The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 2, 2012

Vote, with ID or not


Daily Item

---- — You don't need your driver's license to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. As always, you need to be a legally registered voter in the county where you live, but you don't need a photo ID or any special documentation to prove your identity. Your right to vote in Pennsylvania is a right guaranteed by the Constitution and you are free to exercise that right next week on Nov. 6.

Polling places will be open throughout the state next Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Some groups have made efforts to enact special voter-identification laws, using the spurious contention that there are dangers of people impersonating voters. In fact, there have been extremely few documented cases of voter-impersonation fraud in recent years. Groups who don't want retired people, minorities and students to vote have sought to frighten and discourage them with voter ID laws and have encouraged state governments, such as Pennsylvania's, to pass special-identification laws shortly before and election like the one just ahead of us.

In all, 11 states have enacted laws that would require voters to present official identification cards, in many cases with a photo, at polling places. The most common is a driver's license: people who don't have one are mostly poor, or students away at college, or retired people who have health problems. Such citizens can get substitute ID cards but only after burdensome efforts, often requiring them to travel considerable distances to official card-dispensing offices.

The anti-democratic intent of voter ID laws has barely been disguised, even in Pennsylvania. When Pennsylvania's new voter ID law was challenged in court, lawyers for the state said they did not rest their case on the assumption that voter fraud was a serious problem. Whether or not someone at a polling place asks for a special ID card, can't prevent you from voting.

So, it's official, on Nov. 6 you don't need your driver's license to vote.

Vote. It's especially important in this election.

Robert Bomboy,

Danville