Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's OK. Photo ID Me, Please!

I cannot say I am disappointed with the United States' Supreme Court's decision yesterday to uphold the State of Indiana's 2005 photo voter identification law. In fact, I applaud it...both the decision, and the law.

Had the result been different it is very possible that in the future the likes of "Mary Poppins" or "James Bond" would be permitted to vote (presumably, for Democrats) and there would be little the 19th State's officials could do to disprove the veracity of such dubious identities at polling places.
In the absence of voter ID laws, it is easy to draft the dead to your campaign (it's not like there haven't been instances of posthumous voting in the past).

Undoubtedly, this decision and the policy places a burden on disadvantaged members of the electorate. I don't deny that possibility. But if such individuals really care about voting and participating in our representative democracy, they won't let fees, processing times or whatever else may get in their way deter them from complying with the law.

What is so wrong, so discouraging, about having to prove you're authorized to vote in the elections of the State you're residing in, by presenting a government-issued ID? Would you rather someone else appropriate your identity, and vote in your stead? Ask yourself, who would stand to benefit the most from the absence of a voter ID law in Indiana?

I can't help but wonder how many illegal immigrants are living in The Hoosier State; surely, without the need to prove their legal presence in these States united, Democrats - who often seem to care for the welfare of illegal immigrants more than native-born Americans - would be able to attract the votes of illegal residents in droves...or, as is more likely, gently coerce them to vote for the Jackass Party.


As I said in the first paragraph, those in Indiana who really want to vote - and who want their vote to count - will do whatever it takes to comply fully with the State's voter ID law, and won't let it "discourage" them. Those who don't want to vote...won't attempt to comply with the photo ID law - and I guarantee you they'll complain, bitch and moan, all whilst playing the part of the whiny "disenfranchised" victim.

As for those who have agitated against the voter ID law, and who will likely continue to do so in spite of the Supreme Court's Monday decision, I'd be interested to know whether they themselves intend on complying with the law, or will seek to somehow get around it. You know, break it.

This much is obvious: If opponents of Indiana's voter ID law could afford to pay lawyers to take this case all the way to our Nation's highest court of appeal, they can also probably afford to now help pay the State fees of those who - they say - would be prevented (or as they say, "discouraged") from voting due to their inability to requisition a legal ID, due a personal insufficiency of funds. They fought the law, and the law won...why not help the less fortunate in situation to comply with it? It's the least they could do.

A requirement to produce legal photographic identification - incidentally, a requirement in Arizona, too - prior to being given your ballot, and casting it, is not an undue financial burden nor an invasion of privacy; if anything, it should provide reassurance that only those who are authorized to vote in your State, or any State, are the ones who are doing the voting.


Since we are still, ostensibly, a country governed by the rule of law and not the rule of men, it seems to me that policies which strengthen our republican democracy rather than weaken it are preferable. After all, a healthy democracy has not simply free elections, but free and fair elections. Does it not?

When voters go to the polls in nascent democracies, or faux-democracies, elsewhere in the world, election monitors are meant to detect and speak out against vote-stuffing and other instances of voter fraud. Riots are known to have broken out in countries following elections in which one victorious candidate or another's claim of voter support is legally suspect. Are we to tolerate an eventual degradation of civilized political discourse and practice in our Republic as well? I certainly hope not.

Simply put, those who seek to hinder the ability of officials to detect voter fraud in America do our democracy a great disservice...and I applaud our High Court's implicit recognition of that fact.

No comments: