Following the 2016 general election, Donald J. Trump, the USA’s liar in chief, claimed that a minimum of three million, and possibly as many as five million, non-citizens voted illegally for Hillary R. Clinton. On January fourth, 2017 President Elect Trump called for voter suppression by advocating for a falsely labeled Voter ID law. Voter ID is both a solution in search of a problem and a seemingly benign common-sense anodyne that harms no one. In actuality, it is a way to suppress the vote of economically disadvantaged Americans.
The population of the USA hovers around 325 million, of which 273 million have reached voting age. One-hundred-thirty-seven-million votes were cast in the 2016 election with just under 66 million voting for HRC and nearly 63 million voting DJT. Trump claims that as much as seven and one-half percent of Clinton’s votes were cast illegally, a claim for which there is no evidence.
It is, however, estimated that eleven percent, that’s over thirty-million, US citizens of voting age do not have identification cards. That estimate rises from eleven percent to 25% of African Americans of voting age. There are nearly 30 million African Americans of voting age and if Trump’s voter identification law were to become law of the land seven million African Americans would be precluded from exercising their right to vote.
The population that lacks identification papers tends to be less wealthy. Less wealthy populations, especially African Americans, tend to vote Democrat, not Republican. Voter ID requirements are a highly effective way to reduce votes for the Democrat Party and therefore are un-American. The problem of voter fraud is small and the solution steals voting rights from 30 million citizens whose “crime” consists of being poor.
While there is great doubt that voter fraud is a large problem there is zero doubt that Voter ID would suppress voting by marginalized citizens; you know, the ones who can’t buy politicians or policy via large campaign contributions or lobbyist? If the USA enacts a Voter ID mandate, then we must first make a federally accepted ID free to any US citizen who desires it and we must make access to this ID as easy as going to a grocery store.
Many disenfranchised, economically disadvantaged people are leery of police, courts and government in general. Going to the DMV can involve hours of waiting and DMV locations are not easily accessed by all. If we need Voter ID then we must first make Voter ID available in schools, hospitals, houses of worship, lottery dealers, liquor stores and a host of locations that are not part of government bureaucracy.
A list of of acceptable identification papers or documents must be made accessible to people who are functionally illiterate, who have no access to the internet and have neither the time nor the finances to travel distance and spend hours getting a voter ID in order that they might keep exercising their lawful right to vote. If we are to require US citizens to show proof of identification at the voting booth then we must make access to that ID as easy as buying a beer.
Donald Trump received eight percent of the African American vote. Seems that DJT and the GOP have a strong interest in presenting a need for Voter ID while actually pushing an agenda that will keep the poor from voting in general and from voting Democrat in particular.
If the goal of voter ID is reducing voter fraud and not voter suppression, then make the act fit the need.