Why is voter ID controversial? Why is it controversial to have to prove the identity and citizenship of voters?
As informed readers know, in today's America such basic safeguards are controversial. The Washington Post has a summary of recent pending cases in a number of states. See Wisconsin threw out voter ID Tuesday. It’s a fight still playing out in 12 other states. (Jamie Fuller, WaPo's The Fix, April 29, 2014).
It's a useful source, but of course you must beware of the bias. For example, its Illinois entry declares that
Illinois voters are voting on a constitutional amendment this November that would expand voting rights. The state legislature passed the measure overwhelmingly earlier this April, and members of both parties enthusiastically endorsed the amendment. According to the Northwest Herald, "the proposed amendment prevents people from being denied the right to register to vote or cast a ballot based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, sex, sexual orientation, or income." Legislators intended the language to discourage any future voter ID laws from passing in the state. Republican state Senator Matt Murphy told the Herald, “This will send a message loud and clear that it doesn’t matter what your surname is, if you have earned the right to vote you will not be impeded."
So in Illinois, "expanding voting rights" means NOT having voter ID. Got it.
That's all I need to know.And, in case you didn't get the message, the top of the article displays a photo of LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr. (along with Eric Holder's sister-in-law!) at the 1965 signing of the Voting Rights Act. So what is the WaPo implying, if you favor voter ID you're an evil racist?
Check out the Arizona and Kansas entries however, for the most successful recent victories (still pending of course) for those who want secure voter ID. Also, the comments section has some useful information from "rpoor" clarifying the North Carolina situation.
I've written a number of times about Mexico's voter ID system, in which the government provides voter ID to every voter. It's not controversial there. See How Come Mexico Can Require Voters To Prove Citizenship And Arizona Can’t? Here in the U.S., it's all part of electing a new people.