Voter Id Laws In The United States

1600 words - 7 pages

Voter ID laws in the United States have begun to create controversy since the beginning of its adaptations in the early 2000’s. Voter ID laws in the United States is a law that requires U.S. citizens to have a special form of identification in order to vote in an election. The idea with Voter ID laws is that the state must make sure that the laws do not pose any sort of burden on the voters. These laws have been proposed in order to stop voting fraud. However, the institution of Voter ID laws have made trouble in states, including Texas, regarding to the various amount of identification requirements needed.
The idea of Voter ID laws began to sprung after the 2000 election, when George W. Bush won Florida after it was too close to call. The main issue that surfaced after the election was in regards to voter fraud. The first Voter ID law was the Help America Vote Act, which was signed into law by President Bush which required all first time voters of general elections to present a photo Id upon registering and voting. Help America Vote Act, or HAVA for short, was a coordinated attempt by Republicans to enhance security regarding the casting of ballots. HAVA also helped establish the Election Assistance Commission which would be in charge of creating new ballots and adjusting the security. This act was the first one that gave voters various options to use regarding the verification of their identity. After HAVA was signed into law, states began to act on the new proposals for Voter ID laws. Arizona was the first state to pass a Voter ID law, requiring citizens to have a state-issued photo ID when they were going to vote. In other states, proposals for similar laws began to pop up.
Civil Rights groups have launched various lawsuits against Voter ID laws, claiming that the laws were unconstitutional. In Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a lawsuit that was taken to the Supreme Court, the court ruled that Indiana’s Voter ID law was constitutional. In this case, William Crawford argued that the new law was unconstitutional. The result of this trial was a landmark case for states who wanted to implement similar laws in their territories. Voter ID laws have gained public support, as these laws are made to fight voter fraud and to protect the honor of each ballot that is casted in election days. According to a 2006 Pew poll, 86 percent of Republicans along with 71 percent of Democrats said that laws should exist which made voters present a valid photo ID when they wanted to vote.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in Texas Voter ID laws are “strict” meaning that a voter cannot vote with a valid ballot without first representing a photo ID. When a person does not present a valid photo ID, they vote with a provisional ballot that will only be counted if the voter returns with an acceptable form of identification. In late 2013, the Obama administration filed a complaint against the Voter ID law that Texas was proposing. This...

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