Redfive wrote:Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
Southern conservatives continue to try to disenfranchise minority voters throughout the South. Witness the "voter caging" programs in Florida in 2004, 2008 and 2012, which preemptively de-registered thousands of black Floridians from the voting rolls *without notice* because they had the same name as felons. Take a look at the current Texas electoral district maps, which are designed specifically to pack minorities into as few districts as possible, limiting their electoral voice far beyond what would be required to ensure "minority majority" districts, or shatter them amongst numerous white majority districts by breaking their communities up into small pieces, all to ensure that white Republicans win the vast majority of the seats.
Driving west from downtown Dallas you will enter, leave, re-enter, re-leave, re-enter and re-leave the same two state House districts *while driving in a straight line* because those districts literally swirl around each other to break up the existing Latino communities thoroughly enough to ensure that white Republicans win both districts. I used to work in Texas, and I have folders full of complaint forms about white Republican election judges sending minority voters away from the polls for not having "sufficient" identification when the voters had exactly the paperwork they were required to have to vote. Prior to 2006, one prominent early voting location in Dallas County produced voting results a full five points weaker than the Democratic performance of the surrounding areas would have suggested amid constant complaints of harassment of Latino voters; after 2006, when the location's election judge was no longer a Republican, the discrepancy disappeared.
Redfive wrote:There should never, ever be discrimination or laws put in place that stop any citizens from voting which is why voter ID laws should actually be the solution...Of course that puts it all right back squarely in the political side of things.
A large percentage of adult Americans do not have a valid photographic ID that lists their current place of residence and would face significant financial hardship acquiring and maintaining such a piece of identification.
Offices for the production of such cards are distributed unevenly, based mostly on the density not of people but of *drivers*. Most Americans do not have on hand the documentation required to acquire those forms of ID (a certified birth certificate, etc), and those documents themselves can be costly. Acquiring a license can cost hundreds of dollars in expenses and lost wages for a person who, like most Americans without ID, has a job without paid time off. These are also the Americans most likely to move at least once a year, thus accruing more costs as they would have to take time off work to go get *another* license with the new address *every time* they move (many states do not issue address change stickers via mail anymore, and require in person appearances to get cards issued). Many of these workers are not allowed to take such time off by their employers, so the cost to taking a day off from work to get an ID could very well be their job.
These costs and risks create an undue burden on the working poor in acquiring a valid, up-to-date photographic ID. Unless major changes are being made to the distribution system for such IDs, to end the need for, sometimes, multiple hours of travel to and from ID offices for people who live in working class areas, and unless *all* costs associated can be waived, including requiring businesses to allow time off for employees to acquire documentation for IDs and the IDs themselves without risk to employment, the result is that voter ID laws are massively more burdensome for poor people than they are for rich people. Of course, the Republicans who push these laws routinely refuse to accept amendments to ameliorate this imbalance -- because making it more burdensome for poor people than it is for rich people is the *point* of their legislative initiatives.
That doesn't even get into edge cases like black people born in the rural south in the 1950s and early 1960s, many of whom were never issued birth certificates. Or the fact that a woman who gets married and sends in her change-of-name forms on the same day to both the voting office and the ID office may be denied her right to vote because the voter roll gets updated before her new ID arrives. Or the fact that college kids who are often registered to vote where they live near campus but whose driver's license lists their parents' address may be denied their right to vote. But, again, those aren't flaws to the folks who wrote these bills.
There is virtually no voter identification fraud in the United States. There are much easier ways to commit electoral fraud, and impersonation fraud is time consuming, difficult, easy to catch and requires a broad group of conspirators. Most election fraud in the United States is either direct fraud by vote counting officials, or mail ballot fraud. The latter is a bigger problem, but also easier to solve through the sort of highly-redundant systems put in place in states like Oregon. If everywhere in America adopted Oregon's ballot system, we'd see a major jump in voter participation, and a virtual end to non-official electoral fraud.