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Eligible voters should not need photo IDs at polling places

holtRush091611_optBY RUSH HOLT
COMMENTARY

What if, upon arriving at your polling place, you were informed that you were ineligible to cast a ballot because you had forgotten your photo ID? Or how would you react to an election official informing your elderly relative that she was unable to vote because she no longer maintains a valid driver’s license?

Currently there is a deliberate national move to interfere with the voting rights of eligible citizens. In 38 states, legislation has been introduced that would suppress the participation and the votes of young, minority, and elderly voters. In 2011, the number of states requiring strict forms of government-issued IDs has nearly quadrupled.

Why the sudden increase? Proponents of photo ID laws claim that voter fraud is the driving force, yet there is no evidence of this kind of deception. This is simply discrimination masquerading as orderly government.

The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that one in 10 eligible registered voters do not have the forms of ID that are acceptable under these expanding state laws, and to obtain these IDs costs money. The barriers apply disproportionately to the elderly, the poor, and those with disabilities. Poll taxes were thrown out decades ago as discrimination and contrary to democratic processes. We cannot stand by and let big money and special interests manipulate the results of elections by enacting 21st-century poll taxes.

U.S. Congressman Rush Holt (D) represents New Jersey’s 12th District. A researcher and educator, he holds a Ph.D. in physics from New York University.

 
Comments (3)
3 Thursday, 03 May 2012 18:05
Ken Hansen
How does Rep. Holt imagine we will ever detect voter fraud if no one is ever required to produce identification? Will we simply ask the voter if they are who they say they are?

Why is it OK for a supermarket to require photo ID before they'll take a personal check for to pay for baby formula, but that level of doumentation requirement is too onerous for the poor, the elderly, and the disabled?
2 Friday, 16 December 2011 22:43
In defense
Funny, we can somehow provide healthcare to every resident of America, but we can't give them identification. Oh, I forgot...it might interfere with voter fraud!!!
1 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 08:44
Reality Check
The nerve of people wanting to make sure only eligible voters vote. What next, is the social security department going to verify the identity of those accepting benefits - stop the insanity!

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