I commend State Journal columnist Chris Rickert for writing about redistricting and voting issues, and I agree with much of what he says. However, I don't agree with his implication that requiring a photo ID would not be a hardship nor would result in people being denied their right to vote.
Among those at risk are the elderly and disabled who no longer drive and do not have easy access to Department of Transportation offices.
Many non-partisan groups, such as the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center for Justice (www.brennancenter.org), have opposed photo ID requirements.
To quote the Brennan Center: "Burdensome photo ID or proof of citizenship requirements for voting could block millions of eligible American voters without addressing any real problem. Although most Americans have government-issued photo ID, studies show that as many as 12 percent of eligible voters nationwide do not; the percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters and students. Many of those citizens find it hard to get such IDs, because the underlying documentation (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult to come by."
The best way to improve our elections is to commit the money it would cost to implement an unneeded ID law to improving the training and resources available to local clerks and poll workers.
- Shirley Haidinger, Madison