NEW YORK – I have blogged before about voter ID laws but I feel compelled to do so again, this time to address the problem of disenfranchisement that results from the ID requirements in place in some states.
If you get to the polls in those states and don’t have a valid ID, you don’t vote, though in some states voters without ID have the rather onerous option of signing an affidavit, i.e., swearing under oath, that they are who they say they are – to secure their right to vote.
Supporters of these ID laws claim to seek a solution for the problem of voter fraud. But here’s the problem: The problem isn’t a problem. It doesn’t exist. In Indiana, the state with perhaps the most restrictive voter ID law in the country, there has never been a single reported case of fraudulent in-person voting.
Now, the Supreme Court has before it a challenge to the Indiana law, brought by the Democratic Party. A lower court upheld the law, but not before finding that the requirement will have a disparate impact on eligible voters of color, and those who are poor, poorly educated, elderly or disabled. (God help you, if you are all of the above.)
The last two presidential elections in this country have been terribly close. In 2000, the race between Al Gore and George Bush was, quite simply, too close to call. The lesson: Every vote counts.
Let’s hope the Supreme Court does the right thing by our democracy. The Court should strike down the Indiana law and strike a blow for this fundamental principal of our democracy - the right to vote.
– Jami Floyd, “In Session” Anchor/360° Contributor
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