With election day around the corner in America, many of us are thinking about what our vote really means. How confident can we be in the election process? One of the best ways we can ensure our elections are fair and secure is by ensuring the only people who vote are people who are eligible to do so.
Showing an ID to vote is a normal part of voting in nearly every major democracy. Voters in America – across party lines and in different ethnic groups – want to see it here, as well. Each of us needs to know our voice is being heard when we cast a ballot, so 73% of Americans support strengthening election integrity by requiring photo identification for in-person voting. It’s a simple, moderate reform that 70.7% of all countries in the world have adopted.
Some worry it will leave some voters disenfranchised, but there are easy ways to ensure everyone can have their votes counted. One of those is to provide free government IDs to all eligible voters. Others argue it will mean fewer minorities are able to vote because they are overrepresented among the poorest Americans. But studies have shown voter ID requirements do not negatively impact voter turnout and may actually increase turnout.
We can look to Georgia’s 2022 election as an example. While some who opposed voter ID predicted the newly enacted photo voter ID law would keep Black voters away from the polls, Georgia voters “shattered turnout and participation rates” in the midterm elections. After all was said and done, a total of 0% of Black voters reported having a poor voting experience, with the majority reporting their experience was “good” or “excellent.” The vast majority of both Black and white Americans support voter ID laws, so it is no surprise turnout was so high when they could expect a fair election with votes reliably counted.
As American elections become more contested, it will become even more important to ensure every vote is valid. There are simple ways to ensure that, and Voter ID is one of the most straightforward – one that is a widely accepted standard around the world and a popular solution among Americans from nearly every background. There are those who will say it’s a radical option but, in reality, it’s one of the most basic and moderate reforms possible. It’s one we can all agree on.