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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 4/27/2014

ESSAY CONTEST

Discrimination: A socio-economic crisis

BY SAMUEL ZACK

Throughout our country, voter discrimination is an issue that causes some citizens to miss out on a freedom that makes America what it is today.

This hot topic has people all over the country questioning whether voter discrimination is present, and if it is, how to fix it.

Although voter discrimination is a problem, photo identification should still be required in order to cast a ballot.

Recently, laws have been passed all over the country requiring citizens to present a form of photo ID in order to vote.

Many argue that this presents a case of discrimination to those who do not have access to these cards.

If this identification is not used, it would be nearly impossible to tell whether the citizen voting is truly who they claim to be.

Statistically, most of the people who do not have government-issued IDs are near or below the poverty line and are part of a minority. As a result, this becomes a socio-economic issue, discriminating against those who cannot afford the necessary photo credentials.

According to aclu.org, roughly 11 percent of Americans are unable to vote due to the fact that they are without some sort of government-issued photo ID.

Although this may seem like a large amount of people, according to bipartisanpolicy.org, only 57.5 percent of voting-eligible Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election.

This significantly lowers the amount of people truly affected by voter discrimination.

One solution to this problem would be lowering the cost of IDs or implementing a program for free photo identification cards for those on the SNAP fixed benefits program.

A second thought would be to have the identification stored on a computer database. A person could register by simply going to the DMV and getting their picture taken.

Through this, a citizen could register for voting, all at no cost for them or the government, since there are no physical items that must be purchased.

Also, an online picture program could be implemented, making it easy for the elderly and others who struggle getting around, to register.

A final alternative that could work would be the used of finger scanners at poll stations.

Finger scanners are becoming more ever-present in society. They are being used on everything from photos, to doors, to even computers, as a virtually “unhackable” security that is relatively low in cost.

Voter fraud would become practically nonexistent, as there is no fingerprint that is identical to another.

If a citizen’s fingerprint is not already in a computer database, they could go to the DMV and get their fingerprint scanned, free of charge.

Finger scanners, free or reduced priced IDs, and online picture databases are all possibilities to help solve the voter discrimination crisis.

Even though voter discrimination is present, it affects a very small portion of the American population.

However, one of the basic ideals that the United States is built on is the freedom to vote, and everyone should have that opportunity, no matter the socio-economic status.



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