| || ||
Welcome to the new home of Lee's Summit Tribune. We are dedicated to providing you the most current and accurate news and events in Lee's Summit
Voter ID ensures one voice, one vote
Feb. 4, 2012
By Ramsey Fowler
America has evolved quite drastically from its original voting restrictions, which allowed only white males to vote. In 1870, the 15th amendment allowed former slaves to cast a ballot. In 1920, women were allowed to participate, and in 1924, Native Americans were added to the list. The most recent changes occurred in 1970, when the voting age was decreased from 21 to 18.
It’s quite evident that having the right to vote is a privilege worth fighting for. The election process is the foundation of what democracy in America was based upon.
Voter identification requirements continue to be a controversial topic. Legislation regarding this matter is currently pending in 26 states. This includes 13 states (Missouri is one of them) that have proposed to strengthen existing identification requirements. Sadly, 16 states do not require a photo id and will accept utility bills, bank statements or gun permits instead. This is incomprehensible to me. A photo ID is required to open a bank account, legally obtain a gun permit, attend high school events, shop at Sam’s Club or even rent a movie at Blockbuster! Why not be proud to confirm your identification when casting your vote? Unless, of course, you are not who you claim to be or don’t have the initiative to go about securing a valid ID.
Voter fraud does happen and should be seen as a serious threat to all. Last week, South Carolina’s Attorney General, Alan Wilson, informed the United State’s Justice Department that 953 ballots had been cast by deceased people in the recent Palmetto State elections. Just last month, Romney was declared the winner in Iowa by 8 votes, only to find out later that Santorum really won the caucus by 34 votes. In 2000, former president George W. Bush secured the presidency by 537 votes in a Florida recount. These are prime examples of how every vote really does count and can sway any election.
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law stated, “Every voter should demonstrate that they are who they say they are before voting. That form of proof should not include restrictive documentation requirements like overly burdensome photo IDs.” Overly burdensome? Give me a break! We all have worries in our lives, but I don’t think many of us are “overly burdened” by obtaining a drivers license, school ID or voter card! The Obama administration has come out against requiring a photo ID, and the Congressional Black Caucus declared it will “disenfranchise” many African American voters. You can’t board an airplane without a state issued ID. Is that also disenfranchising African Americans? I don’t think so. It’s insulting to assume that any American citizen, African
American or Caucasian, can’t figure out how to obtain a state issued ID card of some sort. All you have to do is bring proper documentation to the DMV and smile. If a citizen is unwilling to do this, then I can’t imagine how they could assume the responsibility of locating their assigned precinct and voting on controversial policies.
Recently I went with my friends to the movies. We were all asked to show our licenses to prove we were 17. None of us felt “overly burdened” or “disenfranchised” at this request.
Showing proper ID is not restrictive, but admirable and an honest gesture. It’s been implemented for centuries for the sole purpose of proving who we are. What’s the problem?
The election process is sacred. Its integrity must be upheld for proof of fair and just elections. We show our licenses every day for stupid things. The least Americans can do for the love of our great country is to support identification voting laws. This will ensure voter identity and truly secure one voice one vote.
God Bless America!
Ramsey Fowler is a senior at Lee’s Summit West High School.
Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Power Of Prayer In Lee’s Summit #PrayforQ