Dwight Watt Internet Article #122 1/20/2006

#122 - Voter ID Cards (Watt Thoughts)

Voter ID cards have become a hot topic in recent years especially in Georgia. The concept behind voter ID cards is to make sure we live by One Person, One Vote. Often people have been able to vote with no ID or Ids that are questionable. Although hard to prove fraud has occurred in voting, the perception in the general public is there.

If you do any type of business today, even cashing a check at some banks or flying on a commercial airline, a photo ID is often required, and often must be government issued. Georgia had allowed many things including utility bills as an ID to vote. If we look at some foreign countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, they dipped a finger in ink to prevent multiple voting by an individual.

The ID for voting in small communities is often not an issue as everyone knows everyone so they know if John Smith is really John Smith. In large population areas this is not the case.

The solution in my opinion is to provide photo Ids to all voters when they register for free to everyone. Then require that ID to vote.

This will bypass the problems of misuse or trying to decide what other Ids work. To argue a photo ID from a state run college is OK, but from a private college is not, is splitting hairs.

By giving the Ids free to all, then there is no possible problem of comparison to poll taxes or the embarrassment of declaring yourself poor and someone deciding if you meet the criteria.

As far as losing the ID card, post a camera at all polls an if a person has no voter ID card, allow a provisional ballot by them, take their picture, and then compare the picture at the voter registration office later to see if registered , and are who they say they are, and they had not voted another time that day.

We can make our elections secure, return our confidence in the results in the process, and not discriminate against people by wealth. Free voter ID cards required to vote will work. However this will probably require a two year implementation to handle the logistics.



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