Born in the U.S.A: Suppressing the vote

What’s a tell tale sign that you’re afraid people won’t support your policies?

Trying to pass laws that make it harder for people to vote.

That’s what’s happening right now all across America. In state after state, Republican politicians are introducing laws that make it harder for voters to go to the polls and cast their ballots. Most, if not all of these laws, require that a voter in question have a photo ID in order to vote, in order to prevent “voter fraud.”

Sounds reasonable enough, right? Well it might be if everyone was issued a photo ID free of charge. Unfortunately, in most states, an ID card comes with a price tag, be it a regular ID or a driver’s license. I know I paid $20 to get my driver’s license renewed just this June here in the Commonwealth.

Requiring a photo ID effectively disenfranchises large groups of people that, would you know it, tend not to vote Republican. The elderly, college students, minorities, and lower income Americans are all kicked off of the voter rolls by these kinds of laws – a sort of Jim Crow through the back door.

The mythical ‘voter fraud’ that Republicans harp on an on about is actually less likely than your chances of being struck by lightning. It does happen, but not enough to warrant disenfranchising the disadvantaged. We already have laws on the books that deal with voter fraud, and actual voter fraud should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The right to vote is an inalienable right. It’s a shame that so many people on the other side don’t think so.

 

Column by Devin Griggs, opinion editor. Devin serves as vice president of finances for the Murray State College Democrats.