At first glance, requiring an ID to vote sounds reasonable, except the timing of many ID laws, the ways in which the ID required is different from the ones previously required, and the lack of support (especially financial, since this flood of new requirements coincides with a period of reduced funding for government services) to help individuals comply, makes it obvious the true intent is to require what may not be possible for lower income individuals who are in fact qualified to vote, to produce.
One example is requiring photo ID of individuals who may live in nursing or assisted living facilities at the low-budget end of the scale, who were either born before birth registration or whose birth registrations were lost in records fires before computerized records, and have been accepted as qualified voters on a common-sense basis for many years, yet requiring proof of birthplace, etc. which is no longer possible to determine, or beyond the individual’s budget (requiring travel to a distant state, with nursing personnel in attendance, for example). This is an obvious move to remove low-income elderly people, especially of color, from the voting rolls.
Another, more egregious example, is the new requirement that Texas photo ID must exactly match the legal name on the voting records, which creates an extra burden for married and divorced women.
Since Texas passed this law just before the last election, members of the legislature themselves had to jump through paperwork hoops in order to vote. Combining this with multiple marriages, some women voters may have to produce their birth certificates, all marriage licenses, and all divorce decrees which include a legal name change, and for those who do not have a “personal staff” to take care of such matters, as the legislators do, this may be a financially infeasible, or physically impossible, burden.
The burden of these new laws will restrict many individuals who actually are qualified from voting or registering to vote. This is more dangerous to our democracy than hundreds of times the actual very small number of attempts to vote fraudulently.