Are Voter ID laws racist? It's a question that has touched a nerve in many of our readers. Here is the best response we've received to our coverage on this controversial topic:
I am of an age that recalls a significant lack of access to certain institutions, like hospitals, for a mother to deliver her child because of the color of her skin or the lack of means in her wallet. This means there are millions of seniors over the age of 60 still living in or near their place of birth who do not have a birth certificate. And don't think that these people needed to present a birth certificate to register for school, apply for a job or enlist in the military. I can assure you none of these institutions asked for it.
I also know that there are thousands of young to middle-aged people who are earning low to moderate incomes who never obtained a copy of their birth certificates because no one ever asked for it before, and even if they were asked, they had to weigh the expense to obtain one against their next meal, bus ride or rent payment. These people would have to scrounge for the extra money to purchase a copy of their birth certificate for what? The right to vote every two or four years in the nation that they were born in, paid taxes to and sacrificed their lives for during wars.
I have traveled enough in the United States to know that in many regions of our country, people do not drive because they do not own a car or don't need one because they rely on public transportation or their feet to walk to where they need to go. These same people never thought to get an ID from the DMV because where they live, people know one another.
There is an old saying: "Walk a mile in someone else's shoes." Those of you who have ID and think that it is sooooo easy to get one need to open your eyes, really listen with your ears and walk away from your comfort zone to the outer rim. Then tell me what these new voter ID requirements are really all about.
There is no evidence of outcome-changing voter fraud in America. What there is evidence of is narrow-minded, life-inexperienced people who can't think for themselves in the midst of manufactured clouds of fear and mindless screeching of impending doom by callous extremists. The need for voter IDs in the United States is baseless, has no merit and is extremely cruel in its intent. Just because people do not live their lives like you does not mean that they are less human, less deserving of the rights of all citizens, and without need for each of us to stand firm for all of us to fully participate in the processes that shape this nation.
Let's move on to what really matters: saving this country for everyone who is here. We cannot afford to waste one human life or to trample one person's rights so that a narrow but vocal few can scream fire while they are in the middle of a theater.
For more on the election and racism, read: