In Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy, I wrote about voter registration. There have been multiple bills to make it easier to register to vote and multiple bills to make it harder. In this post, I offer a point of view on this. It is not intended to be political.
It is easy to say the voter ID laws in some states should not be a problem. The argument is people have driver licenses and, when they go to a hotel or an office building, they have to show an ID. The fact is there are millions of people who do not have a driver license. There are also millions of people who don’t go to hotels or office buildings. I believe such people should be able to vote, but I also believe they should have an ID. The Washington Post said, “The lack of an ID not only makes it more difficult to vote in several states, but it also often makes individuals dependent on check-cashing operations that charge high commissions.” The problem is likely to grow as more states implement voter ID laws.
A number of political leaders have proposed the Social Security Administration include a photo on the cards they issue. Another alternative is the State Department could eliminate the $55 passport fee. In both cases, these alternatives could be limited to those with low incomes. Either alternative could make it easier for more Americans to vote. The United States ranks #31 out of the top 34 developed countries. We can do better.
Those who oppose “national ID” cards worry about privacy. I believe a universal ID card would enable us to have Internet voting and strengthen our democracy. I would not favor a Federal database for national ID cards. This could provide a huge target for the black hats. A simple solution is to have the states use an ID standard which the Federal government has in place and which was developed in conjunction with the states. This would allow the states to issue the cards in the same way they issue driver licenses. A citizen would need one or the other to register to vote. They would both use the same data standards. This could work. Read more about the American registration and voting system in Election Attitude.