Op-ed: Is requiring voter ID racist and voter suppressive?

A voting machine used by the NYC BOE.
Photo Alex Mitchell
You should know that a Monmouth National Poll shows that 80% of the U.S. population favors voter ID laws and that 70% favor voting in person. It is important that you know that “The for the People Act 2021” known as the (HR1) legislative bill passed in the House of Representatives. All the Democrats voted in favor of it, except one. You should also know that HR1 would do away with all voter ID law requirements, among other drastic changes to our nation’s voting process.
Too often we hear a lot about how to require voters to present an ID card at their polling site is a form of voter suppression. Therefore, requiring a voter ID is somehow racist because it’s geared toward preventing people of color from voting.
Frankly this argument doesn’t hold water. First, because it implies that people of color don’t possess ID cards, and as result cannot exercise their right to vote. Therefore, a law that requires the voter to present an ID is racist. To hear this argument, you would think that people of color are living under a rock.
I have often wondered how this is possible. How are voters ID laws racist? Upon analyzing this issue, I found that their argument is in fact quite racist for the following reasons. First, it implies that people of color are either too lazy, or too ignorant to acquire an ID card. That we, as people of color, lack the ability to get something as simple as an ID card or can’t even follow voter instructions.
Then I asked myself if everyone is required to show an ID card when boarding a plane; or when cashing a check; or when applying for a bank loan; or when driving a car; or when opening a bank account; or when entering a government building; or when registering at a college; or going into a hospital or clinic; or even to enter a restaurant to have a decent meal we are required to show an ID that proves we have been vaccinated otherwise we are not allowed to eat, and we must go hungry.
Then why is it that having to show an identification card for everything in our society is not racist, but when it comes to something as important as our elections, suddenly, having to present an ID, the card is racist. Why is that?
I’m sure you know that voters ID laws are vital to the integrity of our election (voting) process. Every free country has some form of election ID requirements. Even in third world, underdeveloped countries the people are required to present some form of voter ID. In Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Honduras, and other Spanish speaking Countries its citizenry waits in line to cast their votes proudly and patriotically show off their voter ID cards and in those countries the percentage of voters are twice higher than here in the United States.   This proves that ID cards does not prevent people from voting.
If we don’t mind having voters ID laws in our country of origin, why would we take issue with having to do the same in America. Voting is not only a right, but also a privilege for all its citizens, be they Black, Brown, or White. Our voting rights and its process must be protected, and not undermined. We should all take offense when we (people of color) are used as pawns to prevent the enactment of voter ID laws. Protecting the integrity of our elections should be a bi-partisan issue. This is not a Republican, or Democrat issue, it is an American Constitutional issue.
You should know that voter suppression does, in fact, exist.  But it exists in our leader’s failure to require that all voters show their identification cards when voting. Failure to do so leaves amble room for voter fraud, and it nullifies the votes that are cast legitimately by the U.S. Citizens.
So, my analysis of this racist argument has led me to this conclusion. Those who oppose voter ID cards, seriously believe that people of color are too ignorant to acquire something as simple as an ID card. This is incredibly insulting, and we should all be offended by it. Or the argument of voter suppression, racism, and people of color are being used as pawns to cover up intentions of voter fraud, thereby suppressing and nullifying all our votes.
Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., is a NYC Councilman representing District 18 in the Bronx. 

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