Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
The Arizona Eagletarian has already dealt with TownHall columnist Mona Charen’s pile of malarkey defending voter ID laws that appeared in Thursday’s Arizona Republican. I would add that the study that right wingers have been passing around like a doobie at a Willie Nelson concert that purportedly “proves” that a significant number of non-US citizens are registered to vote has been fact-checked and found to be lacking in conclusive evidence.
Voter ID laws are clearly a form of voter suppression targeting minorities and others likely to vote Democratic. It’s been described as similar to the poll taxes that were outlawed decades ago but they’re actually worse than that. You could at least pay the $10 poll tax and be able to vote. If you don’t have the required ID, however, you are not just possibly having to pay a fee (though the ID pushers insist that the IDs are always free), you may also be looking at having to take time off work and a long drive or several trips of public transportation to get whatever government agency dispenses the IDs, which may be oh-so-coincidentally located far from where you live. Voter ID laws are essentially a poll test for would-be voters who lack the privileges that make obtaining an ID a simple matter for people like Mona Charen.
If conservatives are truly concerned about ineligible people voting then why don’t they embrace the obvious solution for that? That would be a national ID, issued for free to all US citizens at age 16. It could be distributed through the schools, libraries, and post offices. The purpose of the card would be to determine eligibility to work and, at age 18, to prove US citizenship for voter registration. Local jurisdictions can then require other documents proving the voter’s address but there would be no doubt that the voter was an American citizen. (Please note that my proposal has nothing to do with immigration policy and it would have no impact on a non-citizen child’s ability to be enrolled in public school. Also, don’t annoy me with paranoid black helicopter conspiracy bullshit about a national ID. We already have forms of it, such as military IDs and passports.)
Conservatives pushing for voter ID laws have never embraced the simple solution of a national ID card because their goal is to deny the franchise to anyone who might disagree with them. Period.