Our political views on certain issues are somewhat affected by the area of the country and the particular place we live. I live in Massachusetts. Contrary to what some of our state officials say, there is a problem with voter fraud in this state, as well as in every other state of the union.
It seems natural to me that voters would be required to show some sort of identification when they vote. You need to show identification to buy cigarettes, alcohol, rent a video, board a plane, and apply for welfare or unemployment benefits. If making people show identification would be a hardship for people who are poor, how do they collect their food stamps (which they are entitled to if they are poor)? When I asked my sister about this (she lives in Tennessee), she explained that in the past, excessive requirements had been put on black voters in the south, and many southerners were afraid that voter identification laws would be used to discriminate against minority voters. I understand, but I still think we need some sort of voter identification.
On Saturday, the Washington Examiner reported that Hispanic voters in Colorado, New Mexico and Florida all support laws requiring voters to show identification. During the last Presidential election, voter registration fraud was rampant. When an organization called True The Vote looked into voter registration in Houston, they found that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations submitted by a group known as Houston Votes were valid. (see rightwinggranny.com March 24, 2011). Maybe I am naive, but it seems to me that anyone who loves their country would want fair elections. So why do we have stories in the Washington Examiner that explain:
Also in June, a group of Democratic senators, including Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, asked the Justice Department to investigate state photo ID laws. “These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. The senators asked the Justice Department to use its authority under the Voting Rights Act to “closely monitor the legislative process” in states that have passed or are considering passing photo ID laws and to “track any unlawful intent” of proponents of the laws. The laws “must be subjected to the highest scrutiny as states justify these new barriers to participation,” the senators wrote. Testifying at a Senate hearing on September 13, Justice Department Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez said the Department has begun those investigations and is scrutinizing not just the laws themselves but the motives of those who passed them to discover whether “there is a discriminatory purpose that underlies any action in any state.”
The good news here is that the public supports voter identification. At some point we can hope that our representatives will vote according to the desires of the people they represent.