Voters need to trust in the integrity of the ballot box. That is why we should enact common sense protections. But in our age of political division, even common-sense provisions are sometimes attacked as an attempt at voter suppression and voter intimidation.
Fortunately, a new poll found that most Americans (at least in Texas) agree with attempts to ensure the integrity of the vote. The Dallas Morning News provided a summary of the Texas Lyceum poll and found that Republicans and Democrats alike expressed greater than 70 percent support for four key ideas.
First, require electronic voting machines to print a paper backup of the ballot. Both Republicans (82%) and Democrats (84%) supported this provision.
Second, automatically remove inaccurate and duplicate registrations from voter lists. In this case, 86 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agreed with this provision.
Third, require voters to show a government-issued photo identification to vote. This is where there was the biggest split. Nearly all (90%) Republicans approved of this measure, while only 72 percent of Democrats agreed. Fourth, there should be automatic updating of voter registrations when people move.
To its credit, the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News approved of each of these provisions. They understand that having a printed backup of voting machines makes sense. They also agree that we should be cleaning out bad registration information.
And they acknowledge that requiring a voter ID has been controversial. But they add that “nearly everything in our lives requires an ID, from renting a home to cashing a paycheck to getting medical care.” All of us can add many other activities that require an ID. This should not be seen as a major burden.
This recent poll reminds us that most Americans endorse common-sense provisions in order to have voter integrity.