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Voter Id Laws And Their Impact

880 words - 4 pages

In light of a recent effort of Pennsylvania to enact a law regarding registered voters to show a valid identification, the issue is raised that this requirement will adversely impact Pennsylvania residents between the ages of 18 and 29, consequently lowering voter turnout for this particular group. What can be done to lessen the impact of this requirement and how the state can go about implementing a smooth compliance with its citizens will be discussed.
On one hand, Democratic officials’ et al. maintains this requirement will disenfranchise this age group and they will simply give up in frustration (doc. 1, doc. 11). From this perspective, the 18 to 29 year old is shown to be unintelligent, unable make an informed decision, and consider the political process "anti-student"(doc.1). They also cluster the students with other groups of people such as older Americans and African Americans, claiming they too would also be adversely impacted by any requirements to show valid ID (doc. 11).
On the other hand, leading Republican officials, alongside ¾ of Americans polled by the Washington post, oppose that view and consider voter identification laws as a means to prevent voter fraud (doc 8). Any law requiring voters to show valid ID that is being passed is not specifically aimed at one particular age group, ethnicity, or gender. It is not intended to “disenfranchise” any particular group of voters. After all conservatives ask, what groups of Americans are not able to acquire free things from the government? A few examples are: Older Americans sign up for Social Security, Americans sign up for welfare if needed, college students use free things all the time (doc 11).
Yet, research shows that in the 2012 election only 67.63% of all registered voters in Pennsylvania voted in that election. The same research goes on to reveals that only 8% of all voters registered in Pennsylvania are in the 18-24 age groups (doc 2); it is unclear how many of them actually voted. As a result of the research the problem is not necessarily a requirement to have voters identify themselves, but the overall lack of voters in the 18 to 24 age group. The fact that only 8% of the 18-24 age group voted, could reflect this age groups lack of interest in politics or their feelings on whether or not they can positively change the status quo, their political efficacy (text, p 149). This particular election did not require the voter ID, so the disenfranchise argument does not hold up to the numbers in the research, it should have been lower. This more closely aligns with an explanation by a...

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