There’s a big difference in requiring a photo ID to board an airplane and the right to vote. Voting in America is a precious right; eligibility is established in the United States Constitution, its amendments, by state laws and by various acts of Congress. Because the Constitution does not have particular language on voting except for the Fourteenth Amendment (1868), the Fifteen Amendment (1870) , the Nineteenth Amendment (1920), the Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964) and the Twenty-Sixth Amendment (1971), the states have wide discretion to establish the legal qualifications for voting.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a very hard-fought law that sought to end the decades of Jim Crow voting restrictions of African-Americans living in the South particularly. In 1964 fewer than half of all registered African-Americans living in the Jim Crow South were eligible to vote. Now 70% of African-Americans are registered to vote. About 65% of registered African-Americans voted in the last two presidential elections.
Even those statistics, being promising, are under a vicious attack in an effort to restrict voting. It is no surprise that most of the states that have recently passed onerous voting restrictions have governments that are overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans. There are easily accessible videos to view in which state legislators in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the Deep South have candidly said out loud that with voting restriction laws in place — laws shortening voter registration dates and times, laws eliminating or drastically curtailing early voting — African-Americans, Hispanics and persons of color, the disabled and the poor will not have the ability to cast votes. The poorly hidden purpose of the voting restrictions is clear — to limit those who are more likely to vote Democrat.