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Voter ID makes sense—even Stacy Abrams agrees

Boarding an airplane, buying a bottle of wine, claiming unemployment benefits…each instance requires a government-issued photo ID. Yet politicians aren’t falling over themselves to claim that requiring an ID to walk down the jet way, pick up a bottle of merlot, or file a claim for benefits is a burden or discrimination.

Surprisingly, those who oppose requiring an ID to vote are inexplicably more comfortable with stringent ID requirements on something as banal as buying a bottle of wine than being required to prove who you are to participate in the high-stakes act of casting a ballot in an election.

Earlier this year, politicians, media personalities, and big corporations attempted to cancel the state of Georgia for an election integrity bill passed in the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp.

The MLB moved the All-Star Game in protest, and the mob all but bullied Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines into parroting their opposition to the law. And Stacy Abrams, of course, offered her two cents, saying that the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 (SB202) was “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”

One provision of the law requires voters to provide a government-issued form of identification to vote by mail. The Left—Representative Jim Clyburn (SC) and the ACLU, just to name a few—often accuse any legislation requiring identification to vote of being disenfranchising and racist.

If activist voices claim that requiring a government-issued form of ID to vote is inherently racist, then why do a majority of all African-American voters support it?

Proving your identity just makes sense

Perhaps because proving that you are who you say you are—in any high-stakes situation—just makes sense to the average American voter.

A government-issued form of photo identification is required for opening a bank account, applying for food stamps, and renting an apartment—just to name a few examples. Why? So that someone with bad intentions can’t open account in your name for nefarious purposes, get government benefits in your name and commit fraud, or sign a lease in your name and trash your credit score.

Proof of identity adds a layer of security and protects you and your interests.

The same goes for voting. Were someone to impersonate you—and they try—you would lose your opportunity to cast your ballot and have your voice heard, a foundational part of being a citizen of this country.

Because government-issued forms of identification are free to obtain, they are not an obstacle or barrier to participation any more than showing ID would be an obstacle to renting a car, buying a house, or opening a bank account.

There’s nothing more disenfranchising than cheating

Voters being disenfranchised is a legitimate concern. Participation is the foundation of democracy, and when people don’t trust the election process, they’re more inclined to sit out when it comes time to vote. And after the last election cycle, confidence is waning: Less than 60% of all voters were confident that ballots would be accurately cast and counted.

And this is where showing a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot comes in: It simultaneously confirms your identity and precludes anyone from stealing it from you.

Election fraud is a real problem. And there are few things that are as disenfranchising as having your vote canceled out by someone who cheated by voting fraudulently.

During the 2020 election, mail-in voting was utilized more than ever before—more than 65 million ballots were returned by mail for the presidential election alone. However, many issues arose, identifying loopholes that revealed jurisdictions weren’t prepared to handle the influx because, in many states, no form of identification is required to vote by mail at all.

In Nevada, for example, more than 40,000 voters hadn’t updated their information in over a decade, and inevitably many of these people were deceased. The issue was made worse when every registered voter was mailed a ballot—regardless of whether they were still among the living—meaning voters cast ballots under the names of deceased relatives, some in several election cycles in a row. Voter rolls need to be updated and well-maintained but requiring a government-issued ID to vote would ensure those who are voting aren’t doing so with the ballots of those who aren’t eligible.

Every ineligible vote cancels out an eligible one. That is disenfranchisement.

Protecting the vote is popular

Requiring a government-issued ID to vote is popular because it just makes sense. When polled, 68% of all African American voters say they support requiring a government-issued ID to vote if that ID is free to obtain. And 57% say they would support requiring mail-in voting to include an identifier like an ID number from a driver’s license or other government-issued form of ID.

A 2015 study determined that 93% of all voters do, indeed, have a form of photo ID. Meanwhile, in states like Georgia that require one to vote, they are free to obtain. So the claim of the Left that African Americans can’t obtain a form of ID because they can’t access the internet is condescending and the definition of racism.

Commonsense moderate Democrats know voter ID works and that isn’t an attempt at voter suppression. Sens. Manchin and Sinema have always said “no thanks” to any legislation that omits voter ID. Even Stacy Abrams is changing her tune now that she sees how popular the policy is among voters of all parties.

Showing a government-issued form of ID protects your vote just as showing an ID before making a big purchase protects you from an identity thief going on a shopping spree on your dime. Voting is a profound part of the civic lives of Americans—and for that, voters should be protected.

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