We Don’t Need Voter ID Laws…Anarchy Will Be Just Fine


by Ed Mattson


Let’s get this straight…I get carded when I go to the store to purchase beer, wine; or booze at my local liquor store. I have to show a picture ID when I travel and board a plane or train. They want picture ID to purchase cigarettes; and as a matter of fact, you have to have proper identification in most states for the following:

  • Cash a check
  • Purchase a gun
  • Test drive a car
  • Look at a model apartment to rent
  • Apply for most jobs
  • Pick up your own kids from your public school
  • Rent tools from a hardware store
  • Buy over the counter allergy medicine
  • Get married
  • Apply for a passport
  • Enjoy a show at an adult entertainment venue
  • See a doctor (in some locations)
  • Get care for your pet at an animal hospital (in some locations)
  • Rent a hotel room
  • Pick up tickets for events at a box office
  • Close a real estate sale
  • Identify a loved one’s remains
  • Sign up for a rewards card at a grocery store in most states
  • Redeem a lottery ticket
  • Get on an airplane
  • Fill out and submit an I-9 tax form (actually TWO forms of ID required!)
  • Return merchandise at many retail stores
  • Get a membership at a gym (many locations)
  • Rent a video game or video for that matter
  • Take professional exams for industry
  • Take an SAT test
  • Pick up items at a store purchased online
  • Buy spray paint
  • Get a package from Fedex or UPS
  • Buy a car
  • Rent an apartment
  • Qualify for Section 8 housing
  • Get a fishing or hunting license
  • Apply for government housing or housing assistance for other than Section 8
  • Play sports in some youth leagues
  • Apply for Social Security/Medicare
  • Pay a cable bill
  • Camp at a state park campground
  • And yes, even to compete in American Idol

BUT…for one of the most treasured of all our rights as an American, the right to vote, we have the leftists (most Democrats, progressives and liberals), supported by the ACLU, fighting every effort by the states to require ID to vote. Their chant is always the same…”well, there’s no evidence of wholesale voter fraud”.  AND, “minorities are disadvantaged by having to show proper ID”. There doesn’t have to be wholesale voter fraud. One instance is once too often! And if you and I are required to have ID, why not everyone. This is reverse discrimination.

The Democrat National Convention, Labor Union Voting and other events sponsored by, hosted, or supported by Democrats require Photo ID to participate…how’s that for the party so worried about Republicans wanting to keep Granny and poor folks from voting.

If we listen to Jerry Kremer, a former New York state legislator and today, Chairman of Empire Government Strategies, “to ask an 82-year-old woman for her driver’s license at the polling place is clearly a ruse to keep her from casting her ballot”…right, just like all conservatives want to throw grandma under the bus, starve children, and steal money from the poor to give to the rich.

This rhetoric is divisive, unsupportable, and an outright lie, but as Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbles, has been attributed, “If you lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.  Or…said another way“A lie is as good as the truth if you can get someone to believe it.” Henry Gibson, a comedian, actor.

Mr. Kremer, why even go through the rouse of having people show proof of age when they go get a driver’s license, get a marriage license, purchase a car, qualify for social services, or any other time? If you can answer why identification is needed for all those instances listed above, then maybe you’ll have a clue as to why being able to identify yourself is important. I want someone to show who they are is because as a Veteran, preserving the right to vote was one of the reasons I served. I don’t want some clown being able to cancel out my vote by showing up at the poll illegally.

As to the left’s claim that there is no evidence that “wholesale voter fraud” exists, there is only one way to provide that proof, and that would be to audit every vote cast. That is absolutely impossible from a cost standpoint, and would never be needed if we know who is voting in the first place. Is getting vaccinated against polio a better idea than contracting polio?

A wave of recently-enacted voter ID laws in the U.S. have created an outcry from Democrats, who fear that requiring voters to present photo identification will disenfranchise minorities, students and seniors. Come on…Students have school ID cards which they have to show at school activities, to use the student bookstore, and get student discounts and sporting events. Seniors have their Medicare cards (photo requirements could easily be waved in those cases), but any minority…and I mean ANY MINORITY, can get a state issued ID card. They will need that ID card to identify themselves to local law enforcement officers and for any of the situations listed above.

There are 33 states with voter ID laws that have been enacted in varying details. Two key distinctions are whether a law is strict or non strict, and whether or not the ID must include a photo.

  • Strict vs. Non-Strict: In the “strict” states, a voter cannot cast a valid ballot without first presenting ID. Voters who are unable to show ID at the polls are given a provisional ballot. Those provisional ballots are kept separate from the regular ballots. If the voter returns to election officials within a short period of time after the election (generally a few days) and presents acceptable ID, the provisional ballot is counted. If the voter does not come back to show ID, that provisional ballot is never counted.
  • Photo vs. Non-Photo: Seventeen states require that the ID presented at the polls must show a photo of the voter. Some of these are “strict” voter ID laws, in that voters who fail to show photo ID are given a provisional ballot and must eventually show photo ID in order to get that provisional ballot counted. Others are “non-strict,” and voters without ID have other options for casting a regular ballot. They may be permitted to sign an affidavit of identity, or poll workers may be able to vouch for them if they know them personally. In these “non-strict” states, voters who fail to bring ID on Election Day aren’t required to return to election officials and show ID in order to have their ballot counted. In the other 16 voter ID states, there is a wide array of IDs that are acceptable for voting purposes, some of which do not include a photo of the voter. Again, some of these states are “strict” in the sense that a voter who fails to bring ID on Election Day will be required to vote a provisional ballot, and that provisional ballot will be counted only if the voter returns to election officials within a few days to show acceptable ID.

I welcome every reader to digest the significance of the voter ID laws and for Veterans to understand why we served to protect the right to vote. Somewhere in between “strict” and “non strict”, there has to be a simple way to insure only those eligible to vote can vote, not the current system which makes a mockery out of having voter standards.

Let me suggest the following requirements which are modeled on the proposed new voter requirements of a number of states. If you can poke holes in these simple requirements as being unfair, discriminatory, or unworkable, I welcome your comments and proof of why such requirements cannot work:

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military ID
  • Employee ID card with photo
  • College, Vo-Tech or university ID with photo
  • Hunting or fishing license
  • Gun permit
  • FAA-issued pilot’s license
  • Birth certificate (certified copy)
  • Social security card
  • Naturalization document
  • Court record of adoption or name change
  • Medicaid or Medicare card
  • Electronic benefits transfer card
  • Utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document showing name and address of voter
  • Valid photo voter ID card as long as it contains a photo
  • Valid government employee ID card with a photo
  • Valid tribal ID card containing a photo

If a voter is unable to provide this identification, the election official shall indicate on the precinct voter registration list that the voter did not provide identification. Following each election, the county board of election commissioners shall review the precinct voter registration lists and may provide the information of the voters not providing identification at the polls to the prosecuting attorney, who would then investigate possible voter fraud.

This is not rocket science but basic common sense. To not recognize this fact makes you part of the problem and accepting of the fact you just don’t care.


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Following his service in the Marine Corps Ed Mattson built a diverse career in business in both sales/marketing and management. He is a medical research specialist and published author. His latest book is Down on Main Street: Searching for American Exceptionalism Ed is currently Development Director of the National Guard Bureau of International Affairs-State Partnership Program, Fundraising Coordinator for the Warrior2Citizen Project, and Managing Partner of Center-Point Consultants in North Carolina. Mr. Mattson is a noted speaker and has addressed more than 3000 audiences in 42 states and 5 foreign countries. He has been awarded the Order of the Sword by American Cancer Society, is a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow and appeared on more than 15 radio and television talk-shows.