Needing a photo ID to vote is like a poll tax
The Legislature passed an election bill the last business day of the 2006 session. The bill includes several provisions that were needed and others that are even progressive. For example, cell phone bills will be valid utility bills for same-day ...
The Legislature passed an election bill the last business day of the 2006 session.
The bill includes several provisions that were needed and others that are even progressive.
For example, cell phone bills will be valid utility bills for same-day registration purposes; Tribal government IDs may be used for same-day registration, in combination with a utility bill; a post-election audit will be required to verify that electronic ballot counters worked accurately; and an address confidentiality program will be created for battered women.
The Legislature dodged the proverbial bullet on one issue that most certainly would have resulted in a court challenge.
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Delano) had proposed a bill requiring a photo ID in order to vote. Several other states have passed a similar requirement. Among them is Georgia where groups have appealed that Legislature's approval of such a bill. Since citizens are charged a fee to obtain a photo ID, the challengers liken the requirement to a "poll tax." For those who are too young to remember, poll taxes were commonplace in southern states a few decades ago but went the way of other discriminatory practices as a result of the Civil Rights Act.
There are two good arguments against the misguided idea of requiring a photo ID in order to vote. The first is that voter fraud is not a real issue. In fact, the Georgia Secretary of State said she couldn't recall one documented case of voter fraud during her tenure. She called the justification a pretext for the more egregious purposes of preventing people from voting.
It seems obvious that discrimination, if not outright political partisanship, enters in when those who are most likely to be prevented from voting would be disabled, elderly, low-income and minority voters.
Think of your elderly parent, for example, who hasn't had a drivers license for 10 years. It would be more than a mere inconvenience to figure out how to obtain a photo ID for him or her.
We support the position that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. Election laws can always be improved but shouldn't take us back to the 1950s.
Now firmly planted in the 21st century, the Enterprise has become dependent on e-mail to the same degree that Earth relies on the sun.
Our days revolve around receiving photos, news items and advertising via e-mail.
Thursday, it was as if a meteor crashed into Arvig's system. We not only didn't receive who knows how many e-mails, but the senders weren't getting messages that their transmissions hadn't gone through.
We're not sure yet how Friday will go but we apologize to our readers in advance for items omitted. It was a hugely frustrating day.