• 7. Make voter registration easier
    Take your position.
    • Oppose
    • Support
    • Very
    • Somewhat

A voter ID law is a law that requires some form of identification in order to vote or receive a ballot for an election. In the United States, voter ID laws are in place in thirty-three states. At the federal level, the 2002 Help America Vote Act requires a voter ID for all new voters in federal elections who registered by mail and who did not provide a driver's license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number that was matched against government records.

Twelve states now require voters to show some form of photo identification (see table below), with approximately thirteen other states pursuing similar legislation. Some of the states that were pursuing new photo identification requirements were legally bound to apply for Federal Preclearance prior to enacting any new election laws. Federal Preclearance stems from the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, in the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder, the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 4(b) of the Act, which contains the formula determining which states are required to seek preclearance, as unconstitutional based on current conditions, saying it was rational and needed at the time it was enacted but is no longer an accurate formula, based on the changing demographics of the country. In effect, federal preclearance is no longer a requirement until its formula can be deemed as constitutional, and states that had passed photo identification requirements but had not received federal preclearance were allowed to immediately take effect.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Official Democratic Position

We believe the right to vote and to have your vote counted is an essential American freedom, and we oppose laws that place unnecessary restrictions on those seeking to exercise that freedom. Democrats have a proud history of standing up for the right to vote. During the Obama administration, the Justice Department has initiated careful, thorough, and independent reviews of proposed voting changes, and it has prevented states from implementing voter identification laws that would be harmful to minority voters. Democrats know that voter identification laws can disproportionately burden young voters, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and we refuse to allow the use of political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012
Official Republican Position

Honest elections are the foundation of representative government. We support State efforts to ensure ballot access for the elderly, the handicapped, military personnel, and all authorized voters. For the same reason, we applaud legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud, particularly with regard to registration and absentee ballots. We support State laws that require proof of citizenship at the time of voter registration to protect our electoral system against a significant and growing form of voter fraud. Every time that a fraudulent vote is cast, it effectively cancels out a vote of a legitimate voter.

Voter fraud is political poison. It strikes at the heart of representative government. We call on every citizen, elected official, and member of the judiciary to preserve the integrity of the vote. We call for vigorous prosecution of voter fraud at the State and federal level.

Source: 2012 Republican Party Platform Aug 27, 2012
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