Voting laws and regulations have been a topic of debate since creation of our nation. From the 15th amendment which prohibits all levels of the government from denying a citizen the right to vote based on race or color, to the 19th which prohibits any citizens from being denied from voting because of their sex, the debate over voting laws continues still today.
After further deliberation on Friday, the Supreme Court upheld that the state of Pennsylvania’s decision to enact the new voter ID law was warranted. If finalized and put into effect, the law would mandate that any citizen wishing to vote, show their identification card before placing their vote this November. Along with Pennsylvania, 36 other states have either passed or are still considering adopting more restrictive voting laws with the presidential election upon us.
The debate on whether this new proposition should be passed has come down to yet another battle between the the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republicans are in support of this new law because they believe that by enacting the law it will reduce the amount of voter fraud that occurs in the nation. For those who are apposed to the law, Republicans say that individuals who do not yet have an ID card could obtain one before the upcoming election for no charge, allowing those individuals to still participate in the election process. Junior A.J. Discianni brought up a valid point when talking about the possibility of the law. He stated, “You need an ID to do nearly everything else. Whether it’s buying cigarettes, getting into an event, or so on and so forth, ID’s are important. Why should we not have to identify ourselves before voting for the people who will be making decisions regarding our everyday lives?”
On the other side of the spectrum, Democrats are against the law being established because they believe it will limit the amount of poor and minority voters. Along with this fear of losing voters, it seems that voter fraud is not as prevalent as one may have believed. Natasha Khan of the Arizona Republic reported that there have been only 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. This a substantially low number of cases considering there are 146 million. Junior Matt Shank reiterates the fear that many Democrats believe will happen if the voter ID law is enacted. “It’s not so much that getting an ID is impossible, it’s that having to go through so many steps just to vote will keep people from voting. You might hold the door for someone after opening it, but would you go out of your way to open the door for someone?”
Both sides of this debate have viable arguments. For the Republicans, there is a chance that voter fraud could happen, so why not make sure that the right people are voting? It is also true that you do need an ID card for a plethora of other actions in our country, so why not make such an important event the same. On the other hand, Democrats are right in saying that by creating this law, the amount of individuals that will go to the polls may diminish. For this reason alone, I do not support the voter ID law. I am not picking this side because I am in favor of the democrats, that is a political debate for another time. I am against this law because I want the most people possible to vote. By getting the maximum amount of citizens to vote, it will hopefully result in what the majority of the nation wants, whether the elected officials are from the left or right.