Should Photo ID Be Required to Vote


Photo identification is a requirement in order to accomplish certain tasks.  Being asked to show ID to verify that you are 17 in order to take children into an R-rated movie is just one example.  With that in mind, should an individual be required to show photo identification in order to vote in an election?

“Things you need #photoID for: driving, buying things (alcohol, cigs, guns, cashing checks) airline travel, employment. Why not #voting?” Bryan Caskey (@BryanCaskey) wrote on Twitter.

Some citizens agree.  Some citizens do not.

An article titled “Why Voter-ID Laws Are Bad for Women, the Elderly, and Everyone” published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Sept. 4, 2012, disagrees with photo ID being a requirement.  The article states that requiring photo ID would “unnecessarily burden poor, minority citizens from exercising their right to vote.”

Ryan Mock, 21, a criminology student, does not believe strongly either way.  “As long as people are voting, I don’t think it matters if ID is shown or not,” he states.

Some voters see the negative consequences of not showing identification in order to vote.

Helen Lipko, 56, a retired troop office manager for the Pennsylvania State Police, says that not showing photo identification can have serious negative effects on an election.  “The volunteers at the voting stations need to be able to verify the person so people can only vote once,” Lipko said.

A Fox News article published on Feb. 19, 2013, addresses the issue of individuals who take on the identity of two or more people in order to sway the outcome of an election, like a veteran Ohio poll worker who did just that.  “(Melowese) Richardson (the worker) told a local television station … that she voted twice last November,” according to Eric Shawn, a Fox News reporter.  “Authorities also are investigating if she voted in the names of four other people, too, for a total of six votes in the 2012 presidential election.”

Tara Atkins, 20, an accounting and integrated marketing systems student at Duquesne University, is embarrassed having never voted before.  Atkins does however, have a strong view on the subject of requiring photo identification in order to vote.  “In order to match their voter registration, yes,” Atkins said.  “In general, though, it (voting) should be anonymous.”

Some citizens agree that requiring photo identification in order to vote is a simple request to ask of the individuals voting.  “I don’t think it’s a huge thing to ask of people,” Haley Draper, 21, a physician assistant student at Duquesne, said.

Bryan James, 27, a teacher, strongly agrees that it is necessary that photo ID be required, especially for elections as important as presidential.  “I think they should … simply to prove they are a registered United States citizen,” James said.