Voter ID Laws: The Promotion of Election Integrity?
- Ava Alicea
Throughout history, election laws have played a significantrole in U.S. elections. Under Article I of the Constitution, states have theduty to oversee the election process.1 The 21st century has introduced voteridentification (ID) laws, which require citizens to show an ID card at thepolls. Since the ruling of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) andShelby County v. Holder (2013), the limitations on voter ID laws have virtuallydisintegrated, and these laws have become increasingly popular to regulate theelectoral process and restrict voting access. This article describes the use ofvoter ID laws as a means to restrict individuals from participating inelections and examines the subversion of democratic principles by exploringempirical evidence that demonstrates the discriminatory effects of these lawsagainst people of color and low-income citizens. Further, this research looksat the contradictory framing by lawmakers as they claim to preserve democraticintegrity but blatantly ignore the principle of one person, one vote. Tocounter the impact these laws have on the integrity of elections and erosion oflegitimacy, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is viewed as asolution that modernizes the unconstitutionally ruled preclearance formula insection 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
1 U.S. Const. art. I, §4. cl. 1.