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

Raleigh

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service