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Voter Identification: Discretion or Discrimination?

Requiring ID prevents fraud or promotes unfairness?

With some form of misuse occurring at almost every election level, voter ID law advocates believe that simply presenting an ID can greatly curtail fraud and add clarity to elections, claiming that owning a valid form of identification is a non-issue for most U.S. citizens.

See also: More from the AARP Election 2012 blog.

Opponents claim that citizens of lower economic and social status do not always have a valid form of identification readily available. What's more, they say, procuring one is not as easy as some would claim. The challenge is particularly acute for older people, who sometimes lack the necessary mobility and mandatory paperwork to obtain the required identification.

A look at the controversial requirement for valid identification before casting an election ballot is examined. Proponents insist it prevents fraud, while others claim it is voter discrimination.

AARP Broadcast Screengrab

Do voter ID laws help or hurt you at the polls?

So just how effective are voter ID laws in preventing election fraud? We are joined on Inside E Street by Laura Murphy, director of the Washington Legislative offices of the ACLU, and Hans von Spakovsky, from the Justice Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation, to discuss the controversial use of voter ID laws. We also hear from David Becker, director of Election Initiatives at Pew Center on the States, for a detailed account on the current state of voter registration in the United States. No matter which side you choose, watch this episode to learn how voter ID laws will impact your experience at the polls.

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