Voter Identification Laws

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Voter identification laws have been a major topic of discussion and source of tension over the past few election cycles in America. Lawmakers have been working quickly to enact these laws around the country since the contested 2000 election. These laws have risen out of a so-called need to combat widespread voter fraud in our elections; however, the laws are coming from one end of the political spectrum and have the tendency to only benefit that side 's electoral achievements. At the end of the day, everyone can agree that it is important to ensure the integrity of American elections; however, it is also important that access to the ballots remains equal, free, and fair. Many political scientists have poured time into studying these laws for …show more content…
Voter identification laws can be categorized in five different ways: strict photo ID, strict non-photo ID, non-strict photo ID, non-strict non-photo ID, and no ID requirement. Eight states have the most strict form of voter identification laws in place. The states with the most strict laws include Kansas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Why do these states have strict voter identification laws and others don 't? What do these states have in common? Most of these states are solid or leaning Republican states. Just because some states have strict voter identification laws and others have non-strict laws does not mean that the states with non-strict laws get by without being problematic to …show more content…
Because of this, the importance of maintaining and improving equality in access and ease of voting is relevant. Thirty-four states in total have passed voter identification laws in one form or another. Unfortunately, these laws are making voting more difficult for specific voters. These impacted voters are largely minorities and lower-income voters. Unfortunately, this territory is not unfamiliar or new to our country. With a history of poll taxes and literacy tests designed to discourage minority voters from voting, voter identification laws are just another chapter of the same book. Opponents of this form of legislation argue that these laws create a hurdle for minorities, specifically ethnic and racial minorities. Of course, most Americans have some form of photo identification; however, there is a percentage of voters that do not. Supporters of voter ID legislation argue that this is hardly a deterrence from voting. Because the opinion surrounding these laws is so divided, it is important for political scientists to study these laws with the goal of understanding their impact on voters. Based on the available information, it is clear that voter identification laws are crafted specifically to make voting more difficult for minorities and act as one of the last shouts of the white

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