Voting restrictions in America
Hargie Randall at his home in Houston Wednesday May 19, 2016, was able to get his state ID with the help of an attorney after a clerical error in the spelling of his name was discovered.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Stravato via The Washington Post
Voting is a fundamental right and a great duty of every citizen. Historically, voter turnout during presidential elections is less than 60% of eligible voters. In part, this can be accredited to various voting restrictions that have been enacted in the past decade.
Since 2010, twenty-three states put new restrictions into effect. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “13 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place (and six states have strict photo ID requirements), 11 have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions.”
“A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to obtain an ID without the proper identification and papers. Many people will give up and not even bother trying to vote.” ~ Abbie Kamin, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center via The Washington Post
According to the Washington Post, about 11 percent of Americans do not have government-issued photo IDs. Some have called voting laws requiring a photo ID a sort of “poll tax” such as the tactics used during the Jim Crow era. It often imposes large fees and bureaucratic nightmares to assemble the necessary paperwork required and thus disproportionately affects elderly citizens, African Americans, Hispanics, and low-income residents.