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Letter: Voter ID law causes bigger problem

Posted: August 25, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 25, 2012 2:00 a.m.

I must say I don’t find columnist Byron York to be a very good addition to your op-ed page.

His Aug. 15 column talks about apparent voter fraud in Minnesota and how important it is for states to pass strict voter ID laws to combat this “problem.”

Well, here’s the thing: Pennsylvania recently passed a tough voter ID law, and reports coming out of that state estimate that up to 900,000 eligible voters may be unable to vote in this year’s election because they lack the proper ID.

Now these are citizens who, in many cases, have voted without problem for decades, but they lack a birth certificate or driver’s license to prove their citizenship.

Remember that some of our older and often poorer citizens never had documentation and may not have a clue where to obtain it.

If one’s parents moved around a lot, it may be nearly impossible to find out where one was born. And without knowing which state and county you were born in, obtaining a birth certificate is nigh impossible.

Many other Republican-controlled states have passed similar legislation this past year, and one has to wonder if the real reason for it is to suppress the Democratic vote come November, not stamp out voter fraud.

If ineligible (felon) voters are voting in Minnesota, that is something they should try to stop. But, according to York’s report, this involves hundreds of cases, not hundreds of thousands.

Compare the unfairness of a relatively few illegal votes to tens or hundreds of thousands of qualified voters who may be disenfranchised by these new ID laws, and you are comparing apples and oranges.

Which is the bigger problem, Mr. York?


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