I’ve not hidden my opposition to the recent wave of Voter ID laws being passed and pursued across the nation. I have written about this on this site, posted articles on the topic, and argued extensively on Facebook about this.
I have offered a simple mathematical challenge that no supporter of these laws has been able to meet: if it can be shown that more fraud would be prevented than voters being disenfranchised, I’ll change my mind and support these issues.
As I said, no supporter of these laws has been able to demonstrate this. They have given anecdotal evidence of random voter fraud, they have appealed to philosophical reasons behind this policy, and to try and show how the voters that would be disenfranchised wouldn’t deserve to to vote anyway because they would not be “enthusiastic”, “eager”, or “self-motivated” (because apparently every person without an ID only ever votes because liberal social activist organizations manipulate and pay them to vote Democrat).
Yesterday, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, among other organizations, officially filed suit against the Commonwealth, claiming that the Voter ID law passed by Governor Tom Corbett violates the Commonwealth’s Constitution. They seem to have a pretty good case.
The article I’ve linked to above is definitely worth a read–for both supporters and opponents alike. It gives many situations in which these laws keep people from voting, tells how the bureaucracy keeps people from getting these IDs, and explains the numerous legal and constitutional problems involved in enacting such legislation.
I know I’m speaking out of bias, but this article seems to settle the issue in my book.
As I’ve (perhaps too provocatively) said, I believe the right to vote is a more fundamental right than the right to a fraud-free election. Rights will always exist in tension with one another, and we must make value-judgments as to which ones we hold higher. If we find ourselves sin a place where the there is a conflict between our election being “free” or “fair”, and if it seems we must err, I believe we should err on the side of freedom–which, I would say is, ironically, a much more “conservative” way of thinking.
What do you think? Does this change your mind, or only further confirm what you were already thinking?