Partisan-fueled court battles over state voting laws continue to be litigated even as Gallup polling shows that 80 percent of Americans favor requiring photo identification to vote and favor early voting. A majority, 63 percent, also favor automatic voter registration. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Whites and Nonwhites support voter ID, early voting and automatic registration.
Such findings are nothing new. Moe Lane reported on similar poll findings in 2014.
Opponents of voter ID always make two arguments against voter ID. First, is their incorrect assertion that there is no voter fraud. That false allegation is easily refuted by the conviction of Melowese Richardson of four counts of illegal voting. Richardson twice voted in the 2012 election and voted three times in past elections on behalf of her sister, who has been in a coma since 2003.
The second argument is that voter ID restricts voter rights and is too expensive. That just turns logic upside down. Voter ID strengthens voters’ rights by protecting the votes of all who vote legally. When voter fraud occurs, it dilutes and weakens the votes of all law-biding voters. These days, when a government issued photo ID is required to enter court houses and most other government offices, it defies common sense to not require voter ID. As for the “it’s too expensive” argument, just give those who claim they can’t afford to pay for it, a free ID along with all the other free stuff.
The concept of early voting and automatic registration seem counter intuitive. Except for voters who plan to be absent from their voting location on election day everyone should vote on the same day and have the same opportunity to become informed about the issues.
As to automatic registration, voters ought to be required to make some effort to exercise their right and responsibility to vote. Registering isn’t burdensome or difficult. Citizens should also be responsible enough to ensure that they become informed about the issues and candidates.
As Gallup put it, “Americans want easier processes for registering to vote and casting their ballots, as well as stronger checks against fraud.”