Letter: Keep voter ID status quo
I am urging the House-Senate conference committee on HB 595 to retain the current voter identification requirements and not reduce the current photo IDs that are acceptable or add a requirement to photograph individuals without IDs.
Conferees should remember that in order to initially register to vote, whether at city hall or the town clerk’s office or at the polling site, individuals must present proof of identification, citizenship and age and residence eligibility. The only voting integrity protection needed for registered voters – if any – is a photo ID that proves identity (I even once had an airline accept a credit card photo when I lost my wallet while traveling) or some other type of ID certification, such as being known to polling place officials or an affidavit signature.
Reducing allowable photo IDs creates hardships for some who may not have transportation to obtain a non-driver license ID. Adding a photograph requirement will increase costs to cities and towns, or the state, without increasing voting security. What will happen to those photos, and how many people want yet another photograph on file in some public office? The current requirements add a layer of protection to the voting process without impeding the right of eligible citizens to vote.
ROBIN WILLIAMSON McBREARTY