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To start, it’s shocking to see the disparity of representation on this topic. Eighty percent of Americans believe voters should have an ID to vote. 

It’s also worth noting 63% of Democrats believe you should have an ID to cast a ballot, which makes sense. You need an ID to drive a car, purchase alcohol and buy a gun. 

Yet most of the time, we have politician after politician decry voting ID laws as racist.

2020 presidential hopeful and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) tweeted:

People assert this because according to the media consensus, Republicans want to suppress the African American vote. An odd assertion, considering blue states like Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Virginia and Washington have voter ID laws, yet no one seems to call their politicians racist. 

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A sample Ohio driver's license. [Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles]

This is because people know you should an ID to vote.

As Rhode Island State Senator Harold Metts (D) stated back in 2012, “It’s time to stop crying wolf and make the voter-ID law work for those on both sides of this issue who want to ensure the integrity of the system, while guarding against disenfranchisement.”

The same party that decries “Moscow Mitch” McConnell for allegedly not caring about democracy are the same ones who won’t condemn undocumented immigrants from voting. Yet they want the highest forms of election security. It’s rather odd because if we want fair elections without the influence of foreign countries, we should make sure only legal citizens vote.

People also assert voting ID laws determine the outcome of elections. This is false. They also assert voting ID laws decrease voter turnout. This is also false.

I want people to vote and I understand voter ID laws aren’t exactly financially friendly. I would be willing to address low and unequal voting representation by lowering the costs of voter registration and providing public transportation to low-income neighborhoods specifically for voting. 

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, arrives at a lectern to speak to reporters following the Republican policy luncheon at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Sept. 24, 2019.

It’s the reasoning I want people to vote and have fair elections that I want voter ID laws. Voter ID laws are created to ensure no one misrepresents you. Voter ID laws were created to ensure that the few people who try to interfere with our elections can’t. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said “For the record, our democracy is revered around the world. And free elections are the best way on Earth to choose our leaders. This is how we elected John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, two George Bushes, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It has worked for decades.”

I believe in order to ensure democracy we should be in favor of having an ID to cast a ballot.

Opinion Editor

Schell-Olsen has been with The News Record since Aug. 2018. He frequently writes about politics, society and elections.