A picture is worth one thousand words — or at least one vote. But not if U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has his way. Holder claims that the requirement passed by many states that voters must present a photo identification when casting a ballot is discriminatory and will serve to obstruct the voting rights of minorities.
How can the process of casting a ballot for those individuals who will set the course of your local or national governments be a less important activity than cashing a check, buying a beer or renting a car, all of which require a photo ID?
For all of these activities, requiring identification is for one simple purpose — to validate that the individual is exactly who they claim to be. The same holds true for casting a ballot, voters are only being asked to prove that they have the right to elect those officials with their ballots.
In fact, at the same Houston conference where Mr. Holder recently declared his opposition to requiring photo identification to vote, members of the media were required to “present government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials to gain entry to the annual conference to cover their proceedings.”
Popular arguments claim that requiring identification to vote discriminates against minority groups, senior citizens and college students. With IDs required for nearly every function of daily life, it’s hard to imagine how one could not have a photo ID. Even welfare programs, which disproportionately cater to the same minority and senior population supposedly disenfranchised as a result of ID requirements to vote, commonly require a photo ID for enrollment.
Requiring a picture ID to vote is the most effective way to ward off voter fraud. Troubling voters to provide the same verification required to buy a pack of cigarettes or see an R-rated movie is a small price to pay to ensure elections are clean and fair.