The Norman Transcript

Columns

August 17, 2013

Voter ID arguments getting old

(Continued)

NORMAN —

In North Carolina’s case, the law provides for everybody who needs one to get a government-issued photo ID – free. If you don’t drive, never travel overseas and therefore don’t have a passport, no problem. Government will give you what you need to vote.

When was the last time you noticed an American — poor, minority, elderly or young — having much trouble getting something they really want that is free from the government? Americans are very good at that.

And even if they can’t be bothered to get it, or bring it, the law allows them to cast a provisional ballot. In short, government is doing plenty — more than necessary — to make it easy for everyone to vote.

Yet we have the spectacle of the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, telling the Associated Press, “It is a trampling on the blood, sweat and tears of the martyrs — black and white — who fought for voting rights in this country.”

Cry us a river, reverend. You are the one trampling on the memory of those martyrs by trivializing what they did. You know, or ought to know, that they would have held a major celebration if the government of that era announced it would provide photo identification to citizens of any race so they could vote.

A free photo ID is a barrier to voting just like fire hoses and police dogs? Get serious.

As has been pointed out in the past, but apparently has to be pointed out again, there is a moral imperative to oversee voting that is just as strong as making sure citizens are not prevented from voting. If you, a registered voter, have your vote canceled by someone who is not qualified, then you have been disenfranchised as well.

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