The Instigator
BeatTheDevil89
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

Requiring photo ID in order to vote.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,335 times Debate No: 4647
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (11)

 

BeatTheDevil89

Con

To require photo ID for voters would be against our supposed democratic system. Unless a special voter ID is issued for free to everyone, than people will be taken out of the democratic process, namely elderly people who do not have a license or urbanites that do not own a car but use a subway or some other form of public transportation (mostly democrats might I add). I will also show that there is no "problem" with voter fraud as its proponents suggest and all evidence to support such a claim are anecdotal and fail to show nay trends. So con is to argue

1. There is a voter fraud problem
2. Having photo ID (other than one issued by the government specifically for voting) would outweigh the cost of excluding certain members of our democracy if there is any cost at all.
beem0r

Pro

First, photo ID is not expensive. It's like, 10 bucks. And you don't need to have a driver's license, you can just get a photo ID [at the DMV].

So what's the argument against this? That people shouldn't be forced to go through the trouble of paying 10 bucks and getting a photo ID. It's "unfair."

Know what else is unfair? That you have to leave your house to vote. I mean, come on, all those hermits are being excluded from the voting process.

You have to PAY to get transportation to wherever you're voting at, unless you're within walking distance. What about people who don't have a couple bucks? They get excluded!

You have to SPEND TIME walking/driving/riding there. What about all those people who don't have time? They get excluded!

What a serious problem this is! This is VOTING we're talking about, people shouldn't have to go through ANY trouble at all to do it, right?

Oh. Or maybe, it's OK for the government to force us to go through a little bit of trouble. Since it fixes a problem, why not add Photo ID as one of the many requirements?

I'll admit, voter fraud is not a huge issue. There aren't swarms of illegals/etc voting because of it. But those that do are being allowed to abuse the system. See, that's not how we do things. We don't even let our ordinary legal citizens abuse the system like that. Photo ID fixes this, and it's a very minor thing for peple to get. People who are too lazy to go get one are the same people who are too lazy to vote in the first place.

People are already required to have photo ID's to buy alcohol or cigs, so why not to vote?
Debate Round No. 1
BeatTheDevil89

Con

First thanks for admitting that voter fraud isn't an issue, that saves the both of us time.

However, the debate is not about the "fairness" of how much one needs to pay for the license or voting inside your home. (Just to add, although the license costs only 10 dollars, documents such as birth certificate and other forms of identification are required which can cost around 200 dollars and upwards).
Voting is a constitutional right (unlike "alcholol or cigs") given to us by our constitution and it should be treated as such (unless in extreme circumstances such as a mentally challenged person). Conservatives make it sound more of a privledge than a right, of course they never seem to fond of rights or the constitution. Infact, the reason most conservatives (the proponents of photo ID) are arguing in favor of such action because it helps their vote. Lets think about who this law will affect

1. Elderly people without licenses
2. People who live in cities who have public transportation
3. Poverty stricken individuals who can't afford a car, the insurance, gas etc.

These people are all KEY voting blocks for the Democratic party. Photo ID is just another scheme to exclude the minority vote in order to keep old rich white people in power (I am saying this as an upper middle class white person).

As we speak, (or type) courts are declaring these laws unconstitional.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

http://dor.mo.gov...

Besides, with voter turnout as horrible as it is in the U.S. do we really need to provide one more obstacle for people to vote?
beem0r

Pro

First, let me address the issue of cost. My opponent says that for some people, documents required to get a Photo ID could cost hundreds of dollars. How? People get birth certificates when they are born. Neither myself nor anyone I know has had to purchase anything to get a Driver's License/Photo ID. I'm sure it is the same for my opponent, or anyone else reading this who got a Photo ID or Driver's License. Except for a negligible portion of the population [people who must have lost extremely important documents such as their birth certificate], the cost is ~10 bucks plus a ride to the DMV.

