Case in point: Voter ID. I'm 100% behind the idea of requiring an ID to vote. The threat isn't necessarily that fraud could alter an election outcome, but rather the fact that it violates one of the basic elements of our democracy. Still, while protecting this basic right, we must also ensure that we are not putting up any unintended or unnecessary obstacles to the voting booth.
One of my favorite professors from UW - David Canon - had an excellent column in the State Journal about this yesterday:
If photo ID is going to be implemented, it needs to be done right. Should the current bill become law, it would be the most restrictive in the country. Some might see this as a plus. But it reflects the fact that we have not learned from the experience of other states that have already implemented voter ID.
In revising the bill, lawmakers should consider three criteria.
First, the intended effect of the law should be to prevent illegal voting, but it should not discourage legitimate voters. Second, it must strike a balance between costs and benefits, achieving the greatest positive effect at the lowest cost to taxpayers. Third, it must withstand legal challenges.
In all three criteria, the proposed law can be improved.I want to see voter ID pass, but not at the expense of getting it done right. I know some will argue that I'm trying to weaken the bill or that I don't really want it passed, but they're just dead wrong. I urge legislative leaders in Madison to slow down and get this right. Allow more than one form of government ID so long as voters can still verify their address. Following the example of other states, like Indiana, would be an excellent start.