All citizens should cherish and exercise their right to vote, but while it is our right, it does not mean this is effortless. Consider the men and women who have fought and died to obtain and protect our form of citizen-based government.
As Lincoln, our first Republican President reminded us, this is “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
So in recent years, with the advent of the Internet, there have been rumors about polling places that are less than stellar in identifying voters and insuring not only a clean and fair election but the ‘perception’ of a clean and fair election.
The Missouri House and Senate have passed a bill to insure proper identification for every one that votes and our Governor has vetoed it. So I’m writing my state elected officials. Please feel free to copy, cut and paste.
Here’s what I said:
I agree with requiring an ID when voting. Voting is a right but it does not have to be effortless and it should be free of even a hint of fraud.
House Bills 48 and 216 provide for a process to obtain proper identification at no cost. It even provides for mobile access to those not able to travel to a fixed location to obtain such identification. It provides for provisional ballots in case identification in cases where the photo identification is not available on the election day and a path to follow up with proper identification to count these votes, as in the case of close elections.
This is well thought out bill and am in favor of is passage. Please find a way to gather support and wield the veto-proof majority we hear so much about to pass this bill.
Please write or email your Missouri Representative or Senator and let them know how you feel.
Even if you don’t agree with me….
I wrote 4 Republican and 1 Democratic State Representatives last week. One Republican answered within 5 minutes. The rest of the Republicans within an hour.
Bill Otto is my State Representative and four days later I received this:
Thanks for your thoughts on this matter. Although this bill might look good on the surface, I am concerned about the unintended consequences if this bill becomes law. I believe this has a potential of disqualifying folks who have had the privilege of voting for years without this additional requirement. There were virtually no examples of voter fraud in this state so it appears as if we are passing laws for the sake of passing laws. I believe we need less government not more and this does not meet that goal.
That being said, the Voter ID Bill did pass out of the House, so keep an eye on it in the Senate side to see if it will reach the Governor’s desk.
Thanks for the email & keep in touch.
One thing I liked was his statement that we need less government not more. Let’s see in the future how this holds up.
Keeping open those lines, I replied with this:
Thank you for your reply.
You are correct that there has been virtually no example of voter fraud such as district 40 in 2010, where a primary was determined by one vote. While this example bothers me, I am equally concerned about the perception of voter fraud. For whatever reason, good or bad, there is a lot of talk in the media and Internet about voter fraud and this gives a perception of a problem. Once our electorate starts to doubt the process, they will stop participating. You just ran a campaign and you are aware at the disparity between the numbers of registered voters vs. active voters.
Our goal here should be to add confidence to the process and integrity to the results.
Men and women have fought and died over the years to give us this right. This bill has nothing in the way of barriers to the process other than planning ahead on the part of the voter and yet it assures an honest election. The bill provides free access to an photo ID, delivery if you cannot travel to obtain one as well as a process to find it days later in case it is lost or stolen on the day of an election.
I truly agree with your comment that we need less government not more, however I believe in this information age we may need more evidence of honesty and integrity in the voting process.
Please consider lending your vote should this return to the house because of veto or other procedural process.
Remember, it is about the perception of honesty and accuracy we need to protect to keep voter involvement as high as possible.