Angst over Voter IDs

Let’s see, you cannot cash a check without a picture ID, make a credit card purchase without picture ID, see a new doctor or go to the hospital without ID but, according to some folks, you should be allowed to vote without one. The most sacred and, therefore, the citizen’s right most in need of protection from abuse, is the right to help choose who will govern.

Yet there are those who argue that it is an imposition on the poor to require a photo ID. If they drive, they have one already. If they receive public assistance they almost certainly have one. Who are the people who would not have one? Old people who have never had a license? Old people in nursing homes filling out absentee ballots with the help of party operatives?

There are many ways to commit voter fraud. But certainly no one-except military serving overseas-should get an absentee ballot without showing up at the Courthouse and presenting ID. But to argue that it is too much of an imposition on the poor to require they have ID is completely fatuous. If they can get to the polls, they can get to an agency that will provide a photo ID. Besides, if a person places a high value on voting, the requirement of getting an ID will not be an obstacle.

Low voter turnout in boring or meaningless elections is not a function of whether voter ID is required. Lousy candidates, disenchantment with government and a belief that it does not matter who wins keep voters at home.