Across the country, there has been a concerted effort by primarily Republican politicians to enforce what’s known as “Voter ID laws.” These ID laws would essentially make voting more difficult than purchasing ammunition for a firearm. The laws call for specific state issued ID’s that millions of Americans do not have. Also, there would be restrictions on who can and cannot vote early. Essentially, the voter ID laws disenfranchise millions of Americans by making it highly inconvenient or next to impossible to vote. However, now that we are mere breaths away from the presidential election, courts across the country are striking down the ID laws and any attempts to restrict the early voting process. The most recent case occurred on Tuesday, when the federal Supreme Court allowed early voting to take place in the crucially important swing state of Ohio. Republican leaders proposed that early voting should only be allowed for military members and their families to vote in person during the last three days before Nov. 6th. A federal appeals court concluded that if county election polls were going to be open for early voting, the polls had to be open for all voters and thus placed a hold on the early voting restriction.
Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling was not the only voter ID legislation to be shot down this election season. On Oct. 2nd, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that state lawmakers could not enforce any new identification laws during this election. However, when voters called the Pennsylvania state elections office, an automated recording informed those voters of the exact opposite of what had just been passed as law; that a voter ID law was in effect for the Nov. 6th election. The elections office branded it as a simple oversight and later removed the recording. But the misinformation did not stop there. On county websites across the state, there were messages telling voters that a new ID law had been adopted when it was not. So even though a judge declared that no such law would be adopted for this election, government officials throughout the state still informed voters otherwise, which is essentially suppressing the vote.