The most recent presidential election raised an issue that many Americans do not typically consider: voter fraud. Is there any possible way that our elections–and, by proxy, our democracy–are somehow fraudulent?
According to the Democrats, our friends in Russia tampered with the election. But the Democrats weren’t the only ones to claim corruption. Many Republicans claimed that undocumented immigrants voted in our election, and helped Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.
Whether or not these claims are accurate is beside the point. What matters is that we push for a pure and fair democracy, as originally outlined by our Founding Fathers. Voter ID laws are the first step.
This isn’t a new idea. Thirty-four states already require voters to have some form of identification when at the polls. Seven of these states ask for a driver’s license or other government-issued identification with the voter’s picture. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “proponents see increasing requirements for identification as a way to prevent in-person voter impersonation and increase public confidence in the election process.”
Not everyone sees it this way, however. Opponents argue that voter ID laws are a “burden on the voters” and a “restriction of voting rights.”
However, the left has another argument up their sleeve: racism and discrimination.
Some opponents of voter ID laws argue that the elderly, Hispanic, and African-American populations are less likely to possess any form of photo identification. These groups are said to make up the 11% of the population that does not possess a passport or driver’s license.
The argument is questionable, but the inherent discrimination in this argument is blatant. The basic argument maintains, yet again, that minorities are incapable of taking some specific action for themselves. As such, any attempt to undermine them is discriminatory. Like affirmative action policies, liberal efforts to stop discrimination are, ironically, discriminatory against the very people they claim to help.
The claims of Russian meddling further highlight the hypocrisy of opposing voter ID. If liberals claim election fraud, either by poll malfunction or Russian interference, why do they oppose laws meant to protect our election process?
The state of Kansas is a great example of why voter ID is a necessity. A few years ago, Kansas state elections had 221 reported cases of voter fraud, 30 of which were fully investigated. Out of those investigated, 7 prosecutions resulted. In the St. Paul region of Minnesota, 341 felons illegally voted. These fraudulent voters went unnoticed at the polls.
To preserve democracy and the freedom to vote, we must know who is voting. If there need to be programs created that assist those who are unable to receive identification, be my guest. Voter ID laws are not meant to boost the GOP’s success rate or discriminate against minorities. Rather, these laws are intended to respect our process and give everyone a fair shot at the polls.