It’s time to institute nationwide voter-ID

Voter ID laws are not racist. Voters of all demographics overwhelmingly have and support voter ID requirements, and a national voter-ID law would help to protect election integrity.

January 6th was one of the darkest days in our democracy, and as our elections grow more and more contentious, ensuring strong integrity at the ballot box should be a national priority. The election of 2000 was decided by a mere 500 votes, and talks about the legitimacy of the 2020 election wrongly continue today. It’s time to finally strengthen voters’ confidence in their vote: it’s time for a nationwide voter-ID requirement. 

Let’s look at the evidence about voter ID. Many claims against voter-ID are blatantly false, distracting from the real issues of promoting confidence at the ballot and preventing fraud. Instead of debating the merits of common-sense voter-ID and election regulations, some even label them — and anyone supporting them — as racist. 

Why are voter-ID laws common sense? 35 states have instituted identification laws, and virtually every person of voting age already has identification. Those who do not can easily get them: the recently passed Georgia law, for example, issues a free ID to anyone who doesn’t have one. Finally, states that have implemented ID requirements have seen turnout go up, not down.

An Associated Press poll found that 72% of respondents support a voter ID requirement. Digging deeper, the HEPA (Honest Elections Project) poll found that many different types of voters support voter-ID as well: 77% of black voters, 78% of Hispanic voters, 67% of Democratic voters, 97% of Republican voters, and 82% of independent voters.

It never ceases to amaze me that people believe minority voters don’t have, and aren’t capable of obtaining, an ID. Especially since you need an ID to do routine things such as open a bank account, drive a car, rent a house, apply for Medicaid/unemployment benefits/food stamps, apply for a mortgage, or even adopt a pet. Most Americans have identification, and those who don’t can quickly and easily get one.

Voter-ID is the best election reform that states have adopted; hopefully all 50 will do so soon. A nationwide voter-ID requirement would be the simplest step to ensure the integrity of our elections for years to come, and voter-ID is a perfectly reasonable requirement that increases Americans’ confidence in their vote for change.