Keep in mind, too, that people could almost certainly get government assistance if they truly could not afford it, due to the fact that voting is a constitutional right. Though admittedly, there are very few who would be overburdened by such a small price.

Next, let us go over the effects, positive and negative, of requiring Photo ID for voting.
Negative effects:
N1. Some people who would have voted will not vote, due to it being too much trouble or costing too much for them to get a Photo ID. [This effect is very small, due to the fact that those who are too lazy would probably not have voted anyway and those who cannot afford it are very few in number [due to the low cost]]
N2. People who have no ID will have to spend ~10 bucks and go to their DMV to get an ID. [Also a small effect, for the simple fact that 10 bucks isn't very much money]

Positive effects:
P1. A stand is taken against illegals who are abusing the system..
P2. The voting system of the USA becomes more secure.
P3. More people will have Photo ID's.

P1 is important especially for those who like standing on principle. People should not be able to exploit the system like illegals do - not paying taxes, and potentially reaping the benefits of voting. No representation without taxation. Do things the right way, illegals. Like the rest of us do.

P2 is also very important. A system as major as the voting of the USA should not have security flaws, let alone ones so apparent. Requiring photo ID patches this security hole. It doesn't matter that the hole isn't being exploited en masse, it's still there, and we know about it. We should fix it, if only on principle.

P3 has many benefits of its own. It helps law enforcement with accurate identification when arrests, background checks, etc. are needed. It helps in the identification of bodies that are severely maimed. It makes identity theft much more difficult. It can be used as an identity verification tool by companies and the like.

Already, it seems that there is much more positive than negative. However, if needed we can mitigate some of the negative effects.

Small tax breaks could be given to all who vote in an election - enough to cover the small cost of getting a Photo ID. Something of this sort would probably happen if people complained about not being able to vote based on not having ID. This also has the effect of encouraging democratic participation. This mitigates N2, and also part of N1. Some people will still not vote simply because they were too lazy, but very few people that lazy would have voted anyway.

Thus, it seems that the negative effects are far outweighed by the positive effects.
Debate Round No. 2
BeatTheDevil89

Con

I. The cost of things

A. It's not easy or convenient for every American to get government issued photo ID cards as required by the new laws, so they don't. Usually these are the poor, elderly or people in rural areas. Often it is because they can't afford the fee, or have no permanent address.

Some of the states are not simply requiring photo ID, but the ID also has to have the person's current home address printed on the card and be issued by the government (no student IDs). If they move, they have to apply and pay for a new photo ID card.

Also, if someone can't produce a photo ID that meets the local standards, they are instructed to travel to a government office (usually a county seat or capital) to fill out a form to apply for some form of exemption or provisional ballot. Another hoop that the poor or elderly may not be able to jump through.

Americans are so busy nowadays, that a trip to a DMV can not only be a long drive (rural) but can also take time away from their jobs. No one is going to lose money to vote. Some people could even have a hard time just getting to a DMV (elderly and students without a car). As is America averages 50% voter turnout, and those are just the ones that are registered. So far there haven't been any stories in the media about illegals voting in our elections. There is no problem with illegals voting in our elections. If you want tougher standards to discourage voting fraud, fine. But, requiring voter ID does more than eliminate illegals from the picture it eliminates eligible voters as well. Besides any illegals that REALLY want to vote can get a fake license anyway and would be able to get away with it. Also most illegal immigrants are seasonal, they come to America to work on farms and in the winter when the harvest is over they go back home with all the money they got. So our election month, November would fall in to the time frame when a lot of immigrants will be back home.

As said before, the poor, elderly and students tend to vote Democratic...and Republicans tend to support special ID requirements for voting. You do the math. Photo ID makes no sense.

My opponent's "Positive effects" are desirable, but he misleads you on the negative effects.

"N1. Some people who would have voted will not vote, due to it being too much trouble or costing too much for them to get a Photo ID. ...N2. People who have no ID will have to spend ~10 bucks and go to their DMV to get an ID."

