Janet Chiavetta: IDs help poor

April 2, 2013 

IDs help poor

Claims that requiring a photo ID to vote would restrict the disadvantaged and poor from voting led me to investigate.

In the four states where a photo ID requirement was in effect during this past election (Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Kansas), there has not been evidence of a negative impact on voter turnout, including minority voters. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that turnout among black and Hispanic voters in Georgia increased since the law went into effect in 2006.

The poorest in our society need a photo ID to cash a welfare check or open a bank account. The Raleigh Housing Authority requires that adults show a government-issued photo ID before they qualify for a housing subsidy.

The men’s Wake County homeless shelter staff assists all its residents in securing a photo ID if they do not already have one. The shelter’s director told me the reason: “They need it to function in society – to open up a bank account, get a job and receive government assistance.”

The voter ID mandate should not deter the poor and disadvantaged from voting, since the vast majority already have a photo ID. Those who do not would be assisted in obtaining one, giving them a better chance to achieve upward mobility.

Janet Chiavetta


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