« Previous Story | Front Page | Next Story »


Voter ID: Let's Pick Our Battles

By Richard Head
Opinion | August 4, 2011

BASEHOR, Kan. - The August 3 Wall Street Journal opinion piece Bill Clinton Does 'Jim Crow', seems to present a straw issue with little substance in the larger scheme of things.

I realize that some on the Left see any attempt by charlatans like Kris Kobach to impose voter identification as un-American, but is this really an issue that Progressives want to go to the mat on?

If I have to produce ID to set up a bank account, write a check at a retail store, get on an airplane, rent a car, stay in a hotel, or even obtain a library card, I can't for the life of me see why I shouldn't have to produce identification if I'm going to exercise my most fundamental right as a citizen. I understand the argument that, as a fundamental right of American citizenship, the right to vote should not be infringed.

I'm adamantly opposed to any kind of national ID law or a requirement that I have ID on my person at all times. Or that I produce ID on demand to law enforcement (not required at this point, unless I'm driving a car).

Fraud by individual voters is largely non-existent. Voter ID requirements are a blatant attempt by the Right to suppress voter turnout by minority groups who vote largely Democratic. I understand the tortuous logic of Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and all of the other Democrats who are supposedly trying to protect the franchise. But I think this issue is one where, in order to take the bluster out of the one-trick Kris Kobach crowd, we let them have their hollow victory. Using precious political capital and time on voter ID seems a fool's errand. Even liberal justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the 6-3 Supreme Court majority in 2008, said that voter ID requirements are not unconstitutional.

If Progressives really want to put their principles to work, let's get behind helping those without ID (photo or otherwise) to get ID. How difficult would it be for each of us to assist one person - just one - without an ID to obtain an ID?

Let's beat the bigots and voter suppression bunch at their own game.


3 Comments

Richard--I do like your attitude. Beating people at their own game is the best way to go. I still hate the idea of voter ID, but right now we have so many other issues to deal with, this is one we can take some positive action on by helping those who need our help.

I wonder what will happen to me when I show up to vote and use my drivers license as my ID. I use my middle name on everything, but I have to use my first name on my drivers license. It will be fun to see if anyone gives me any trouble. I'm not worried, just curious.


Sounds like a wise political move. However I wonder if your actually agreeing with "the right" seeing that your arguements (that people have to show ID everywhere else) is about the same as on the right.

Or maybe its not a right vs. left issue - maybe its just the correct thing to do?


I don't have a particular problem with required ID for voting. What I am dissappointed in is that Kris Kobach solidified his supporters on an issue that is really not an issue for the vast majority of voting places. All the possible illegal votes cast in most precincts would not tip the scales. It takes an extremely popular and competent Democrat to win against the Republican label, in Kansas. Kris Kobach used this issue to avoid discussing any other issues the Secretary of State has in that position.


Post your own comment here


Do you want to read more? You've only just scratched the surface at the Kansas Free Press. We have so much more to read! Nearly all of the pieces published here are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles were first published. To discover more, please take a look at our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This page contains just one story published on August 4, 2011. The one written previous to this is titled "KOSE Director Jane Carter Responds to Administration's Proposed Voluntary Retirement Incentive" and the story published right after this one is "Repatriation Games: Wall Street Is at It Again"

Our most current stories are always updated on our Front Page.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

My Response As a Kansan to Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti has come on board The Nation magazine to fill in for Katha Pollitt as the feminist columnist while Pollitt is on leave to write a book. I've found reading Valenti's columns thought-provoking and insightful. She often takes …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Roots of the n-word

While N-word dialogue has slackened following Saline County Commissioner Gile's use of it recently, the word still has great power. So, let's look inward at the N-word. To reach a much deeper path to understanding, simply go to Ad …
Corporate Tax Reform

Basehor, Kans.--For an interesting twist on the corporate tax debate, look at Alan Sloan's opinion in the April 29 issue of Fortune Magazine. In all of the froth about corporate taxation, neither proponents of tax reduction, nor corporate critics, …

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.