Jacob DirksKimberly ThompsonENGL 2201November 20th, 2017Ethics of Voter ID Laws in the United StatesOne of the most controversial topics in Political Science today is the issue of Voter ID laws. These laws have been implemented in some parts of the United States with varying degreesof success and failure. The issue surrounding these laws is mainly ethical, but also a legal issue as one of the main arguments on the pro-voter ID side is that illegal immigrants are able to vote without being a citizen, which leads to other issues like voter fraud. One of the main arguments from the side that is against voter ID laws is that the laws are inherently racist and discriminate against minorities, as well as affecting voter turnout. This issue has arguably gotten much worse with the new administration in the United States, causing the issue to be stirred up again. If voter ID laws were to be put in place within the United States, it would be unethical considering the failed attempts that point towards the idea of no voter ID laws, the issue of discrimination racially and financially, as well as voter turnout. While over 30 states within the US have implemented voter ID laws to a certain extent, the problems that voter ID supporters claim to have solved with this are not solved. The biggest issue surrounding the whole idea of voter ID is voter fraud, and even before any voter ID laws were implemented, voter fraud was a rare occurrence. When voter fraud does happen, it tends to be caused by officials interfering or absentee ballots. iThese types of fraud will not be prevented by the use of voter ID, rendering it almost useless for what most politicians say it is for.
Strict voter ID laws have been badly implemented in several states and counties within the US, with one of the main examples being Kansas. A study done by Chelsie L. M. Bright and Michael S. Lynch dissect Kansas voter ID laws and what effects they had on the voter turnout and many other statistics. An interesting finding in their research shows that advertising can for voter ID’s can boost the otherwise declining voter turnout, but not to the point that it reverses thedamage. “Although the differences between advertising focusing on “Got Voter ID” and “all votes will be counted” do indicate that voter ID decreases turnout, it appears that targeted advertising explaining the provisional ballot processes to voters and increased efforts to make photo IDs easy and inexpensive to obtain can mitigate the potential negative effects voter ID laws may have on turnout”ii. What this means is that in most cases, voter turnout is decreased as