There has been a lot of talk recently from Democrats about a Republican conspiracy to “suppress” voters. Basically the brouhaha revolves around requiring voter IDs to be able to vote. Since a small minority, which just so happens to be heavily Democratic leaning, does not have such IDs, the Democrats are mad and trying to discredit such measures with charges that these changes are examples of voter “suppression”.
Both sides are being opportunistic. The Dems resist the ID laws, and the Republicans favor them, because each party will benefit or suffer due to how they are implemented. However, despite the opportunism, the Republicans are generally right on the issue, and the Dems. are guilty of irresponsibly gross exaggeration, just as they did when they fomented hysteria about a nonexistent “war on women”.
The reality is that people should have to present a photo ID to vote, just as they have to do for every other important transaction, where proving the identity of the person is important. Just try using your credit/debit card or cashing a check without one. As far as I know all functioning nations require an official photo ID to do any government transaction including voting. Spain is absolutely this way. When I wanted to get a criminal report in Virginia for my Spanish visa I had to present two photo IDs. Is getting one´s criminal report more important than voting? I don´t think so.
It seems to me that if people are so out of it and dysfunctional that obtaining a photo ID is beyond their capacity, then maybe they should not vote. Voting is an important right and duty and should not be taken lightly. There are already too many stupid and ignorant people voting with their emotions as it is without a clue about what is really going on. This race to the bottom has not helped the nation. But is has been pursued by the Democrats because lowering voting standards helps their party. It is reasonable to expect minimal standards from those who shape our electoral process, and I think that having a valid photo ID is both necessary to reduce voter fraud and to set a very minimal standard to vote.
A couple of other caveats. Having national ID for all citizens and legal immigrants would drastically reduce identity theft and voter fraud. We would also instantly be able to tell who is in the country legally. It would resolve A LOT of confusion, duplication and fraud related to identification. Instead of a mish mash of 50 different state IDs, we would have one. For some reason neither party wants to touch it. We can have The Patriot Act, NDAA, illegal suveillance, but apparently having a national ID card is just too fascist. In Spain everyone has one, it simplifies identification, and there is nothing fascist or tyrannical about it. The system works well. In fact every country in the world except American and the UK have one. Maybe they are onto something.
Finally, if the Republicans go beyond photo ID laws and engage in genuine voter suppression, then I will oppose it. And it may happen. The Republican party is highly corrupt and up to anything. Unit then I will criticize the Dems. for their demagoguery and fear mongering over sensible measure to reduce voter fraud.