Photo ID Required?

It isn’t broke, so why break it?  Iowa has a great voting system.  There isn’t a problem, except for encouraging more people to vote.  Active voters strengthen our democracy.  Eagar candidates needing to win votes have to listen to a variety of groups and diverse interests.  Requiring a photo ID weakens our system.

It costs money to have a photo ID.  When you get on this road standards need to be set, only certain IDs are accepted.  It is the very voter that needs representation that gets eliminated by what amounts to a poll tax.

Why only make small unconstitutional changes to an excellent system?  We could require a test before people vote.  Educated voters would vote in the “right” candidates.  As long as we’re looking at education, how about requiring a high school diploma—that would encourage and reward young voters to remain in high school.  But, do young people even have enough life experience to vote?  The “wrong” candidates keep getting elected.  Why not go back to being age 21 to vote?  As long as we’re going back—was it really a very good idea to let women vote?  It is just another annoying demographic that candidates have to support.  Since we’re exploring difficult demographics, older voters are a pain.  With retirement comes way too much time on their hands.  They tend to get involved politically.  There should also be a ceiling on the voting age requirement.  After all, some of these voters may have Alzheimer’s or dementia.  This would explain why the wrong people keep get elected.  It was so much easier when only white male landowners could vote.

But Seriously…

Photo identification is a needless accompaniment to the voting process, and insisting that Iowa have a law requiring a photo ID is just as needless.  We have no rampant voting fraud in this state.

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that required photo identification at the polls.  In Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd., 553 US ____ (2008), Justice Kennedy turned down a facial challenge to a law passed by the Indiana Legislature that required a voter to present a photo ID in order to vote.  (A facial challenge is one in which a law is questioned on its face, as opposed to one that is challenged in an “as applied” situation.)

Justice Kennedy and the majority on the Court did not take into account some of the impractical implications of this absurd requirement.  A married couple, one of whom is an election official at the polls, will be required to insist that the spouse show identification when voting.  But what’s worse is that that same election official will have to ask friends for identification.  Can you imagine the hurt feelings, the accusations, and the humility that will surface because of this?  “She just wanted to check my age!”  “He’s known me since the 1st grade.  “The nerve of her asking me for identification. I don’t want to vote anymore if I have to show an ID.  It’s degrading.”

The trust of the American voting system is at risk here.  Voting is not a security risk.  Voting cannot be compared to buying beer, boarding an airplane, or cashing a check.  Voting is a fundamental right, like worshipping in a church, synagogue or mosque of your choice.  Government intrusion into our fundamental rights has gone far enough as it is.

There are so many hurdles a person must jump in order to vote under Indiana law.  In his dissent, Justice Souter covers a long list.  The concept of some who think this is no big deal (obtaining photo identification) is out-of-touch with the reality of the situation.

In Souter’s closing statement he states that “the state interests fail to justify the practical limitations placed on the right to vote, and the law imposes an unreasonable and irrelevant burden on voters who are poor and old.”  Justice Souter would have held the law unconstitutional.

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One Response to Photo ID Required?

  1. Jerry says:

    Oh, but they do pose a security risk. Those illegal packinghouse workers are just trying to get more welfare or something by voting in more generous politicians. Can’t you see nothing? Our money is at risk!

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