Response to voter ID editorial
Research consistently shows that voter ID measures inhibit voting access especially for women, minority, low-income, and elderly voters. Voting fraud, which is often mentioned as a reason needed for Photo ID at the polls, is extremely rare. Most cases of fraud, as related to voting, come from officials tampering with the count or violations of campaign finance laws. Rather than focus our attention on hindering persons from receiving their constitutional right to vote, we should focus our attention on money in politics and election counting.
The editorial stated “some alleged voters would be disenfranchised. I just don’t see it”. You would not see it if you are among the 89% who are privileged enough to have ascertained a government issued photo ID because you have a car and are able to drive it; you are not elderly nor disabled; you have not lost all of your identifications in a fire or flood or other disaster, or if you have you have been able to afford the fees to replace your identifications.
I work with the elderly and disabled assisting them in obtaining identifications. To obtain a birth certificate alone costs approximately $50 from a system that is often confusing and complicated. If you do not have Internet access or a car to drive and are on very small fixed incomes, obtaining identifications is a costly and burdensome process. I am struck by how much time, effort and money is going into implementing Voter ID laws that accomplish nothing except creating new barriers to disenfranchise eligible voters. We should be encouraging voting not making it harder.
The editorial also stated: “You have to have an ID to live-to get a library card, to open a bank account, to get a credit card, to pick your child up from school for heavens sake!” I did not have to show an ID to get a Library card nor a Credit Card and not everyone has a bank account or a child to pick up at school. In fact not a single person I work with has any of these.
Finally the editorial stated: “For every person in this country to register to vote, they must present a photo identification”. Our own State of West Virginia does not require photo identification to register and there are others. A simple “google” can produce the information needed for those who wish to seek the truth. Journalistic integrity should compel the writer to do some research prior to making bold false statements.
In the last few years we have seen an all-out attack on the voting rights of Americans. We must stop the attacks and secure our democracy ensuring “The People” are educated and voting and running our great country!