Republican campaigns, stating that people will not take the risk of going to jail for one additional vote. A federal appeals court states that the law gives people who tend to vote Democratic a burden at the polls.

 

Currently within Michigan, there is a "confusing" Voter ID law. There is a law in place that when a person goes to vote that they can either present a valid Government ID or sign an affidavit to claim that the individual is telling the truth of who that person is, and is held for 2 years. People who falsely sign the affidavit are fined and possibly jailed. The League of Women says this is inhibiting voter participation, claiming to be confusing and intimidating. They would like to see it removed.

 

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17942818

http://ourmichigan.blogspot.com/2007/10/voter-id-law-confusing-critics-say.html


 

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