Thursday, April 13, 2006

Closing the circle

In a recent post about voter ID requirements, I agreed with Katherine Kersten that a voter ID requirement was reasonable -- providing, I added, there was a fallback provision so that people without IDs could still vote, using provisional ballots, for example.

What I failed to do is explain exactly what the current voter ID bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmers and supported by Kersten, says.

Here's the text of the bill.

It requires a photo ID, period. No fallback options. No ID, no vote.

That constitutes an unreasonable barrier to voting, especially given that there's no evidence that voter fraud is a widespread problem now. If someone shows up to vote, they should be allowed to vote. If they don't have ID, their vote will only count once their right to vote has been confirmed. But they should not be turned away for lack of ID.

Given that shortcoming of Emmers' bill, it should either be amended or rejected.

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