Voter ID makes it more difficult to cheat

Published 12:13 am Thursday, July 14, 2011

To the Editor:

The Photo ID bill, House Bill 351 was vetoed. The bill was designed to help ensure the integrity of the voting process in North Carolina. Instead, the governor claims that it would disenfranchise a lot of voters. We are told that, “Hundreds of thousands of active registered voters in this state do not have a state issued photo ID.” It would certainly be interesting to see the facts supporting that allegation. Hmmm… The next question is, “How many of them have one of the other approved identifications?” The state-issued IDs are free. So much for instituting a “poll tax.”

One of the “reasons” I heard why this was not a good bill was that it was the creation of the RNC. I suppose if the RNC wants something, the rest of us should resist it. But wait. Has anyone ever heard of ACORN and all the tricks they played with voter registration pretty much all over the country? We were well on the road to “vote early, vote often” types of elections in a lot of places. We certainly don’t need that in North Carolina.

Our registrars tell us that they had experienced virtually no cases of voter fraud. Those statements were seized on by the opponents of the bill as proof it wasn’t needed. Even if they had investigated carefully and found none – so what? The fact is that N.C. didn’t experience much illegal or morally repugnant behavior from our governors or other high elected officials either – at least not until it was unearthed. It happens. So who’s to say that it hasn’t already happened in our voting process and simply hasn’t been detected? We hear reports of folks picking up “armloads” of absentee ballots and taking them to folks who can neither read nor write and “helping” them to vote. Is that what not being disenfranchised means? When that kind of behavior is so easy to stop before it starts, why not go for the ounce of prevention? Do we really want to wait for something untoward to happen in one of our elections before we do something about voter shenanigans?

Voters have not only a right but an obligation to vote. Allegedly, a lot of old folks, poor, and minorities don’t have a way to get to the registrar’s office to get their photo ID. Really? So why can’t the same folks who invariably seem to find the time and resources to take them to vote pick them up and take them to the registrar’s office to get their free voter ID if they do not already have one of the other approved forms of ID? It seems as though the “naysayers” are more interested in leaving the door open for voter fraud than they are in ensuring honest elections. Requiring a photo ID won’t guarantee completely honest elections, but it will make it more difficult to cheat. Isn’t that what we all want?