Purple Public - The Political Voice For Moderate Americans

Voter ID Laws by State

Voter ID Laws Explained

Ah, voter ID laws sound simple enough right. I mean after all, we want to make sure our elections are as clean and honest as possible right?

So what is all the hubbub about in the news lately regarding some of these new voter ID laws. Well, it is NOT so much the voter ID part as it is the "photo voter ID" part.

Lets start out this discussion with a simple test:

Go grab your wallet or purse and take out every officially approved government issued photo ID that you have in there. My guess is that a vast majority of you only have 1 officially approved government issued photo ID, and that is your driver's license.

So this begs the question...

What if you do NOT have a driver's license because you are either elderly, disabled, live in a large city and only use public transportation, you are to poor to afford a car, or you are in college and live on campus? How do you get to vote?

Well you have to go and try to obtain a seperate valid photo voter ID, provided by the state that you live in, which can be difficult to obtain especially for the poor, elderly, and disabled.

So while you may take having your own driver's license for granted, millions of other legally registered voters simply do NOT have one.

Therefore, if you currently live in one of the following photo voter ID states shown below, then you need to be aware of the new strict photo voter ID laws; which may deny you the right to vote in the 2012 election cycle.

Several states controlled by Republican governors and legislators have implemented strict photo voter ID laws with the intention of voter suppression.

It is widely known, that when voter turnout is low Republicans have a much better chance of winning elections. Therefore, by imposing strict new photo voter ID laws voter turnout can be significantly reduced through voter suppression.

To receive up-to-date information on the current voter ID laws and requirements in your state simply visit the following website: National Conference of State Legislatures

voter id laws by state

Voter Suppression Tactic

This unethical voter suppression tactic was most recently openly embraced and expressed by the Pennsylvania Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai:

"Voter ID which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the State of Pennsylvania... Done!"

     - Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania Republican House Majority Leader (June 23, 2012)

There is nothing more disheartening about the American political system than seeing politicians trying to deny legally registered citizens the right to vote.

Important Update - The new photo voter ID law in Pennsylvania has been struck down by the courts for the 2012 election cycle. You do NOT need a photo voter ID to vote on November 6, 2012 in Pennsylvania.

However, you will need a valid photo voter ID for the midterm elections in 2014.

Legal Challenges to Voter ID Laws

Many of these new strict photo voter ID laws are being challenged in court, and will most likely end up in front of the Supreme Court. They are being challenged because the new strict photo voter ID laws are in direct conflict with the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Requiring citizens to pay for a photo voter ID, or to travel long distances at great expense in order to obtain a photo voter ID would constitute a poll tax.

Poll Tax Definition:

A tax required as a qualification for voting. After the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution extended the vote to blacks in 1870, many southern states instituted poll taxes to prevent blacks from voting. The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1964, prohibits poll taxes for federal elections.

Voting Rights Act of 1965:

SEC. 2. No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.

Minorities are far less likely to have access to a valid photo ID. Therefore, they are being denied the right to vote in states with strict photo voter ID laws.