Does the U.S. need stricter voter ID laws? | The Tylt
Does the U.S. need stricter voter ID laws?
A federal appeals court granted Texas the ability to reinstate a strict voter ID measure while the court assesses the constitutionality of the law. Proponents of voter ID laws, such as President Donald Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, argue requiring voter identification is a common sense solution to preventing voter fraud and protect the legitimacy of U.S. elections.
The Department of Justice released a statement supporting the ruling, citing the importance of maintaining the "integrity of the ballot."
"We are pleased that the Fifth Circuit has stayed the injunction and allowed Texas to proceed with its duly enacted voter identification laws. Preserving the integrity of the ballot is vital to our democracy, and the Fifth Circuit’s order allows Texas to continue to fulfill that duty as this case moves forward."
But civil rights activists assert that voter fraud is extremely rare and not everyone has a government issued ID. More than anything, the purpose of voter ID laws is to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters.
Although voter ID laws are commonly justified as a measure to combat voter fraud at the polls, such fraud barely exists. Yet, as the Fifth Circuit explained, the law’s impact on minority voters is quite real. As one expert witness testified, “Hispanic registered voters and Black registered voters were respectively 195% and 305% more likely than their Anglo peers to lack voter ID.”