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Denver Post: voter I.D. in Colorado needs reform

Posted by WhoSaidYouSaid on November 22nd, 2010
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Kelly Maher, of WhoSaidYouSaid, voted on Election Day with this identification: a utility bill from her landlord. But that same I.D. wouldn’t even get her a Denver Public Library card.

That eye-opening experience led to Maher’s recent interview with Scott Gessler, the incoming Colorado Secretary of State [see video above], in which he reiterated the need for photo I.D. in voting so that the public can be assured of fair elections.

The Denver Post this morning cited Maher’s Nov. 2 video, and editorialized in favor of Gessler’s proposal…

“While we won’t hold our breath at his chances for pushing a bill through the General Assembly, we think Gessler is justified in believing that Colorado should require potential voters to present valid photo identification when registering to vote and before casting a ballot at a polling place,” the newspaper stated.

The Post cites concerns, “most often by Democrats that photo ID requirements might limit participation in elections,” but notes that state government can provide whatever assistance is needed to obtain a valid I.D.

Frankly, we don’t see why this is a partisan issue - and those who try to inflame those fears are playing politics with something that is simply about good governance of elections.

At least eight states, as we’ve noted previously, either “require or request photo I.D.” when voting, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

A separate issue, proving citizenship when registering to vote in Colorado, raises another set of questions. Gessler told us it’s something that also deserves scrutiny by the state legislature. The Post concurs.

On that, we’ll leave you with this Associated Press story from mid-October, stating that, “Nearly 12,000 registered voters in Colorado are listed as non-U.S. citizens, the secretary of state’s office says.”

The explanation is that those potential “voters failed to check a box affirming that they are citizens when they registered,” but that they have signed an affadavit stating U.S. citizenship. To lie about that is a felony.

Fair enough, but not good enough when so much more could be done on voter I.D. and registration that’s preventative rather than punitive. Let the debate continue.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: WhoSaidYouSaid
    WhoSaidYouSaid, with Kelly Maher and Mary Smith, presents video and commentary on politics, people and policy. Contact us at [email protected]

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