Yes, so long as it is implemented properly along with the rest of a proper electoral system rather than this 'yes' being used as an excuse for some particular voter-ID plan presently held in mind that rational men would not judge proper. And it should definitely NOT be allowed to become a defacto National ID system.
I also agree with DW, in basic idea but not in whole detail. Citizenship should be earned by demonstrating non-criminality, a basic knowledge of man's rights, and a basic understanding of how the relevant system of government works. Then, additional to that, those citizens who also want to vote should pay poll-fees. No pay no say. The size of them should not be large enough to fund government by themselves (up to about half should be fine) but large enough to make people want to think about the expense and to keep on valuing voting after they've incurred it by having made a psychological investment.
By my reckoning an appropriate ball-park is about $1-2000pa for Local+State and $2-3000pa for National, payable in advance for the number of years that an office-holder's term lasts, ie 2-4 years as appropriate. Whatever they actually are, they should be identical for everyone for each relevant election, because nobody who has those basics can claim to have a greater right to a say than another, and since that is the case it is improper for anyone to have to pay more or less than any other. Equal say and hence equal pay.
Then a proper ID system would be that and only that which evidences having passed tests of citizenship and having paid poll-fees before and for the election at hand, plus appropriate technical details (eg inking thumbs or electoral-equivalents of back-of-hand night-club stamps) to assist in preventing electoral fraud.
And appropos of this, a census should be strictly about spreading workloads evenly among legislative representatives, electoral-college blocs, and so on, not the nonsense "better to inform policy with" as we have to put up with today.
answered Aug 30 '12 at 04:08