The state legislature recently passed a bill that will require all registered voters to present a photo I.D. at the polls. The bill also says that voters cannot register on election day but instead must do so ahead of time.
While the Republican-led Capitol passed this bill, it has taken a lot of heat from Democrats because of a fear that those in poverty won’t be able to vote. However, those in poverty must provide a photo I.D. in order to acquire food stamps.
Is it really so much to ask for an American to have a photo I.D.? We must provide a photo I.D. to board an airplane. If a person can get to their local DMV then they can acquire a free photo I.D.
Today in America, whether on the state or federal level, anything and everything, including this law, is being made into a partisan issue. Take for example the recent non-partisan election between David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg for state Supreme Court.
Before the passing of the photo I.D. bill, it was easy for someone to vote multiple times. If a Wisconsin resident knew his neighbor didn’t vote, he could just say his name and address and be able to vote for his neighbor and himself. While those working at the polls might recognize his face, they are volunteers and can make mistakes.
If a voter doesn’t have a photo I.D., then it is time they get one. This bill does not discriminate against those in demographics without an I.D. because it’s so simple to acquire one. If a photo I.D. was rare and difficult to come by, the story would be a different one.
Here in Whitewater, we are lucky to attend a university which is helping students acquire a photo I.D. if they do not have one. UW-Whitewater is in the process of providing student I.D. cards that will meet the requirements of the new law. While many of us have a driver’s license already, we cannot assume all do. Also, those who are out of state students but want to vote for a national election in Wisconsin must attain an I.D. card like this one.
It’s time we stop making everything a partisan issue in America. Sometimes there are laws that help everybody out. This new bill will help enforce integrity within America’s voting structure. While it’s often easy to point at things that the university should be doing a better job at, this time they are helping students before a problem arises.
The action the university is taking cannot go unnoticed by students. Forget red. Forget blue. This is America, we are all the same people and this law will help strengthen our country.