A future in which every citizen has equal access to the ballot box. In eight states, voters are required to show government-issued photo ID in order to vote. States with strict photo ID laws must provide free photos. The high cost of a "free" voter is an
unreasonable burden on the constitutionally protected right to vote. The costs include the fee to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate, the document that's typically produced to establish one's identity.
Study after study shows the voter ID is a solution in search of a problem. The myth of in-person "voter impersonation" creates a problem for the 11 percent of voting-age citizens who lack an official photo ID, including 25 percent of African Americans, 19 percent of Latino Americans, and 18 percent of citizens age 18-24.
The Cost of Freedom Project is developing location-based apps that will cut through the confusion and provide voters with concise information on how to apply for a voter ID.
I will demo the Cost of Freedom App on February 14, 2012, during a panel discussion on social media and voter ID at the Center for American Progress. The event is being held in conjunction with Social Media Week Washington, DC.
We hope to reach the tipping point to launch CostofFreedom.info on April 4. 2012.
While challenges to strict voter ID laws play out at the Justice Department and in the courts, voters without government-issued photo ID need help right now. With Election Day eight months away, the Cost of Freedom Project offers solutions that will empower
voters to exercise their right to vote.
In his speech at Tulane Law School, Attorney General Eric Holder said "the Justice Department can't do it alone." Holder issued a call to action: "For every citizen, protecting the right to vote, ensuring meaningful access, and combating discrimination must be viewed, not only as a legal issue -- but as a moral imperative. And every citizen, in every state, must be part of this work."
The citizen-led Cost of Freedom Project is heeding the Attorney General's call to action. Our work will help remove barriers to the ballot box in those states where voters must show government-issued photo ID in order to vote.