Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Does Voter ID Work?

Can Pennsylvania's new Voter ID law be implemented fairly and smoothly? If they can do it right in Twiggs County, Georgia, you would think we could do it right in our state?

My print column is up.

From the comment section: Sassychick writes:
Another brilliant answer by another brilliant Delaware County politician. What is so hard about this law? You get an ID or your don't. Shame on the county office if they really sent an 85-year-old woman away because they weren't ready to make her an ID--get a machine, folks--we pay enough taxes for you to afford that--take the picture, laminate it and send people on their way. But, then, those court house employees do tend to be rather officious--you really have to remind them who works for whom.
But the county didn't send anyone away. It was the state that wasn't quite ready to make this 85-year-old woman her photo ID. And, after all, she doesn't need it to vote until November.

As for the alleged officiousness of our courthouse employees, that has not be my experience.

Over the years, I have found our courthouse workers to be courteous and helpful. Besides being a newspaper columnist I am also a county resident and have needed to conduct personal business at the courthouse. On every occasion that I can think of, I was helped quickly and effectively, and by people who didn't know me from Adam.

Also, I found White's comments to be straight forward and honest.

The question remains was this law necessary to prevent opportunities for voter fraud? Maybe not. While greater opportunities for fraud were opened up by the 1993 Motor Voter bill, there is little evidence that such fraud is widespread. And yet, it doesn't take much of it in a very close election to eek out a win for one candidate or another.

Typically when election fraud happens it is committed by overzealous and unprincipled campaign workers. Tightening up the system through Voter ID, will make such crimes tougher to commit and protect the integrity everyone's vote.

A majority of both Democratic and Republican voters believe that Voter ID is sensible and support such laws.

As I said earlier, if they can do it in Twiggsco, they can do it Delco.

UPDATE: Jan McNight, a spokeswoman from PennDOT, contacted me today to offer help in getting the 85-year-old woman mentioned at the beginning of today's column a photo ID. As I told her, unfortunately, the county employee who heard from lady never got her name or contact information.

In any case, McNight said, all PennDOT drivers license centers are ready to help anyone who doesn't have a photo ID go get one.

She theorized, and I would guess quite correctly, that the woman in question didn't have all the paperwork she needed to get the ID then and there. Anyone who doesn't have ID needs a social security card or birth certificate and proof of residency (a bill for this or that.)

Jan tells me the PennDOT is all set up and ready to issue IDs.

"That our job and that's what we do."

Anyone who doesn't have a current ID can get it for free. All they have to do is sign an oath swearing to that and the typical charge $13.50 is waived.

More info is available at


Blogger Dannytheman said...

But if you’re planning to visit Eric Holder’s office in Washington, D.C., you better bring a photo ID. The Department of Justice has two armed guards stationed outside its headquarters to check IDs of anyone who wants to enter — employees and visitors.

April 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM 
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