I appreciate your articulate response, but I still have concerns.
The issue of a national Voter ID has successfully been used as a political bludgeon by the Democrat party for years. In other areas where an ID or stringent verification processes are in place, there is no complaint about those effects on the populations cited as in the voter ID argument.
Nothing is mentioned when every state requires a license in order to operate a motor vehicle, and every state now requires a driver photo, except Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin which allows an option for a non-photo license for religious purposes only.
When flying the TSA doesn’t believe every flyer is a potential terrorist, but they perform scans, pat-downs and physical inspection of baggage to weed out anyone who may pose a threat to the aircraft and passengers.
Similarly, there are no complaints when persons are required to have photo ID as part of the Visa application process.
It boils down to what has to be done, whether it is in the security field or compliance arena, or whether it is just to make certain voter fraud does not become an issue in the future.
While I will admit individual states need to do a much better job of ensuring voter rolls are regularly purged when a voter dies or relocates to another state or out of country, a national photo voter ID would solve the problem, no matter how small the threat of fraud might exist.
“…Research commissioned by the Pew Center on the States highlights the extent of the challenge:
1 in Approximately 24 million — one of every eight — voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate. More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters.
Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one
state. Meanwhile, researchers estimate at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens are unregistered, or more than 24 percent of the eligible population…”
Additionally, from the same Brennan Center for Law & Justice;
Automatic voter registration makes two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote unless they decline, and agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials. These two changes create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials. This policy boosts registration rates, cleans up the rolls, makes voting more convenient, and reduces the potential for voter fraud, all while lowering costs.
My point is this ~ voting is one of the most important civic duties/responsibilities an American citizen takes part in. It is their opportunity to have their voice heard and to cast a vote for the candidate(s) that most closely match their particular political and social views. I want to be comfortable that my vote counts and the only way to ensure that for me and millions of other voters, actual or potential, is a photo Voter ID.
No elected official, local, state or federal, or any citizen should be against a national Voter ID system. Those that strongly stand against it activates my ‘something doesn’t smell right’ meter.
This rush to declare certain groups as victims of this process is narrow-minded and partisan, and serves as a convenient foil to whatever level of fraud and error that currently exists or may exist in the future. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater allows those who may wish to abrogate voters’ rights in favor of currying favor with those same identified groups (minorities and the poor).
Where there’s the will, there’s a way.
In fact, Democrats and Republicans in Congress can take the opportunity to work in a bi-partisan fashion to pass legislation that requires employers to allow a potentially disenfranchised voter, or one who cannot afford to take time off to acquire a voter ID card, paid time off to do so. I can’t imagine it would take longer than a few hours to accomplish, especially if the potential voter had previously made an appointment.
The employers will benefit from their acquiescence to any effort at blocking legislation, and the voter can do their patriotic business confidently knowing the exercise of their civic duty will not place them financially further behind than where they were to begin with.
It would also behoove states to set aside funds to either fully pay or at least subsidize on a sliding scale, acquisition of a voter identification card. Those who don’t have adequate transportation can always make use of the growing number of state-sponsored senior jitney buses to get them around. I’m also sure many volunteer groups from both parties would emerge to transport a potential voter to and from a registration site and to and from the polling locations.
At some point the metal will meet the road, and Democrats will have to either get on board or be seen as the constant roadblock to progress in this, as well as many other areas.