Are you concerned about new voter ID laws? Are we doing enough to prevent fraud and other problems? How can we make voting as accessible as possible while still safeguarding the democratic process?
Every voter in every election should be required to confirm his/her identity.
Let’s put aside for the moment what form that confirmation takes and what agency issues that confirmation. Let’s concede that it must be available to voters of every ethnicity and socioeconomic level. Let’s just consider the fundamental question: should voters be asked to provide proof of their identity? Absolutely.
When I order a book online I have to confirm my identity by providing a password. When I purchase groceries with a credit card the cashier often asks to see my driver’s license. When I arrive at our church offices I have to punch in a security code which has been specifically assigned to me. None of these compare with the importance and seriousness of voting. Perhaps the greatest privilege I enjoy as an American is the opportunity to voice my opinion in local and national elections. And to ensure that my vote is actually my vote, I want someone asking for confirmation.
Even Jesus offered authentication. In a world of dozens of would-be-Messiahs, Jesus showed that he was the real deal through “signs.” Peter describes Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with might words and wonders and signs.” Admittedly, not everyone accepted Jesus’ form of identification. But one was provided nonetheless.
We live in a culture of pretenders, actors and actresses. People make a living claiming to be someone or something they are not. Jesus had a word for this—hypocrite. It literally referred to people who liked to play a part. And because society teems with not just religious hypocrites but political hypocrites, it is necessary to have ways of validating our true identity. It’s true online. It’s true at the gas station. And it’s true in the voting booth.