US Voters should be required to show a form of ID or proof of citizenship in order to vote
A parent wants to enroll a kindergartner in school, they need to show birth certificate to show their child meets the cut-off birth date. You want to leave the country on vacation, you need to show a passport. But, you want to help choose leaders for 300 million people, sure walk right in.
Just because voter fraud is not a serious issue does not change the fact that it is illogical to make voting a "citizens only" right, and not verify a voter is a citizen. You need some form of ID to do some of the most trivial things, such as getting a library card. Is library card fraud a big issue?
If you are going to start with a rights v. privileges argument, right to bear arms, yet you still need to show ID and proof of residence to legally purchase a firearm. To legally vote, why is it wrong to ask for ID?
To start with your argument, you list that the following things need ID
1)Want to legally buy alcohol? you need to be 21, so prove you're 21 (that's OK)
2)Want to go to this school district? you need to live here, so prove you live here (that's OK)
3)Want to legally buy a gun? You need ID and permit that allows you to have guns, so show those proofs (that's OK)
4)Want to leave the country? you need a passport so we can clear you, so show one (that's OK)
**5) Want to legally vote? you need to be a citizen, so prove you're a citizen (OH NO, that's not right. That's voter manipulation, you're putting minorities down etc.)?
I admit some forms of ID I listed do not prove citizenship, but they all boil down to proving the same basic idea: the holder is legally allowed to do something. Proof of age shows that the holder is legally allowed to buy alcohol, proof of residence shows the holder is legally allowed attend the school district, get the library card etc. Driver's License shows that the holder is legally allowed to drive a car. Different requirements, same premise.
Why shouldn't we require proof that a person is legally allowed to vote?
Your argument that "what we should be focused on is other types of ..." does not answer that question. There will always be other things to worry about. Yet, this problem went so court, so people(elected and non-elected) thought this problem was worth discussing. If there is a problem (you admit there is small voter fraud) where the fix is as simple as bring your passport or some other proof of citizenship with you when you vote, why shouldn't it be fixed? Small problem, simple fix. You make it sound like checking ID at the polls is a tedious task that will require much effort. Tell me, how long does it really take to look at a passport photo and see if it matches the person holding it. It could be done in less time than it takes the person to sign his or her name.
http://www.time.com... - this is why voter ID laws are bad. Legal citizens who have residencies and polling places cannot vote because their college ID, birth certificate and drivers licenses are not proof enough.
I have a question. Why, if voter fraud that can be stopped by ID's, is enough of a problem that it effects national, state, or township elections and delegitimizes the vote is this a partisan issue? I will tell you why Republicans push this and democrats do not. It is because the legitimate voters that this causes a hurdle for or those whom it stops completely are almost all democrat. The young, the intercity poor and the old retired who may have trouble getting the right ID become disenfranchised and won't make their voices heard because they can't be "trusted". In fact, in PA alone, since voter ID laws came in to place voting , which had been moving steadily up, slowed. More people were barred from voting then all the voter fraud in the state for 10 years earlier until now. You say that you are protecting voting when your causing less people to vote. My parents are democrats who live in a republican area after redistricting. For many elections their vote counts for nothing because the republicans always win. We need to be looking at the other ways we are destroying the vote, not the negligible amount of fraud.
To answer your question I refer to my previous statement that most of the voter fraud is not done by non-citizens or done in a way that allows for requiring ID. Basically when you move to an area or reach 18 your polling place will contact you and set up your account using government records to identify you as a citizen. If every person eligible in this country voted instead of barring young and poor than fraud would be impossible. By making it harder for people to vote you are making fraud more effective by giving those who commit large scale fraud in ways that do not require ID (electronics rigging, absentee voter impersonation) more potential votes to use.
By the way, firearms, alcohol and driving can kill other people. Voter fraud has never effected a major election or even on a county level.
Why bar legitimate voters to stop the 10 people casting 1 illegal vote each when the votes of those barred is much greater than fraud that can be stopped by ID laws.
You say that it is harmful enough to the people that blocking thousands of voters is important enough to catch them. I say, then why is this an issue of Democrats vs. Republicans and not something agreed upon. I would suggest that republicans are trying to block the Democrats voting base. Is it a coincidence that the legitimate voters barred from voting the most are the young and the poor?
Sorry if I made spelling, grammar, punctuation errors or my sources didn't get on. I'm trying to type from an iPod touch, which is difficult.
It is not that difficult to get a proof of citizenship. You can show, a birth certificate (if you were born in the US), a passport (or even just a passport card which is cheaper), or a certificate of naturalization that you get when you become a naturalized citizen. Every citizen is capable of getting proof if they hadn't already received one of the above already.
