Union requires photo ID to vote

September 3, 2014

Activists on the Left strongly oppose voter photo ID laws, saying such laws and other efforts to protect the integrity of state and national elections suppress the vote and deny citizens access to the ballot box.

At the same time labor union executives, who give 90% of their organizations’ campaign money to Democratic candidates, require voters to present photo ID in union elections.

An example was announced recently in a bulletin released by executives of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587 in King County, Washington:

“Your King County or Washington State picture ID is required to cast your vote.”

The announcement, shown below, was authorized by Judy J. Young, Recording Secretary for the union.

Union officials would probably say the photo ID requirement is needed to confirm that a person is a member in good standing before casting a vote.  They would probably say this is the only way to protect the validity of the election, and to insure that both the losing and winning sides respect the outcome.

They would probably also say it is not fair to union members when non-members cast ballots, because doing so might cancel out the decision of eligible voters, or otherwise affect the result of a union election.  Further, not maintaining voter standards would undermine public confidence that the serving union leaders are the true choice of the membership.

Exactly.  In this case the union is right, and state lawmakers pass voter ID laws for the same reasons.  Lawmakers want to ensure that every voter is respected, that even losing candidates accept the outcome, and that serving elected officials reflect the real democratic choices of citizens.  If requiring photo ID is fair in a union election it’s fair in a state or federal election, something to keep in mind the next time state voter ID laws come under attack.