As others see it: Break down barriers to votingThe march to demand documents at polling places, including photo IDs and proof of citizenship, has been quietly persistent — and as disturbing in its reach as in its potential for negatively influencing elections.
By: Duluth News Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
The march to demand documents at polling places, including photo IDs and proof of citizenship, has been quietly persistent — and as disturbing in its reach as in its potential for negatively influencing elections.
At least 10 states — including, now, Minnesota — have adopted, debated or proposed Election Day requirements that would put up barriers to voting, infringing on citizens’ most important and cherished civic responsibility and civil right. ...
An estimated 10 percent of voting-age Americans don’t have photo IDs. Many with low incomes can’t afford them. The elderly are unable to easily get out to get them. And the disengaged are unlikely to make an extra effort to vote. ...
The goal should be simplifying the voting process, not making it more difficult. ...
A rapidly growing number of voters are using mail-in ballots. How would they show ID? Would requiring IDs actually open the door to new forms of fraud? What ID would be deemed acceptable? Only a driver’s license? Not everyone drives. Could an election judge’s decision to accept or not accept an ID be challenged?
The prospect of additional training for poll workers was just one expense that led to an estimate of $1 million a year to require photo IDs at polls in South Carolina. That shocking annual cost doesn’t even include the potentially pricey fight of legal challenges that inevitably would follow.
Would the Minnesota Voters Alliance be willing to foot the bill for ID card-making machines at every polling place? In addition to gathering signatures, perhaps it could take up a collection.
Or it could drop the whole idea in the name of preserving our civic rights and in encouragement of full participation in our representative government.
Duluth News Tribune