What's Wrong with Voter ID Laws

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We shouldn’t have unnecessary barriers to participate in our democracy.

Strict voter identification law supporters argue these laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud and are not designed to suppress anyone's ability to vote. But we've known for a while that voter fraud is largely a myth.

A major problem with voter ID laws is that they vary dramatically by state, each applying an arbitrary definition of what is considered acceptable identification. The Wisconsin Legislature excludes student IDs from Wisconsin’s two-year technical colleges but permits IDs from four-year private universities. And it excludes valid out-of-state drivers’ licenses. In some states, gun permits are acceptable identification but university IDs are not. 

According to the ACLU, 17 states will have new restrictive voting laws in place this November. These laws include new hurdles to registration, cutbacks on early voting and strict voter identification requirements. Collectively, these 17 states are home to more than 110 million people and account for 189 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

Let’s be honest, voter suppression laws are about one thing—making it harder for working people to have a say in the future of our great country. The right of every citizen to participate in our democracy should be guaranteed.

More than 50 million eligible voters are unregistered, and people of color are overrepresented in the ranks of unregistered voters. Restrictive voter registration laws place the burden on individual voters to register and stay registered when they move or their information changes. Millions of registered voters regularly fall off the voting rolls, often without their knowledge. These complications also cause confusion and delay at the polls, resulting in long lines and a missed opportunity to vote.