A majority of the American people tend to sit on their hands every election day. The number of non-voters is staggering and pathetic; perhaps some day they will wake up and exercise their duty faithfully and diligently. The people who do vote, however, should be limited to one vote per person. After all, “one man, one vote” is in the Constitution.
And that’s why the brouhaha over state legislation that would require voters to show a valid photo identification when they go to the polling booths is much ado about nothing.
The law would not impose an undue burden. It would simply require them to present a valid photo ID — typically a driver’s license — at the polls. If they don’t have one, they can get one from the government, for free.
Identity theft is pervasive, and voter fraud is one branch of it. Critics say the frequency of voter fraud — in which people not eligible to vote do vote, or when an individual casts multiple votes — is too low to justify the expense of establishing a photo ID system. The critics are dead wrong. Even a single fraudulent vote is one too many.
Much of the opposition to voter ID comes from people who think the measure is merely an effort by the Republican Party to deter and frustrate would-be Democrats from voting for President Obama in November.
Even if that is the Republicans’ ulterior motive, voter ID is a good idea. Opponents want to kill the message (clean elections) just because they don’t like the messenger (Republicans), and that is just plain wrong.
Nothing is more fundamental to democracy than honest, fair elections. ••
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