It's held that there’s a difference between rights and privileges. But with the issue of voter identification laws, that line gets a little blurry.
A Kentucky state senator says he is unsure when he will file voter ID legislation. Republican Floor Leader Sen. Damon Thayer says such a law is necessary to provide protections from voter fraud.
“You have to show your ID to purchase a packet of Sudafed; you have to show an ID to get on an airplane; you’ve got to show your ID to get a library card,” Thayer said. “People think something as precious as the right to vote, the integrity of the ballot, ought to be protected by the simple act of showing an ID.”
Thayer says that because voting is such a fundamental right, it should be protected from voter fraud. Although he couldn’t think of any recent examples of voter impersonation at Kentucky polling places, the GOP leader still plans to introduce such legislation between now and the 2014 meeting of the General Assembly.
“The proper answer to that is ‘undetermined’ at this time," Thayer said, regarding when he'll introduce the legislation. "We’ve still got some time before the session to determine if we’re going to file a bill on that. I know that there is strong support for that among many members of the Senate.”
Thirty-four states have introduced voter identification laws, although not all are currently enforced, due in part to legal challenges and future start dates.