Voting Rights Advocates Share Concerns Over Ohio Voter ID Provision

WCPN stock photo from fall 2012.
WCPN stock photo from fall 2012.

Federal Judge Nathaniel Jones, one of the members of the National Commission on Voting Rights, says legislation being considered in Ohio right now that would require a voter to present a photo ID before casting a ballot could make it harder for voters to exercise their constitutional rights.

"We have a 15th amendment that forbids simple-minded and sophisticated methods of discrimination. We are seeing both these days," said Jones. "They are so sophisticated that we have people who would normally be allies saying, in regard to voter ID. "Oh, I have to show ID. to get a pack of cigarettes, I have to show ID. to get on a plane, I have to show ID to buy a drink. But they don’t understand that none of those things are constitutionally guaranteed. Voting is a constitutional right."

The panel has been holding hearings across the nation to gather information for two reports which will be shared with Congress, advocates and state activists interested in advancing voting rights.

Meanwhile, those supporting the ID requirement argue it safeguards the voting process from fraud and keeps voters accountable.

Story by OPR's Jo Ingles.

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