One of the biggest issues that a number of states have been dealing with in recent years is that there are a lot of problems with voter ID laws. As time has gone on, more and more states have, at the very least, tried to pass laws that require people to show ID when they come into a polling place and try to vote, no matter what election that they may be trying to vote in. This makes it take much longer when it comes to voting, and there are other problems that come with it as well.
Why are states so desperate to try and get voter ID laws passed? One of the main reasons is because many people believe that there is a big problem with voting fraud in the United States, and that many people are trying to vote multiple times in order to try and get their person into office. Of course, this isn’t actually the case – voter fraud is actually incredibly uncommon, and because of that, many of these voter ID laws are kind of moot. Another point that some people try to make is that it allows illegal immigrants to be able to vote – since they can’t get IDs, then they can’t vote, either.
Of course, there are many people who also believe that there is a partisan reason why all this is going on as well. According to many, it’s a form of Gerrymandering (splitting districts so that some go all blue and others go all red and they aren’t contested) that basically blocks those with lower incomes from being able to vote. Some people don’t have a license for driving, and they don’t have the ability to go and get an ID because of cost and/or other barriers to entry. Because a majority of those people are on one side or the other, the belief is that the other side is trying to prevent these people from being able to vote, thus giving their party the upper hand. It’s incredibly complicated, and even though it can’t be proven that this is why these laws are going into effect, it is a possibility.
So, why did the federal appeals court decide that the Texas Voter ID law was illegal? For the reason that you would expect – that it restricts access to voting. Voting is a basic American right, and we all have the ability to do it unless we have been convicted of a felony. Voting is what makes our representative democracy what it is – we have to vote for those who are going to make the laws. If not everyone is able to vote, then it goes against the principals that this government was built on, and that makes everything an even bigger mess. Above everything else, that is why the federal appeals court decided that they were going to block this law from being able to be enforced – with it, thousands would be barred from having a voice in the government, and that is unconstitutional in and of itself.
What do you believe about this? Do you think that these voter ID laws are against the Voting Rights Act that was passed just over 50 years ago? Or do you think that the fears that these states have are warranted and should be treated with a bit more care? Is there another solution that we may be ignoring to the whole problem? It’s definitely an interesting thing to ponder, and it will also be interesting to see what happens with it in the future.