Requiring a voter ID is just common sense.

Voting, some say, is the most precious right of a citizen in a democracy, one that deserves the utmost protections. Yet the American Civil Liberties Union and others are assailing as as "voter suppression." In other words,  it sounds like a conspiracy to suppress the votes of the poor, minorities and others that rich, white men don't want to participate in self-government.


I'm not hot to require voters to show some sort of identification to prove that they are whom they say. Nor can I argue that photo IDs, for example, would do much to stop voter fraud in places like Chicago. And I sympathize with the argument that it's another government requirement the robs us of our time and energy.

But the rhetoric against the requirement is idiotic. And demagogic.

Case in point is the ACLU's plans to file suit to overturn a Wisconsin voter ID law. It's a "severe burden on the right to vote" and is "undermining the very legitimacy of democracy." Right. Just as requiring a photo driver's license is undermining our Republic. Or showing an ID before boarding a plan is eating away at our most fundamental rights.

Seems to me that the arguments against producing a voter's ID are paternalistic and racist. Those poor African Americans are just too stupid to figure out how to get an ID. And so forth.

The ACLU's Wisconsin suit ask for an injunction against the new law and compensation for the lawyer's fees. The latter pretty much explains it all because, pray tell, we don't want to put ACLU lawyers out of business.




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  • Yes, because driving a car and boarding a plane are civil liberties enshrined in our Constitution. Oh, wait; they're not. You'd do well to glance at our founding document from time to time. It's a pretty good read.

    Allow me to educate you on the subject, as you are in great need of instruction. It's not that poor or homeless people are "too stupid to get IDs." It's that they cannot obtain IDs without OTHER documents, such as a birth certificate or social security guard. If you're living on the street, you're probably not walking around with either of those documents in your back pocket. And guess what? It costs MONEY to obtain new copies of them.

    Thus, because these people cannot vote without an ID, and an ID cannot be obtained without spending money to acquire other documents, Wisconsin has in effect instituted a modern poll tax, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    For further reading on fundamental American principles, please visit:

  • States, not the U.S. Constitution, set voting ID regulations. The courts have supported the constitutionality of voter IDs. In Illinois and most other states, you must show identification when you register, so what's the problem? Here is the language from the Illinois Board of Elections for how to register to vote:

    "If you do not have a driver’s license, State Identification Card or social security number, and this form is submitted by mail, and
    you have never registered to vote in the jurisdiction you are now
    registering in, then you must send, with this application, either (i)
    a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or (ii) a copy of a
    current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck,
    or other government document that shows the name and address
    of the voter. If you do not provide the information required above,
    then you will be required to provide election officials with either (i)
    or (ii) described bove the first time you vote at a voting place or
    by absentee ballot."

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You've totally missed the point.

    Ever try to obtain or renew a state-issued ID when you don't have any money? Or are disabled? Or elderly? It's enough of a pain in the arse to do it as an able-bodied young woman with a steady income. That's voter suppression & that's unconstitutional.

    Not to mention, it costs money to obtain a state-issued ID. To require a state ID to vote is, essentially, a poll tax. A poll tax is, unconstitutional.

    & don't think for one moment that suddenly requiring a state-issued ID would solve any supposed voter fraud problems in this state or otherwise. Making Judges of Election (which I am) essentially becoming bouncers? Well, that's great in theory ... not so hot in practice. Because laws are never - or routinely - broken because people have provided fake IDs.

    This is one of those issues, like requiring drug testing for food stamps, that looks fairly straightforward upon first glance, but, when given actual thought, is much more complicated than that. Like I said, lucky me, being an able-bodied woman with easy access to get a state-issued ID & the financial means to do so. To assume, however, that every United States citizen has these same ways & means is arrogant & presumptive.

  • Exactly. Dennis missed the glaringly obvious yet again. A poll tax, under any circumstance, is unconstitutional. Doesn't matter what state law dictates -- our constitutional rights take legal precedence over anything Wisconsin can cook up to solve an invented problem.

    ACLU and NLCHP are dead on.

  • In reply to CommonSense:

    "our constitutional rights take legal precedence over anything "

    Nevertheless, the right to life of the unborn plums evades the ACLU at every turn.

    Common sense plum evaded the ACLU from the time Roger Baldwin was a pup.

  • Illinois' ID card for 5 years is $20, which is $4 a year. Here are the free cards:
    Identification Card for persons 65 or older issued Free
    Identification Card for persons with disabilities issued Free
    Identification Card for persons Homeless Free

    You can obtain ID cards at secretary of state facilities listed here:

    1. Aurora
    2. Bridgeview
    3. Chicago Central
    4. Chicago Diversey Express
    5. Chicago Heights
    6. Chicago Loop Express
    7. Chicago North
    8. Chicago Public Service
    9. Chicago South
    10. Chicago West
    11. Deerfield
    12. Elgin
    13. Elk Grove Village
    14. Joliet
    15. Libertyville
    16. Lockport Express
    17. Lombard
    18. Melrose Park
    19. Midlothian
    20. Naperville
    21. Niles
    22. Orland Park Express
    23. Plano
    24. Schaumburg
    25. South Holland
    26. Waukegan
    27. West Chicago
    28. Wheaton Express
    29 Woodstock
    Do you have statistics to back up the contention that requiring an ID (or driver's license) would impose an undue burden on, as you would have it, so many people as to be as unconstitutional and as suppressive as a poll tax? Yes, poll taxes are unconstitutional and I'm glad they are. But the courts have upheld voter IDs and if the Supreme Court ever agrees with you that they are unconstitutional, then so be it.

    Yes, it requires that someone who wants to vote must exercise a certain degree of effort, but to argue that it rises to unconstitutionally burdensome levels is ludicrous.

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