By Rebekah Rast — You need a proper form of government ID to drive a vehicle, buy alcohol or tobacco products, and even to apply for welfare assistance, so why not require an ID to vote?
That’s the line of thinking of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who, along with South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, are filing suit against the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently rejected the state’s new Voter ID law, enforcing provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Last May, South Carolina state lawmakers passed a law requiring voters show a valid, state-approved photo ID before they cast a ballot. But the U.S. Justice Department rejected the law saying it discriminated against minority voters.
But when you need a valid form of government ID in so many other daily situations, how is it discriminatory to ask for one before exercising your right to vote?
States like Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Kansas, Tennessee and, if approved by the Department of Justice, Texas, all have strict photo ID voting laws. South Carolina hopes to join them.
Supporters of voter ID say it helps to prevent voter fraud.
“Voting in this country is one of our most valuable honors and rights as U.S. citizens,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “If people lose trust in the voting system then our entire democracy and the framework of our government is lost. Requiring voters to show a valid ID is an easy step to take that keeps people’s trust in the system.”
On the other hand, many agree with the concerns coming from the U.S. Justice Department that voter ID can lead to discrimination.