It is a Republican farce to say Democrats actively try to cheat the system to get people to vote who are ineligible or who are dead or who do not exist. It’s a Republican delusion. It is this delusion that is the overarching rationale for enacting voting restrictions (i.e. voter suppression). Look it up, it’s an undeniable fact that the more people who come out to the polls the more likely an election will swing Democratic. A recent study revealed that the 90 million Americans who aren’t likely to vote in this election (even though they are eligible) overwhelmingly support President Obama.
In the abstract, most would agree with the idea of having a standardized ID for voting. The problem we face is how to do this so that it applies evenly to the entire electorate. The last thing we need to do is create a set of voting requirements that places a burden on one group of people (typically the poor) that is not placed upon the rest of the population. And before you start talking about getting on a plane or buying a beer or anything else in life that requires an ID, let me remind you that voting is a fundamental right in a democracy and it should never be compared to things which are not. When one compares the right to vote to buying a beer, it devalues that right.
I can hear it now, people are saying “just do it”, as in, just go out and get your voter ID. But just think about this for a moment, there is a large group of middle class white people in this country (for which I’m a part) who cannot fathom the lack of mobility of many poor people in this country (white or black). They lack a driver’s license. We know this because a driver’s license would qualify as a valid form of ID in the states that have passed voter ID laws. That means they cannot drive to get their voter ID, so they must take public transportation. Apparently it’s hard for some to understand that this is often an undue burden for the extremely poor, not to mention disabilities that might make it even more difficult. And this ignores the fact that they need to spend money (even if it’s just public transportation) to get their voter ID, so it’s a form of poll tax. This is a failure of imagination on the part of this segment of “middle America” to put itself in the shoes of someone else for even just a moment.
And finally, we are having this entire conversation predicated on the idea that voter fraud exists. It doesn’t. The sheer coördinated effort required to purposely commit voter fraud to swing an election makes it impractical for anyone to attempt. Voter ID laws are at best a solution in search of a problem, at worst a deliberate attempt to suppress the vote.
David K. Sutton is the founder of leftcall.com. — The Left Call goes beyond the mainstream media false equivalence machine and adds a much-needed liberal voice to important political and social issues.