In a recent editorial entitled “Denying Access to the Ballot,” the New York Times came out against some newly proposed voter reforms due to a fear that they might be discriminatory against the poor, the elderly, and minorities:
“It has been clear since 2000 that the election system is in serious need of reform. But the commission led by James Baker III and former President Jimmy Carter has come up with a plan that is worse than no reform at all. Its good ideas are outweighed by one very bad idea: a voter identification requirement that would prevent large numbers of poor, black and elderly people from voting.”
“But the bombshell recommendation is for the states to require voters to have drivers' licenses or a government-issued photo ID. That would not be a great burden for people who have drivers' licenses, but it would be for those who don't, and they are disproportionately poor, elderly or members of minorities.”
Having been a bank manager for six years, I know these statements to be 100% false.
In reality, every adult American regardless of age or income level needs a valid ID to transact business of any kind. For instance, let’s assume a poor member of the society is receiving some form of government check from an entitlement program. In order to cash this check at a bank or check cashing center, said person needs an ID. Period. NO exceptions.
And, if the person is receiving these funds electronically into a bank account, said person would need a valid ID to open such account. Period. NO exceptions.
Obviously, the same is true of a senior citizen who is trying to negotiate a Social Security check, or a distribution from a retirement account. As such, this issue is a red herring, and Jimmy Carter knows it.
Strangely, one of his strongest proponents, the New York Times, doesn’t.