Naturalized citizens regardless of economic status have to be given some sort of documentation when they become citizens. So how is asking for proof of citizenship, which they were handed when they became citizens, barring voters?
Why do democrats as you claim, have a hard time getting proof of citizenship?
You also haven't addressed why it is illogical or bad to say "You need to be a citizen to vote, so prove you are a citizen".
"You need to be 21 to buy alcohol, so prove you're 21" is ok. You say alcohol and guns have the POTENTIAL to cause harm so ID is ok. The thing about democracy is, voting has an effect, and if non citizens skew the vote, it also has the POTENTIAL to be harmful. Just because non-citizen voting is small now doesn't mean it will stay that way. Can you absolutely guarantee that voting by non citizens will not be an issue, 10,20, or 30 years from now? Regardless of how small, we know it happens, so why not stop it?
You also keep bringing up other issues that are irrelevant. Just because redistricting is a problem does not mean we shouldn't check voter citizenship. The two have nothing to do with each other. Other issues do exist and need to be dealt with, but they are not relevant to this debate.
A birth certificate is technically not enough to prove citizenship for an election. It needs to be a semi-recently updated photo ID, which not everyone has.
Polling places know if your a citizen or not. You just need to prove who you are. Forged IDs of non-voters are easy to get. If someone wants to vote illegally they will.
I said that the poor who may not have jobs that give the ID's that can be used for voting and the young who may not have jobs or colleges that issue the ID's because not all colleges issue the ID's and most college jobs aren't full time and won't provide it. By solving a virtually non-existent problem you are creating a hassle to the voting process causing voter apathy, which destroys the vote much more than fraud.
You repeatedly claim that even if voter fraud that can be stopped by voter ID laws are non-existent, than why not have the laws? I will address several claims made by you and many other people. (not all you)
1. Even if it is not a serious problem, if someones a citizen then they have nothing to hide.
For those that are unemployed or do not receive a legitimate ID regularly it can be a large hassle to get the ID needed. A common refutation of this is that a right isn't a privilege. I would argue that you are creating voter apathy. Voter apathy is the main reason why people don't vote. Imagine you are a voter. (not sure your age) You hate both candidates, but agree with one just a little more than the other. You prefer one over the other just enough to go out and vote. Any small hassle would make it not worth it to go out and vote. I have described most of the non-voting population and the close to non-voting population. Whether or not it is a privilege or a right by inserting a law that would knowingly cause many people to stop voting all together is an awful way to stop the minor incidences of voter fraud that could be stopped by this.
2. It might become a serious problem later, why not attack it now?
I want you to ask this question to yourself. Why now? Why during an era where the democrats are fast gaining power are the republicans pushing these laws. You yourself have admitted it might not stop most of our small amount of fraud. Who are the people who are most likely to be stopped at their polling place for lack of an ID. It is the young and the poor, the core of democrats base support. 11% of voters do not have the ID already, most democrats or left leaning. WHY IS THIS A PARTISAN ISSUE IF IT IS A SIMPLE CASE OF SECULAR RIGHT AND WRONG?! I WANT TO KNOW!
3. Even if it isn't a big problem it de legitimizes the vote.
Purposefully creating voter apathy is a bigger problem and a side affect of these laws. We would lose about 3% (this is low-balling) of the voting population if we enact these laws. That de legitimizes the vote much more. Redistricting and propaganda destroy the vote much more than illegal voters that could be stopped by these laws. So why don't those who push ID laws push non-partisan districting?
Abob forfeited this round.
Overall though, this country (minus a few counties) does not need voter ID laws,
1.11 percent of true Americans do not have the ID. Many Americans already have so much voter apathy that any hassle might cause them not to vote. That being said it is immoral to create a law, knowing that it is going to make people not want to vote.
2.Why is it a partisan issue? It is being pushed by Republicans because out of the 11 percent of Americans that do not have the ID, most of them are young, poor, homeless, unemployed or living in cities, the base of the Democrats vote.
3.Why are we attacking this? In a country where we have partisan districting, purposefully confusing ballots, disenfranchisement of the voters and lack of voter turnout, why are we pushing a policy that will decrease voter turnout and increase disenfranchisement? If these people really want to make the vote more legitimate, why aren"t they also speaking on these other problems? Why aren"t they trying to come up with a solution to voter apathy, perhaps the thing most detrimental to the vote?
By the way, I thought this was funny. I typed in "voting problems in America" in google and its third suggestion was "voting problems in America Idol". What the heck America. Vote for LordGrae