I recently saw the video on the Daily Show of Don Yelton (an executive GOP committee member) speak about the Voter ID bill. He blatantly affirmed that this law was intended to “kick the Democrats in the butt”. Yelton also had mentioned that he was perfectly content if this law prevents “lazy blacks” or “lazy college kids” from voting.
When I had concluded this blog I had confirmed that the Photo ID requirement would not suppress the vote and it is unknown what the effect of other aspects of the bill would have (elimination of same day registration, reduction in early voting, prohibition of college IDs).
I had always given the Republicans the benefit of the doubt of their intentions. The group consistently said that this was put in place to “ensure integrity” in the electoral process. Now that Yelton made his remarks, I have every reason to believe that this has a partisan purpose. It is obvious that their intention is to prevent all Democrats from voting so they can win elections.
The Irony: Blacks are one of the most motivated groups in the country to vote. To say they are lazy- particularly on the topic of voting- is just not accurate. They voted at higher rates than whites in 2012. Also, I don’t believe that “lazy college kids” exist. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be spending hours on end studying to get our degrees. We don’t have time to organize documents and obtain ID cards at the DMV simply to vote. The assertions that he made are actually quite offensive.
What everyone can take from this: The Republicans in North Carolina are openly trying to win elections through unethical ways.
Here is a list of blogs that I have read over the past few weeks to keep up with the issue- either on my own time or specifically for this project:
Some are conservative and some are liberal. Part of what I wanted to accomplish with this project was to understand other people’s viewpoints, so reading a diverse group of blogs was a good stepping stone in order to accomplish that.
When I first started writing this blog, I had already formed views on the Voter ID issue. I firmly believed that it was a blatant attempt to suppress the vote of minorities, the elderly, and students in the state of North Carolina. After reviewing the issue and immersing myself in the issue, I have become more moderate and understanding of the other side’s viewpoint.
In the bill, the specific portion that I reversed my views on was the adoption of the Voter ID requirement. I previously believed that mandating a ID card to vote would suppress the vote, but statistics show that it does not. At the same rate, there is evidence that in-person voter fraud is non-existent, therefore, I still believe requiring an ID to vote in arbitrary and unnecessary.
Other aspects of the bill- like the reduction in early voting, prohibition on students using their college ID, and elimination of same-day registration I am still against. These items are unprecedented at the extreme way that is presented in the North Carolina legislation. Additionally, they do not relate to the initial problem that led to the creation of this bill, in-person voter fraud.
I have grown as a thinker by writing a blog on the Voter ID bill. I have learned to understand other people’s positions while still holding my own. I have also learned that you should not blindly take information from media as valid. It is important to research issues like these on your own, so you can have an actual informative opinion. While, I am still against the bill, I am against it for different reasons than I was previously. These include: it’s arbitrary nature, reducing citizen’s incentive to vote, and having symbolic societal regression.
I followed this blog throughout the course of the project and I very much enjoyed reading it. It gave great insight onto issues within the education debate: a merit system for rewarding teachers, teacher pay, cuts in education, and much more. I also found the perspective very intriguing given that their mother is a public school teacher (noted in the introduction). The one particular article on school vouchers was very informative. I had not known that private schools were being almost indirectly subsidized money via vouchers in the education system. If you are looking for a blog that tackles controversial issues on the topic of education, check this one out!
This blog entails information on the gun debate. Even though I disagreed with some of the stances this blog took on the issues, I enjoyed reading it to give myself more insight into other people’s beliefs on guns. The writer made a strong stand in the analysis saying “America was formed with its second amendment as the right to bear arms, and I support North Carolina’s effort to, safely, make this amendment a major part of North Carolina culture.” One post that caught my attention was about the new law that permits students to leave firearms in their cars on campus. This is very interesting especially if you are a student at a public university.
Lastly, I read this blog throughout the course of the project. It centered on the same issue that my blog had- the voter ID law. The writer was specific and focused on the effects of the actual voter ID requirement in the bill. Something in particular that wasn’t mentioned in my blog was the effect the North Carolina legislation has on other states. In his blog, he highlights the domino effects that have occurred as other states are passing Voter ID bills. To read into even more information and perspective on the voter ID bill, this would be a great source to look into.
Here is an article that goes further in-depth on the Justice Department suing the state over the Voter ID law. I not only looked at this article, but other articles from CNN.com as well. It appeared to be a mostly neutral and strong source of information on this issue.
This is a link to the statement that was made by North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory in the wake of his signature on the Voting Law. I find listening to the politicians who make the decisions useful, because some of the time their words are twisted in the process of going through the media. In the video, he gave his perspective on how he believes this law protects the integrity of our elections.
Politico is a great website to find more detailed oriented information about the voting ID law. It’s website is based entirely off of political issues. It is also very neutral in its stances.
The DailyKos is a blog to read if you are looking for more of a liberal viewpoint on the issue. It is obviously bias, but presents good points for one side of the argument.
Similarly to the DailyKos, Breitbart.com is a blog to check out for people looking for more of a conservative viewpoint. Even though I disagreed with the stances on this website, I found it interesting to check it out and immerse myself in another person’s viewpoint.
Here is the link to the bill. This serves as a useful source when to find out about a specific aspect of it.
The issue could possibly culminate in court, with the Justice Department suing the state over the law. I predict the court will overturn certain aspects of the law- such as the elimination of same day registration, reduction in early voting, and preventing college students from using their university ID’s, but requiring an ID will stand for its previous supreme court precedents.
The future of the polarization over this issue will remain stable for a while, and then will fade if it does not get resolved. If the law falls, liberals will be satisfied, but conservative opinion will not initially change and vice versa. A bipartisan solution will not be reached on this issue, because no party appears to have any intent of reaching one. But regardless of what happens, strong opinions about the voter ID requirement will diminish, because everyone will eventually get an ID. This issue will direct its attention to the root of the problem- certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act being struck down by the Supreme Court.
College students, listen up! You are now subjects in the debate on the Voter ID bill just passed this summer by the North Carolina legislature. Some say it prevents students from voting while others say it’s a necessary measure. Here I will break down the effects that it will have on all students.
First, let me start with the in-state students. All the instate students who have a driver’s license will be virtually unaffected by this bill. If you do not have a driver’s license, you will have to obtain a voter ID card at some point before the election or vote by absentee ballot.
Out-of-State students have a different situation. For the next election cycle, out-of-state students who move within 90 days of November 4th (like most first year students) will be able to use their out-of-state drivers license. Every other out-of-state student will have to obtain North Carolina identification. This wouldn’t seem like a particular problem, except to obtain the ID, you need other forms of ID- like a birth certificate, social security card, etc. Most college students in general leave those at home. The other option for out-of-state students is to vote by absentee ballot.
While I do believe that college students will still have the opportunity to vote, this law definitely makes it more difficult for some students. The obvious solution is to allow students to present their university ID, which has a photo and name, but the General Assembly did not allow this to happen in their bill. Additionally, when this law was just a bill, some NC legislators floated the idea of adding a provision that would eliminate tax deductions of up to $2500 for families of student’s who vote at their university. Luckily, this was never passed or added.
While I find most of this law as an honest attempt to ensure integrity in the voting process, I believe the way this bill affects students is a blatant attempt to prevent us from voting.
UPDATE: outside links added to post