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Voter ID Laws: Necessary or More Likely to Disenfranchise Voters?

As the November election approaches, the arguments for and against strict voter identity laws heat up.

As the election season heats up, so does the debate on voter identity. One side of the issue argues that stringent voter identity laws are necessary so as not to dilute the vote of legitimate voters. The other side argues that the strict controls have the effect of disenfranchising legitimate voters. 

A recent story in the Huffington Post cites examples from both sides of the argument, ultimately claiming that it appears more legitimate votes are disenfranchised than fraudulent ones prevented.

More than two dozen states have some form of ID requirements, and 11 of those passed new rules over the past two years. Republicans have been the driving force behind this, claiming that in previous years convicted felons and the deceased have voted.

Democrats and voting rights groups claim the ID laws suppress votes, particularly among the elderly, poor and minorities. These groups tend to lean Democratic.

In each of these cases, the numbers are not particularly high when you look at the big picture. But when you take into account that the 2000 presidential race was decided by a 537-vote margin in Florida, it’s not hard to see why this is such a hot-button issue right now.

What do you think? Are voter ID laws necessary to avoid diluting a genuine vote, or are the laws more likely to disenfranchise a legitimate voter?

RL July 12, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Brian - you are delusional. Why do you STILL call or form of government a democracy. We are not. The Holder DOJ is much more crooked than any Republican attempt to restrict who votes. How hard is it to provide photo ID? I love watching liberals squirm.
Tammy Osier July 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM
How about fingerprints? If they are electronically scanned, then the machine will throw out anyone that is trying to vote more than once. Iraqis had purple fingers after they voted. Another thought. ;)
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I'm nearly 50 years old, have lived on both coasts and up North, visited many places and now live in the best place ever, Oconee County. I have never met anyone without an ID of some kind except for people who have a nefarious reason for not having one. Everybody should have an ID for their own sake. Is voter fraud real or not? I don't know, I just don't know. However, all Americans should be guaranteed security while they exercise their responsibility to vote. I believe requiring people to have an ID goes a long way toward providing that security.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Duane, I have really loved both of your posts. I too miss the days of small community and doing things on a handshake. Knowing who each other are without have to whip out some form of government documentation. Your posts harken to an bygone era of personal responsibility, sense of community and preservation of your reputation through your actions rather than words on printed paper. Sadly, it seems, those days are gone. At least we in Oconee County are fortunate enough to be pretty tightly knit and we can still see many remnants of those old days right here. In the meantime, government has grown to such huge proportion, we must now play with the new hand we have been dealt and hope for the best.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Brian- You said "If there's one thing Republicans hate worse than the American worker it's democracy." I say, that's just wrong, on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start, so I won't. I will, however, pray that no one reads that drivel and believes it. You also said, "Voter impersonation is a non existent problem. This is a blatant attempt by Republicans to steal another election." Are you saying Obama needs the folks with no way of identifying themselves to win the election? If so, that sounds kind of, er, bad.

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