Should a Photo ID Be Required for Voting? Essay Example

Published: 2022-05-22
Should a Photo ID Be Required for Voting? Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Civil rights
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1065 words
9 min read

In most countries, voting is a constitutional right to every citizen. However, every nation has defined policies that guide their electoral process. In the recent past, the majority of nations have adopted the photo ID requirement for every voter. It is method intended to end electoral fraud and promote free and fair elections. The photo ID requirement is an essential aspect of voting that ensures voters do not engage in any form of electoral irregularities. Therefore, the paper seeks to determine if the photo ID requirement should be used as a voting requirement by evaluating scholarly sources. It will define if there are limitations of using the photo ID requirement as a voting requirement.

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Article Against Requirement of Photo ID for Voting

The first scholarly article, Voter identification talking points and fact sheet by Wang (2011) argue that a healthy democracy is enhanced by having an active voter engagement and participation. Therefore, in this view, effects enacted to people from accessing their voting is arguably flying in the face of democracy. Since the 2010 elections, many states in the USA have faced renewed efforts aimed to restrict their electoral process. Many states have since adopted the strict photo ID requirement as a voting requirement, which of course has been opposed by a majority of the people. In a democratic system, people should be allowed as long as they are registered voters and not whether they have a photo ID requirement or not. The primary argument given may be represented in standard form as follows:

Premise 1: Installing the photo ID requirement for voters will cost millions of dollars. These will add additional burdens to the taxpayers who will have to pay more taxes to cover the financial gap (Wang, 2011). It will, therefore, raise the economy of the state and force more people to live in poverty. Am electoral process should be as cheap as possible to allow the people elect good leaders who can come up with viable investments to boost the economy.

Premise 2: Students cannot have the photo ID requirement. Many students in private universities and colleges will not be able to use the photo ID requirement even though they are liable to vote. Hence, in a way, the system will cut them out of the electoral process (Wang, 2011). Additionally, many students who may not have the driver's license that shows their university address may also miss out on the photo ID requirement.

In general, the article supports all its premises by giving accurate data generated from various states in the United States. Looking at their premises, they are arguably strong points. The photo ID requirement will be an expensive process since every citizen will have to implement it. In the process, too much many will be used that could have otherwise used for other investment purposes. In the same way, students risk missing out on elections because not all of them will have access to the photo ID requirement (Wang, 2011). Their target audience was the public. Thus, the source has presented concrete facts to oppose the ideas of implementing photo ID requirement for voters.

An article in support of Requirement of Voter ID in Voting

Hopkins et al., 2017, in their journal "Voting but for the law: Evidence from Virginia on photo identification requirements" oppose the idea of implementing photo ID requirement for voters. They argue that applying the photo ID requirement for voters is not a requirement of the constitution. Instead, it has been used by interested groups to reduce the number of voters. In their study, they determined that a higher percentage of the voters who do not have the driver's license lack the photo ID and hence are not eligible to vote if the requirement is passed (Hopkins et al., 2017). The primary argument given may be represented in standard form as follows:

Premise 1: There is lack of consensus about the photo ID requirement for voters. In 2016, twelve states allowed the implementation of the photo ID requirement for voters as a condition for the polls. This led to the introduction of Indiana in 2006 which has since sparked a lot of contemporary debates in the election administration (Hopkins et al., 2017).

Premise 2: There is no definite verdict from the Supreme Court about the photo ID requirement. The court is fractured on the issue (Hopkins et al., 2017).

Premise 3: the identification laws are characterized by two dimensions; some countries consider them as strict requirements while others view them as non-strict requirements.

The article has comprehensively supported its premises through well-researched data. For instance, it has used the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board case to show the lack of consensus on the issues and the inability of the Supreme Court to give a final verdict on the same (Hopkins et al., 2017). Their target audience was the public and the government officials who may decide to promote the requirement. Hence, they have used accurate data to support their argument.

Evaluation of Arguments in Non-Scholarly and Scholarly Sources

As opposed to the non-scholarly sources, the scholarly have used have used evidential data to support their arguments. The academic resources have provided more reasoned ideas that are logically arranged and are thus easy to understand. The non-scholarly resources are majorly based on beliefs without provable evidence that makes it a little hard to understand their reasoning. In the scholarly sources, the authors have a clear argument. They present their premises immediately at the introduction of the paper which makes it clear for the readers to follow their thoughts throughout the document. However, in the non-scholarly sources, authors give contradictory statements. The reader must be keen for them to understand the argument of the author.

In conclusion, the activity has been a success. It has helped me understand various strategies in research like content analysis, research methodology used, and sampling method applied among others. It has additionally expanded my knowledge in the topic discussion. In future, I may use the experience learned from this exercise to research the contemporary issues that face the electoral system.


Hopkins, D. J., Meredith, M., Morse, M., Smith, S., & Yoder, J. (2017). Voting but for the law: Evidence from Virginia on photo identification requirements. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 14(1), 79-128. Retrieved from

Wang, T. (2011). Voter identification talking points and fact sheet. Demos, Jan, 5. Retrieved from

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