Thursday, January 17, 2008

Voter ID Needed as a Requirement to Vote


Voter ID Needed as a Requirement to Vote

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This topic always brings in the hate mail. It seems there are people out there who actually believe their political party can never win another election unless it cheats! So they raise all sorts of Cain when anyone mentions having a state, or national, requirement that a voter prove that he, or she, is who they say they are and that they are eligible to vote, and these day, that they are, indeed, a citizen of the United States.

Daren Bakst is a lawyer, and he is the legal and regulatory analyst for the John Locke Foundation based in Raleigh, North Carolina. A few days ago he wrote a piece concerning this very topic. It is entitled: “Voter ID requirement will help fight fraud”. I felt it was right on target. We recommend you read Mr. Bakst’s article at:

http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=280911

Here’s a bit of a teaser from Mr. Bakst’s article: “The legitimacy of elections hinges on the principle of “one person, one vote.” Unfortunately, when individuals can show up at polls and cast their votes without proving their identities, the “one person, one vote” principle may be more of a theory than a reality.

This may come as a surprise to most people, but no identification of any kind is required at the polls”.

Over the years, as a member of the press, I have seen election fraud and corruption… up close. I have sat in rooms with agents from the US Justice Department armed with tape recorders and 357 Magnums strapped to his waist, as members of the election board recounted votes. I have sat in courtrooms and watched as investigations tried to locate entire ballot boxes, with the votes still in them, which had disappeared immediately after the polls closed. I have watched vote counts come to a stand-still as precincts waited to see how many votes one candidate needed to win… before reporting in to the board of elections with, Lordy, lordy, just the right number of votes to swing the election to their candidates benefit.

I have watched, from across the street, as voters would leave a polling place with a blank ballot “palmed” in their hand… then trade it to a person outside the polling place for a five dollar bill. The money man would them fill out that ballot in favor of his candidate and the next voter would get the already filled out ballot from the man with the money, go inside to the polling place, get a new ballot, drop the pre-marked ballot into the ballot box, and bring the clean, unmarked, ballot out to the guy with the money, get his five dollars, and move on, as the next voter stepped up to get his pre-marked ballot. I have seen these things. So voter fraud is nothing new to me.

Having seen all this for myself you will not be surprised that I am in favor of a photo ID for registered voters in my state and ALL states in the union. Anything, within the bounds of the US Constitution, which will reduce cheating in our elections, is welcome. Well, at least to those of us who believe that our party can win without cheating, that is!

Voter fraud is REAL! It taints every election. If a Voter Photo ID will restore the voter’s faith in the belief that their vote counts, then it is worth it. One man, One Vote is a nice sentiment, but it is not real until we can guarantee that only those people vote who are qualified to vote, and nobody else. Until then… One Man, One Vote… will remain just that…a sentiment.

Longstreet


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3 comments:

Frank said...

It must be free of charge ot ir is a "poll tax" which is illegal.Voter fraud is not really that big of an issue, it is all about disenfranchising certain groups of voters. There was more corruption in the 2000, 2004 and 2006 by the G.O.P. than at any other time in history. Getting rid of the electronic machines would restore faith in elections. Here in Ohio Diebold has created a mess and now we the taxpayers will need to purchase new machine after buying thier crap for the '04 elections. I don't see why the states don't make the manufacturers of failed equipment buy it back from the states at a 10% mark up per year from what the states paid (just to cover inflation). Every vote counts and every vote must be counted correctly.

Longstreet said...

We have the paper ballots on which you blacken the little circles then stick the ballot into an electronic counter. We have had virtually no problem with elections since we got them.

I spoke to the county commissioners, many years ago, in favor of the county getting rid of the paper ballots and ballot boxes and purchasing the system we have now. It was a smart move.

Longstreet said...

I forgot to mention that I, too, believe the Voter ID's should be, well, "free" isn't exactly the right word... since they would be paid for with tax money. (NC state still has state income taxes.)... But I do not think the voter should have to pay any out of pocket money to acquire one. You register to vote and your photo is taken, same as at the driver's license bureau, and you are handed the voter ID on the spot. Those already registered could either authorise the state to use the driver's license photo, already on on file at the DMV, or drop by the local Elections Board office and have one made.