What’s the Big Deal?
Catching up from yesterday, the Sun had an editorial bemoaning the Supreme Court’s decision in an Indiana case requiring voters to identify themselves before casting their ballot:
By upholding Indiana’s voter identification law, the U.S. Supreme Court has virtually ignored the nation’s ignominious history of disenfranchising certain groups and sanctioned an overly restrictive solution in search of a problem. While the court’s 6-3 ruling is not expected to have a major effect on the coming presidential election, it is likely to encourage more states to follow Indiana’s lead, guaranteeing that more Americans could be denied one of the most basic rights in a democracy. Maryland should stick to its convictions and continue rejecting stricter voter ID requirements.
I am extremely confused by the Sun’s logic on this one. On one hand, the Sun wants to protect “one of the most basic rights in a democracy” while simultaneously refusing to support ID measures that would strengthen that right. The fact of the matter is that when somebody casts their vote illegally, it cheapens the vote and diminishes the rights of all of those individuals who do the right thing, follow the law, and only vote legally.
Furthermore, the argument that ID requirement would negatively impact the poor and the elderly is just spurious. How in the world can anybody logically survive these days without some sort of identification card? And when you consider that the Motor Vehicle Administration issues non drivers-license identification cards, I’m not sure what the argument is.
Finally, the Sun trots out this silliness:
Rooting out voter fraud may be a legitimate concern, but ID laws such as Indiana’s have taken on a distinctly partisan cast – generally favored by Republicans and opposed by Democrats – and seem to be more about limiting the right to vote. In a nation where voter participation is pretty pitiful, states such as Maryland that have successfully resisted stricter voting requirements come closer to the democratic ideal.
Again, there is no logical sense in this argument either. While sometimes the arguments for voter ID take on a partisan take, they really should not. It’s not about limiting the right to vote, it’s about limiting voter fraud, something that is all too common in places like Maryland, that do not have strict voter ID requirements.
If we all want to protect the sanctity of our votes, we all should support common sense voter ID laws like the Indiana law the Supreme Court just upheld.