[from this earlier post]
Actually, those almost seem like fair questions, HOWEVER:
- Voting is a valuable and cherished right that many people have fought and died for. Other comparisons tend to fail because voting is not a purchasable, nor an easily revoked privilege like flying or driving —how many people were tarred and feathered or murdered because of fighting for their “right” to fly or drive?
- The 24th Amendment makes poll taxes illegal. Requiring someone pay —directly or otherwise— for the right to vote is neither democratic nor patriotic
- Voter ID laws disproportionately impact disabled, the poor and the elderly —all groups that often lack “proper ID.”
- Many college students (and older people) simply do not drive —and thus have no need for a state issued driver’s license. I know people who live in New York who have never, ever owned a license or a car
- Students have used their college IDs to vote in elections for decades. But suddenly, after the 2008 and 20012 election results, Republican led legislatures have found cause to suppress their votes. Additionally, it is worth noting such Voter ID restrictions tend to be more lax in districts that have consistently voted for Republicans. Why is that?
- Many states requiring an “official government ID” to vote have simultaneously reduced drivers license office hours and/or completely closed many offices, thereby making it even harder to obtain the very type of ID they’re mandating
- Some elected Republican officials like Mike Turzai have said that Voter ID laws were being passed for the expressed purpose of rigging an election. Other elected Republicans like Bill O’Brien, have openly stated they simply do not want college students voting because they tend to vote for Democrats
- ALEC, a GOP/Koch Brothers political organization, is directly responsible for the surge of voter suppression laws seen in the last decade. ALEC’s founder, Paul Weyrich, was quoted as saying, “I don’t want everybody to vote. Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
- There have been more elected GOP officials found guilty of Election Fraud than actual voters committing voter fraud
- Voter ID laws are “solutions” to a problem that does not exist. Voter ID laws are a Republican response to Republicans losing elections, not to fixing voter fraud. There has been a comprehensive study—at the behest of many Republicans—which showed that in more than a decade of voting, exactly 10 people engaged in voter fraud. That’s 10 people out of the millions who voted since the year 2000. And some of those likely did so unknowingly (ie, voted at the wrong voting precinct, or were genuinely unaware they were ineligible to vote, etc.)
But surely a drivers licence isn’t the only form of photo ID in the US? Maybe it’s because in Australia, voting is mandatory, and you must produce valid photo ID to vote, but to me this doesn’t seem like voter suppression at all. It’s just another safeguard - better safe than sorry.
In Australia, we have four or five photo ID forms legal around the country, that I can immediately think of. Beside the obvious (passport, drivers licence) we also have a Keypass, which is a photo ID if you don’t have a drivers license and allows access to alcohol, clubs, and other age-restricted events, and a Proof-of-Age card, which does the same thing.
Does the US not have similar items? And in which case, that is a separate issue to what is being called “voter restriction”.