Opinion: What You Need To Know about Voter ID...and What They Hope You Don't

September 25 2012, 10:20 AM

“You’re not naïve enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy?” —Gordon Gekko, Wall Street, 1987.

Today is National Voter Registration Day. According to organizers, in 2008 about 6 million citizens didn’t get to vote in the Presidential election because they either missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.

Making sure you're properly signed up can be a confusing process, particularly this year. That’s because efforts are underway to skew, confuse, and in some cases nullify the most fundamental privilege any democracy is based upon.

I’m referring to Voter ID, the Republican-led drive to disenfranchise certain people—such as minorities, the poor, and students—under the guise of eliminating a voter-fraud problem that doesn’t exist. Our own Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, has been one of the leading proponents of sniffing out this alleged menace, despite continued reports of his quixotic crusade proving to be a waste of time and moneyYes, the self-proclaimed party of patriotism, freedom, and fiscal responsibility is engineering a plan, on the taxpayer dime, that attempts to snuff out for certain Americans the most inalienable right of all Americans. 

As always, the way to sort through all this misinformation is by getting educated. Want to see if you’re registered? Go here. (And enjoy an ironic laugh at the picture residing on the top of the page.) Want to figure out where to vote on Election Day? Go here.

As these voter-suppression efforts are now making their way through the courts, we may not know for weeks whether they’ve succeeded. The best way to make sure they don’t is to get your own documents in order and head out to the polls on November 6. Your democracy, in fact, might actually depend on it. 

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

—Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.