Voter ID laws are all the rage with paranoid racists nowadays — 9 states have passed strict requirements on potential voters that supporters will cut down on voter fraud and prevent Bristol Palin-on-Dancing With the Stars-style vote rigging. Regardless of their intention of the laws, though, the end result of voter ID laws is that it makes certain groups of left-leaning voters much more likely to have their votes tossed out. Especially — wait for it — women.
So far, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have strict voter ID laws in effect, and Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin have passed similar laws that are either tied up in court proceedings or under permanent injunction. Nuances of the laws vary, but in a nutshell, they'll require any aspiring ballot filer to present, on election day, a state-issued photo ID. In Indiana and Pennsylvania, the name and address on the ID must match with the name and address on file with the voting registrar's office. That's where the requirements become kind of sexist, The Nation's Brentin Mock points out.
Women, after all, are much more likely to change their names after they get married, which puts them at risk for having their valid state-issued ID's discounted because they don't match the name the registrar has on file — as though married women don't have enough name change-related judgment to deal with. Divorce, domestic violence, or other relationship-related happenings can cause women to relocate with greater frequency than men, which could lead to a mismatch between their ID address and their district's records.
Mock mentions that supporters of voter ID laws would counterargue that it's not that difficult to get a photo ID, and that people who aren't responsible enough to get their shit together shouldn't be voting. Which would be a semi-valid point, if the Constitution said anything about people being able to vote if and only if they could complete a series of bureaucratic tasks.
You'd think that in an age where information is disseminated over the web in minutes, state and county governments could get it the fuck together enough to have a better system of recordkeeping that doesn't involve waiting in line and filling out 20 forms for every damn thing and maybe making it easier for people to update their records or get a state issued ID without taking a half day off of work so they can wait an hour at the DMV that's only open from 10-2 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of non-odd months. But I digress!
I'm sure that in the strawman fantasy world of a country overrun by undocumented immigrants who are personally stealing jobs, babies, and money from handsome corn fed midwesterners with side parted puffy hair crying one single American tear in church, that world where an unholy alliance of single mothers of color and the militant Arabs who find their lifestyles to be stone-able offenses team up to Threaten the Way of Life to which country music lyrics have become accustomed. A world where dastardly Peruvian abortion doctors hide behind oversized plants in elementary school waiting to show little girls in pigtails pictures of hard core gay pornography. A Paranoid Disneyland where millions of illegal immigrants flash mob elections just to fuck with the democratic process. Successful arguments for Voter ID laws are made in that world.
But in this world, because women, young people, people of color, and immigrants seem to loathe Republican policies, it only makes sense that Republicans would respond not by changing their tune, but rather by making it difficult for them to vote. It's the same sort of winning strategy employed by someone who, rather than cleaning their house, just boards it up and moves to the house next door.
The war on women voting [The Nation]