Americans can barely pick their kids up from soccer practice let alone stand in line at a DMV to get a license to do something barely half of Americans do. Plus do we really need to spend any more time and money on something that should be given to us anyway, like the constitutional right to vote.

Here are the real negative effects
N1. Poor, elderly, and rural and urban citizens will not be able to vote.
N2. Illegals who want to vote still will be able to through fake ID's

It is even debatable that a significant number of people will get their special voter ID's enough that law enforcement is helped. I still fail to see how Photo ID helps anybody (except Republicans trying to steal the vote...again).
beem0r

Pro

=== Cost
My opponent states that some states have stricter photo ID requirements, such as requiring the current home address to be accurate, etc. However, I am not here to argue that we require a photo ID with X, Y, an Z. I'm here to argue that we should simply require a photo ID. Therefore, I am not arguing for these stricter laws that go beyond simply requiring a photo ID.

As far as I'm concerned, the only stipulations we should have is that the photo ID be verifiable. Whether or not the current home address is reflected on the ID is meaningless, since it does not affect the identity of the person voting. The system knows your current home address based on your identity, so requiring both is overkill.

My opponent also suggests, once again, that some number of eligible voters will be unwilling to vote in the new system. My answer? Oh well. We already have a system where voting is not painless. We have to register to vote, we have to drive somewhere to vote, we have to spend our precious time voting. People are already being cut out of the picture with these stipulations. It's true that a few more people will be cut out of the picture with requiring a photo ID, but this number is quite small. The cost, as I've explained, is roughly 10 dollars and a trip to the DMV for most people. Anyone willing to go through the trouble of voting in the first place is almost certainly willing to do this. There will of course be a few who simply could not get around to doing it, but that is the reality of life. I believe I have shown that this is an acceptable loss.

Let's talk about the elderly. They all have places to live. If they plan on voting, they have a way to get a ride somewhere. And very few elderly people who would vote tend to not have 10$ - this is covered in the 'poor' group.

Now, students, another 'key' group my opponent brings up. Very few students don't have an ID. We need ID to smoke, drink, etc. Most of us voing age students, even if we don't have cars [metropolitan areas?] will have University-given ID's. And as I stated, these fit the bill already. Even so, hardly any students would be unable to scrounge up a ride to the DMV and 10 bucks. Even if we didn't almost all have ID's to begin with, we could easliy go get one.

And now, finally, the poor. In a few cases, poor people do not have a place of residence, and may therefore not be able to go get an ID. In these cases, realize that vagrancy is in most places a crime already. We should not give ID's to people who are definitely actively committing crimes, nor should we allow such people to vote.
However, most poor people at least have a place of residence. Are the poor willing, though, to give up 10 bucks and a trip to the DMV? Possibly not, depending on the extent of their poorness. This is a loss, but it is an acceptable one. The group "poor people who would have voted were it not for that 10 bucks and a trip to the DMV" is quite small. Most poor people already have ID's anyway, and most who are unwilling to waste that small amount of time and money getting an ID were already unwilling to spend that time and effort voting.

=== Effects
My opponent says I mislead you all on the negative effects. He rewrites my 2 negative effects, while acknowledging the positive effects I listed [all 3 of them]:

My old N1 and N2:
N1. Some people who would have voted will not vote, due to it being too much trouble or costing too much for them to get a Photo ID.
N2. People who have no ID will have to spend ~10 bucks and go to their DMV to get an ID.

His re-written versions of these, eliminating my so-called trickery:
N1. Poor, elderly, and rural and urban citizens will not be able to vote.
N2. Illegals who want to vote still will be able to through fake ID's

Since he disagrees with my old N1 and N2, we can dismiss those. Now I will rebut his new ones.
---N1
As his re-write reads now, my opponent would have you think entire voting groups are being blocked by this, when in reality it is only a very small minority of people in these groups who would be affected. I believe I have shown this round and last just how insignificant the affected portions of these groups are.
Rather, I find my old N1 to be a superior explanation of the same thing, though I will modify it to indicate a slight bias towards affecting democratic groups.

