COMMENTARY | The Arizona voter identification law victory bolstered hope for other states considering similar legislation. Earlier this week the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that the photo identification requirement did not discriminate against Latinos as detractors had claimed, according to the Associated Press. Eric Holder’s office was once again on the wrong side of the issue and asked the court to strike down the law. Arizona’s reasonable attempts to mandate citizens prove their legal residency when registering to vote was squashed due to existing federal laws. The federal statute requires only a mail-in registration card stating the individual is an American citizen.
Liberal outrage over voter identification legislation in multiple states has delayed reasonable and necessary election reform laws. Americans are routinely required to show identification for a multitude of mundane reasons. The heated debate over voter identification is an example of the worst type of partisan behavior. Ensuring fair and proper elections should be important to both Democrats and Republicans. There is no justifiable reason to believe that Latinos are less likely to possess a driver’s license than any other segment of the population.
Voters unable to afford a valid photo identification card are offered one at no cost in states where voter identification are pending or have been approved, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voter identification opposition groups often claim photo identification card laws discriminate against the poor as well. Reading the terms of the voter requirements is the only way to truly understand what the new laws would entail. Political rhetoric about state voter identification laws only further confuses the very important issue.
The depth of voter identification fraud is debated just as vigorously as the election law changes. Even if the number of voters engaging in fraud is on the low end, the government should take all legal action to prevent improper election influence.
American voters have the right to a fair election and mandating proof of identity is not biased, racist an attack on the poor or too time-consuming to require. Arizona’s voter identification law will serve as a safeguard and will not create a barrier to casting ballots. The number of citizens who choose not to exercise their right to vote is saddening. Adults who wish to have a say in how the county is run simply need to secure a photo identification card before going to the polls.