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The Fight Over Voter Identification Laws


The two dueling parties in the American political system will do anything to gain an advantage over the other. The most recent example of this is an initiative to require the presentation of voter identification at the ballot, which has been inspired overwhelmingly by Republican lawmakers. Numerous states-primarily located in the South-have enacted such measures, using as justification the need to preserve integrity in our elections. Interestingly enough, however, the referred-to measures may have the opposite effect-that is, it may undermine voter's rights.

In Pennsylvania-where a district court upheld the legislature's decision-the bill already has begun to stir up controversy. It has become commonplace for politicians to alienate themselves from one another on party lines, and in this particular matter the former has held true. Democrats argue that the bill will suppress votes among President Obama's supporters, as statistics prove that many minority voters inclined to vote Democrat are without government-issued identification cards. Republicans, meanwhile, have reiterated their concern for election fraud, and see the bill as a necessary remedy.

Although both sides seem to suggest valid reasons for their positions, a controversial statement issued by Pennsylvania House Speaker has destabilized positive political discourse. The Republican official is quoted as saying that the new requirement will "allow Governor Mitt Romney to win the state." Despite such an indicative remark, the court ruled in favor of the bill stating that he did not have the liberty to rule based on sympathy, and sees the bill as "nonpartisan and even-handed." The ruling has been appealed and now awaits the opinion of the state's Supreme Court.

As of right now, the Louisiana legislature has not proposed any bills similar in content. However, as November nears and the appeals are heard in Pennsylvania, other states-Louisiana included-may move to adopt voter identification measures. Please stay informed of any new developments; you can learn more about this issue HERE.

by Michael Oro, Contributing Writer

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