Opinions vary for voter ID law

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Bipartisan controversy over voter ID laws has many legislators and voters engaged in heated argument.

Voter fraud and speculation of illegal immigrants casting ballots in states such as Arizona have added kindling to the fiery debate. Those opposed to the legislation say that the laws would disenfranchise the poor and other demographic groups.

It is ridiculous that customers have to show their IDs for insignificant transactions, such as buying liquid paper, but not for the right of voting, for which precious American lives have been sacrificed.

MCT Campus.

The most recent event linked with the controversy occurred when a federal court in Washington, D.C., struck down a law proposed by Texas legislation. The trio of justices on the court’s panel rejected Texas’ plan, saying that the bill was the strictest of its kind.

Sophomore political science and theology major, Zach Craig has been keeping up with the court decisions and said, “You’re restricting a lot more people than you’re actually stopping from voting illegally.”

Senior cell biology major Jake Bowen believes voters should be required to show an ID.

He said, “I think that’d be a good idea. They should have a photo identification of somebody before they voted. You know by their name, and by their looks that they are that person.”

According to the New York Times, the panel said calling for a form of identification combined with redistricting of electoral maps violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The opposition to voter ID legislation argues that it is too difficult for some citizens to obtain picture identification, despite that five different forms are accepted.

Dr. Janet Adamski, professor of history and political science at UMHB said, “There are five forms of ID acceptable in Texas. A driver’s license, a passport, a concealed handgun license would be acceptable. One of the things that the court was pointing to was that some places are either making a free form of ID available, or they’re allowing multiple forms of ID.”

The problem concerning the unpaid election ID is the requirement of a birth certificate. If they’re missing that document, they have to request a copy for $22.

Adamski sees a common goal through the rhetoric.

She said, “I think one of the things both sides would agree on is nobody wants folks to vote who shouldn’t vote. I think where they might disagree is on the scale of where that’s happening.”

Author: Antonio Hebert

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