In this time of government belt-tightening and proposed fiscal responsibility, it's odd that so many states are intent upon passing Voter ID laws.
Seven states so far this year have enacted laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Pennsylvania is considering similar legislation and if House Bill 934 is approved next year the simple act of voting is likely to change dramatically.
The voter ID law, evidenced by other states' implementation of such law will cost millions in taxpayer dollars. Missouri estimated that a voter ID law would cost $6 million in the first year and $4 million annually thereafter. North Carolina estimated that a voter ID law would cost $18 to 25 million over a three-year period. Other states have found that implementation of these laws increase the spending on elections by as much as 50 percent.
County officials fear that the costs would be imposed on counties, making low-resourced localities responsible for an unfunded mandate.
While many voters will be unaffected by the new law, HB 934 discriminates against a significant number of eligible voters who do not have government-issued photo ID. Many citizens find it difficult to obtain government-issued ID because they cannot afford to produce the documentation needed to attain the ID, or lack the mobility to acquire it.
In essence, HB 934 is tantamount to a poll tax. Do we really need another tax?