Some call it “voter suppression.” Others say it's a legitimate effort to cut down on voter fraud. Thirty states since 2008 have introduced laws making it harder to cast a ballot, according to the ACLU.
The civil liberties group has criticized state laws requiring voters to produce government identification at the polls.
“In fact, while documented instances of voter fraud are almost nonexistent—nationally, the Department of Justice found just 26 cases over a three-year period—up to 5 million potential voters may be kept from the ballot box by these laws,” the ACLU said in a recent newsletter.
A recent Christian Science Monitor poll, however, found that 77 percent of registered voters support voter ID laws.
“By giving us a reliable way to verify the identity of each voter, the voter ID law will enhance confidence in our elections," Pennsylvania's chief elections official, Carol Aichele, said recently after that state's voter ID law was upheld in court against a challenge by civil rights groups.
What do you think, Patch readers? Are these laws aimed at suppressing voter turnout? Or are they simply a common-sense way to ensure that only registered voters cast ballots?
Additional reporting by Patch Staff.