Essay on Constitutionality of Voter Id Laws

1044 Words 5 Pages
Voter ID Laws

Voter ID laws require “voters to present a valid form of identification that is congruent with the specific legislation” of the state in which they reside before voting. As of now, thirty-four states have passed legislation requiring voters to present some form of identification at the polls. “These forms of identification range in degree, from requiring a strict photo ID” to requesting identification without the requirement of a picture. “Some states do not require any documentation to vote” (NCSL).1 Voter ID cards can legally be attained by any United States citizen, yet controversy “regarding the constitutionality of Voter ID Laws has arisen due to the cost of voter ID’s” (Identification Cards).2 Concerns associated
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United States).5 Additionally, the case Smith v. Allwright overturned the Texas state law authorizing the Democratic Party to set voting rules, including the “implementation of primaries in which any non-white voter was prohibited from voting in.” This also prohibited “black voters from participating in elections, while only relying on the votes of white residents” (Smith v. Allwright).6 Just as denying African Americans the right to vote in the 1800’s left them oppressed, Voter ID Laws marginalize people in lower socioeconomic classes today. People who do not have cars and who do not live in cities with apt public transportation systems, work jobs that prevent them from going to the DMV, or do not have the financial ability to attain a voter ID card or its required documents are not able to vote today. Their financial situation may have been predetermined in many ways due to the situation they were born into, as African American had no control over the occupation and voting eligibility of their grandfathers.
The 14th Amendment further shows how Voter ID Laws are unconstitutional. The 14th Amendment addresses citizenship rights, contains the Privileges or “Immunities Clause, the Due

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