Wisconsin is the latest state to introduce legislation requiring voters to show valid ID. This is actually reviving of a current bill by Republicans. I don't see how the hell anyone can be against something that makes our voting system more secure. Those arguing against this have very little to stand on other than personal interests and not the interests of our democracy.
Arizona passed Proposition 200 which requires ID to be shown and Arkansas has recently introduced legislation as well.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In a packed hearing room, a group of elected officials, community leaders and residents testified to the Assembly's Committee on Campaigns and Elections about their concerns over a system they said is open to fraud, while a slightly larger crowd argued that the new requirement would disenfranchise voters.
Earlier this week, leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature revived a bill similar to one vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in 2003 that would have required voters to show a valid photo ID to register and vote...
Most people would show a driver's license to vote, but a state-issued identification card or military ID would also be accepted. The state would offer free IDs to those who don't have them or can't afford them, under the bill.
Opponents rolled out all they could against this measure to ensure fair voting, including a wheelchair bound woman and an old guy who knows everyone in his town and would feel silly showing his ID to them. They also included the fact that homeless people would be prevente from voting. Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters
rightly points out that homeless people shouldn't be able to vote if they cannot prove they reside in a state or the district they are voting in anyway.
Karla Smith of Madison, who uses a wheelchair, told lawmakers that the measure would disenfranchise disabled people, because they would have trouble lining up transportation to get an ID.
"It sounds like a simple thing, but it's not just a simple thing for people with disabilities and the elderly," she told the committee. "Please don't stop us from voting because we have to have a photo ID."
Tim White of Verona said there's no need for election officials to question voters' identities or qualifications to cast ballots in the close-knit area where he lives.
"The poll workers and clerk know just about everyone," White said. "It would feel pretty funny to present one of the poll workers I've known for 30 years with a photo ID."
Proponents of the bill include legal voters who are sick of their vote not counting.
Bob Geason of Burlington urged lawmakers to pass the bill because he said he feared voter fraud was diluting the effect of his vote.
"Call it clerical error or fraud, it's wiping out my vote and I don't like it," Geason said. "My vote, which used to be one vote, is now less than that because somebody else has been allowed to vote fraudulently."
Here in California, it's much worse. We have mail-in postcard-type voter registration (wide open to illegal aliens; Remember Bob Dornan?) and no person is ever required to show any type of ID when voting. (which encourages the casting of multiple ballots)
And when someone is caught breaking our electoral laws, it's not treated very seriously.
This is tragic, because honest and fair elections are a requirement for an effective democracry.
Posted by: EdWonk on February 7, 2005 10:14 AM