Our readers write

Our readers write

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:00 pm

Voter ID law draws questions

To The Editor:
I don’t like it when someone puts words into my mouth because then I have to stop in my tracks and spit them out. But here goes. Recently, in a letter to the editor, I questioned the provision in the voter photo ID law that allows all voters 65 and older to vote by absentee ballot and thereby skirt the voter photo ID requirements. Another letter writer followed up with a letter claiming that I do not trust old people.
Now, I am one of those old timers he claims I do not trust. Unlike him, however, I do not look at people in my age group through rose-tinted glasses. I trust them no more and no less that I trust people in any other age group. We have our Jimmy Carters and our George H.W. Bushes, but we also have our Bernie Madoffs.
Fortunately none of them, or anybody else for that matter, is intent on committing voter impersonation fraud in this state. Nonetheless, the state Legislature passed a voter photo ID law. What I questioned in my letter was, why, if legislators are so worried about voter impersonation fraud, they required no voter identification for those casting absentee ballots, which is where most voter fraud occurs — probably because it is the method of voting most open to fraud. Then I questioned why these legislators gave an entire age group a free pass around this law by allowing them to vote using this unsecured method. Since the only voters being accorded this special dispensation are those 65 and over, this is the group I had to mention when I questioned the provision.
Now I realize that some older voters are too frail and infirm to stand in line to have a voter photo taken at a driver testing center. Some might also have trouble coming up with the required papers. Allowing them to vote at the mailbox takes care of these problems. But all age groups have people like this in them, yet those groups aren’t being allowed to vote by absentee ballot. Why not?
Well, there’s only one answer I can think of. Those who voted for this law believe absentee voters are 100 percent trustworthy and should not, therefore, be required to prove their identity before voting. They also believe voters 65 and over are equally trustworthy and so should be allowed to vote by absentee ballot as a way to get around the voter photo ID requirement. But all other voters are too untrustworthy to be given this option. What and insult!
And get this.  If a voter who is 65 or older decides to vote at the ballot box, then he, too, automatically becomes 100 percent untrustworthy and will be required to show a voter photo ID. How crazy is that? Were I one of those “untrustworthy” voters, I would be sure, when I voted at the ballot box, to accord any of my legislators who voted for this law the same distrust they accorded me. Oh, I just remembered. I am going to be voting at the ballot box.
And now a word to the wise for all those wearing rose-tinted glasses. Don’t take any wooden nickels and don’t let anyone, no matter how old he is, sell you the Golden Gate Bridge.
Lynda Hamblen
Union City

Published in The Messenger 9.26.12

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