Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Photo or Not!

The Minnesota Legislature is attempting to tackle voter fraud that has been alleged in the past couple of election cycles here in Minnesota. The new plan, if passed, would require all voters to present a photo ID that is issued by the State of Minnesota. Proponents of the bill point to other states, i.e. Georgia, Florida, and Indiana, require photo ID's for all those voting while opponents to the bill believe that 135,000 eligible voters would not be able to vote because they lack a government ID. Let's face it, being elected to State or National positions is big business. To ensure that our voting process is as free from fraud as possible has lead the Minnesota Legislature, and others states, to go toward a photo ID requirement.

Another objection to the requirement of a photo ID is that it may restrict access to the voter booth for those low-income and low educated people. In a Rutgers University study reported that, "Voters in states that required photo identification were 2.9 percent less likely to vote than voters in states where individuals had to give their name." My question is how do these same people purchase alcohol, tobacco, and lottery tickets where IDs are required and often asked for? In listening to talk radio I heard one pundit assert that requiring a photo ID equates to a poll tax which is banned. I don't see the requirement of a photo ID as a poll tax because vast majority of us have one and in addition to the three items I listed above one is often asked for a photo ID when writing a check or using a debit or credit card. In an age where ID theft is prevalent and honor, integrity and giving ones word has been eroded requiring a photo ID to vote is starting to make sense.

Now, what I don't like about this bill is that it sets aside $25M to assist with people to get a photo ID. The Government should not be handing out these photo ID's for free. That being said, the cost of getting a non-driver license ID should be sold at cost to those that "cannot" afford it. Does it make sense to have a photo ID? Has giving ones Word or Honor been eroded over the past several decades?