FINAL N1. Some people, consisting mostly of democrats, who would have voted will not vote, due to it being too much trouble or costing too much for them to get a Photo ID.

---N2
My opponent changed this to "Illegals who want to vote will still be able to vote through fake ID's"
WHAT? Talk about contradicting yourself. My opponent's case so far has been that introducing a small amount of trouble, namely a trip to the DMV and ~10 bucks, will stop people from voting.
However, let us realize something: getting a convincing fake ID is difficult, costly, dangerous, etc. Very few people have access to convincing fake ID's, and they no doubt have to pay quite a bit for them. If we concede that this will not hinder illegals from voting, we should also concede that a much smaller burden, getting a real ID at the DMV, will also not stop anyone from voting.

So either my opponent's N2 or the rest of his case should be considered gone, since they directly contradict each other.

My positive effects, which my opponent conceded to, are located in my 2nd round. Scroll up to read them again.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
fair enough, you win.(I graciously accept defeat, don't gloat)
Posted by goldspurs 8 years ago
goldspurs
Killer,

That comment about Republicans stealing the election was a quote from the Con. Try actually reading AND UNDERSTANDING the comments before you resort to personal attacks. I was obviously disagreeing with the statement.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
If you are referring to "Bush v. Gore", Bush won fair and square. If you are still bitter about that then you really are a loser.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
you have no evidence that the republicans are trying to steal the election, therefore you have no right to say that republicans are trying to do that. And you are a loser because that entire subject is off-topic.
Posted by goldspurs 8 years ago
goldspurs
Killer-

What's wrong? Can't refute what I said so you resort to personal attacks. Obviously beatthedevil contradicted his/her argument with that statement.

BTW, we are all biased. You have your opinions and I have mine. I most certainly am not a loser. I think I am pretty sucessful actually. Thanks though.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
goldspurs, you are a biased loser
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
Xera, nice extra info there. Would have been nice to know some of that during the debate. Admittedly, I don't really do research for my debates. x.x
Posted by goldspurs 8 years ago
goldspurs
Beatthedevil-

If voter fraud is such a small problem why say this,"I still fail to see how Photo ID helps anybody (except Republicans trying to steal the vote...again)."?
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
I had meant to say that the BC in Oklahoma was $10, in Texas it was $20 and in Wyoming it was $13.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
To get State issued ID costs ~ $10 and requires a copy of your birth certificate at ~ $15, and a social security card which is FREE. Recently I've had to order BC from Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming

Many people are not aware that the hospital record is not an official birth certificate, until they have children & are forced to order one from the State Department of Vital Statistics. BUT you must have the birth certificate in order to enroll in school, health insurance, get the id necessary to get a JOB, or government benefits, so no matter what you do, even if it is collecting welfare, you must have the birth certificate anyway- ergo, not a problem. I did not give pro credit for that though, because he did not use it.

As I mentioned the SS card is free, so the only cost that would apply ONLY to voting is the state issued ID card, @ ~ $10.

While pro could have done as I did and showed how the cost of documentation did not apply to the argument, he did not, he did however challenge the ball park figure of $200 which was never adequately rebutted in my opinion. So I gave him credit for that. I also gave PRO credit for the argument of effort required since, as he mentioned, just going to the voting booths requires effort and those who actually WILL vote will also put forth the effort of ordering a SS card and Birth Certificate, assuming they have managed to get to the 18 years of age without having either one.

I also gave PRO credit because he was not rebutted on the idea of using any form of ID, including school ID cards. While I can not see how this would actually solve the issues attempting to be resolved with requiring ID (we have several foreign students here on a school visa who would receive school ID cards) this was not rebutted and so Pro got the point.

Con successfully argued that the republicans pushing for this are the ones that will most benefit from it.

All said and done, Pro had more points than con that were upheld in the debate.
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