I'll leave the wingers to shout as much as they like.
The genesis of the whole "Voter ID" thing is the number-crunching techniques that computers make possible. Both sides are well aware that the young, the poor, and minorities tend to vote Democratic. So the parties, motivated solely by the will to win, try to find ways to either encourage their constituencies to vote, or to discourage them from voting.
Here's the brute math: If a given set of Americans votes 60-40 in favour of one party, the other party will try to discourage that set from voting, whilst the favoured party will do whatever it can to make it easier for that set to vote.
This is the key: neither party gives a damn less about voter participation, democracy, or any of those other flag-waving terms. They are out to win, just like a Wall Street banker who has figured out a way to put 100,000 people in the poorhouse, whilst making a million bucks. In his system of values, ten bucks in his pocket is worth far more than the prosperity, health, or even life of a fellow human being. The same is true of the political class: they are motivated by a win-at-all-costs values system. They would be perfectly happy to murder opposition voters if they thought they could get away with it.
So, the motivation of the Democrats is simple: maximise the opportunity of the pro-Democratic poor, young, and non-white to vote. The motivation of the Republicans is equally simple: minimise same.
For the last 20 years or so, the Democrats have dominated the scene. Flying the banner of "voting rights" and "voter participation," they passed four significant changes to the voting system, either on a national or state level. The first is "motor-voter," which requires the state's motor vehicle department to offer voter registration to every person who comes in to complete a transaction, such as acquiring or renewing driving licenses, registering newly-acquired cars, &c. The second is "same-day registration," which allows a person who has been too lazy or indifferent to register to vote, but suddenly decides to make his moronic voice heard, the opportunity to register and vote on election day, where laws previously required one to already be registered and on the voter rolls well before election day. The third is extended voting periods, where people can vote over the period of several days or even weeks, usually called "early voting." Finally, the fourth is voter-registration efforts. All of these techniques increase the participation of the young, the poor, and the non-white, who tend to vote Democratic.
Well, now the Empire is striking back. Republicans want to restrict the voting opportunities of the poor, the young, and the non-white. Sadly, they don't have a nice, crunchy, flag-waving reason like "democratic participation" to put on their banner, so they came up with "voter fraud," the notion that ineligible voters may vote. There is no evidence that such fraud has occurred (despite the Reps many attempts to take cases where a handful of non-significant errors have occurred and turn it into the Great Big Democratic Vote-Rigging Conspiracy), but the threat is real. Nonetheless, the Republicans' motivation is to restrict the voting opportunities of the groups that tend to vote Democratic.
North Carolina's law is instructive. Approximately 300,000 eligible voters in North Carolina do not possess a qualifying identity document. This group is overwhelmingly poor and non-white. More specifically, this group has a history of voting Democratic. The counties in which these people reside return Democrats, and have been more solidly Democratic since easy registration and early voting laws were passed.
So, under the rubric of preventing "voter fraud," the Republicans have required these 300,000 voters to either acquire qualifying ID, or not vote. They know full well that most of them will simply not vote. Mission accomplished.
Further instruction can be had from the fact that the North Carolina law also has several provisions restricting the ability of the young, the poor, and the non-white to vote that have nothing to do with preventing voter fraud, such as stopping registration drives that signed up high-school kids when they were 17, preparing to vote when they were 18, and shortening the early-voting period, thus disfavouring those who only get near a polling place every week or fortnight. That last is aimed specifically at the (mostly black) churches that make the rounds of isolated houses in rural areas, picking up people and taking them to the polls. Because a church van may take six hours to pick up 12 people, take them to the polls, and return them home, limiting the number of days of early voting will minimise the ability of these organisations to get people to the polls.
You may note that none of the Republicans, and certainly none of the right-wingers on this board, attempt to justify these measures in the name of "preventing voter fraud." When addressed on the issue, they merely scream louder.
And they're not wrong. Voter fraud is a legitimate problem. The Reps have the Dems on a hook. It is an article of faith to the Dems that some people are perfectly willing to destroy the country if it makes them a buck (which is true, see the Wall Street example supra). Does it not make sense then, ask the Reps, that such people would be more than happy to commit voter fraud?
The Dems are up against the simple problem that a significant portion of the population, including the groups that favour Democrats, have lousy voting records. So they do everything they can to make voting easier for those folks.
Let the Democrats and the left-wingers on this board scream as loudly as they want about the sanctity of democracy and "one person, one vote," they would not be doing this if the groups that tend to vote Democratic were not also the groups that tend not to vote.
So that's the deal. Anybody who says different is either a partisan liar, or hopelessly deluded.
I now expect the wingers to come on with their high-minded BS, snarky a-holism, and the usual crap.
Let the games begin.