published Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Our precious right to vote

You may recall how terrorists attacked polling places in Afghanistan and Iraq in recent years when the people of those nations were finally able to vote for leaders of their choosing -- after decades of rigged or nonexistent elections.

Yet despite the terrorist threat, millions of Afghans and Iraqis courageously went to the polls to cast their ballots and have a say in their government.

Their determination to exercise the right to vote in the face of real danger should cause us Americans to appreciate how easy it is to vote in our free country.

Rarely do we face any "danger" greater than, perhaps, some bad weather when we show up at polling places to make our choices among the candidates seeking public office. We also have options such as early voting if we cannot vote on Election Day itself.

So it is unfortunate that there has been a good deal of grumbling about a new requirement in Tennessee that voters present valid photo identification to cast ballots. In some cases, it can take a few hours to get a driver's license at one of the scores of driver service centers around the state, critics of the new law say. And some other -- minor -- bureaucratic hassles have surfaced as Tennesseans who do not already have the required ID seek to obtain it.

But considering the importance of our wonderful voting rights, those inconveniences pale by comparison.

It's obviously desirable for voting to be reasonably convenient -- and for no undue roadblocks to be put in the way of those who are legitimately trying to vote.

But the key word there is "undue."

The purpose of requiring photo ID in Tennessee is to prevent voter fraud. And unfortunately, there have been serious cases of fraud in the state.

Results of a 2006 state Senate election in Memphis were so awash in fraud that they had to be thrown out. Disgustingly, the supposed "voters" in Memphis included a number of dead people.

The state has found hundreds of ineligible felons casting ballots as well. And it is impossible to know how many people may have shown up over the years when photo ID wasn't required and cast fraudulent ballots.

That sort of activity undermines honest voters' confidence in our election system and unfairly dilutes their votes.

Efforts are being undertaken to ensure that legitimate voters are not unreasonably burdened by the photo ID rule. For example, voters may obtain the appropriate ID free of charge around the state. Those efforts should continue -- and should even be expanded if that eventually proves necessary.

But protecting the integrity of elections is a vital public interest, and it overwhelmingly justifies the slight inconvenience of obtaining a valid photo ID to present at the ballot box.

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EaTn said...

"how easy it is to vote in our free country"-- tongue in cheek-- sad that some would like to disenfranchise others from voting by putting stumbling blocks in the way by creating non-issue laws.

October 2, 2011 at 7:17 a.m.
conservative said...

This article is so well written and argued, that I don't see how anyone could disagree with it.I am confident nothing of substance can be refuted. The voter ID law is just a common sense effort to stop voter fraud.

October 2, 2011 at 2:51 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

In some cases, it can take a few hours to get a driver's license at one of the scores of driver service centers around the state, critics of the new law say. And some other -- minor -- bureaucratic hassles have surfaced as Tennesseans who do not already have the required ID seek to obtain it. But considering the importance of our wonderful voting rights, those inconveniences pale by comparison.

What the writer of this article doesn't seem to get is this new voter ID law was designed to specifically disenfranchise certain segments of the population in order to keep them from voting. How different is that than what he/she claims the Taliban got away with for decades? There is nothing honorable about this law. This law takes America back to a time and place where people were routinely denied the right to vote. Where they, like those poor afghanis and Iraqis, were threatened, beaten and killed to force them to be too afraid to show up to vote. Granted, this TN law maybe a little bit more sophisticated and seemingly on level, the desired results have already been calculated by the unscrupulous and dishonest.

October 2, 2011 at 8:28 p.m.
conservative said...

I see a HUGE advantage for Demoncrats in the voter ID law. Their participation will be much greater than the Republicans because it is free!

October 2, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.
conservative said...

The article states that "voters may obtain the appropriate ID free of charge around the state". This could be another advantage for Demoncrats if their locations are near bars.

October 2, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
carlB said...

Where and when is there a proper time and place for individuals to speak against polices which put this Republic on the verge of another “great depression” before President Obama was elected as President in November 2008 and now are serious about wanting his failure? We should speak out and separate ourselves from the “people” who want the Cities, Counties, States, and the Federal Governments out of the picture by weakening them to the point of where there would be another “great depression.” What and how long is it going to take the private sectors to correct the high unemployment and the economic conditions that they helped create?
Do we want the anarchy, which would occur from another “great depression”? If the answer is No, then we should use all the strength of our voices and voting power to prevent the destruction of this Republic. Why are the Democratic Voters’ voices “silent” at the voting booths? During the crisis conditions of this Republic, if any person eligible to vote and is not concerned or does not have something to say then it might indicate there are major problems of how to get the voters to register and involved in the election process. What is preventing the eligible people from realizing that their vote will count when they need to vote in addressing the conditions occurring that are affecting their welfare? Especially the Democratic voters need to increase their percentage of participation.
Have the Democratic voters given up, deciding not to vote, letting the Republicans have their way in destroying the principles of the Democratic beliefs of FDR’s New Deal possible placing this Republic in another “great depression”? The people who are criticizing President Obama’s policies just happen to be those who do not care what happens to the US workers, do not want the Federal, State, and local governments to help the people during the affects of the 2007 deep recession. The private enterprise systems need to recreate the needed manufacturing jobs here that were lost over a period of years due to their policies and with the help of our elected Government leaders’ backing the development of the (global economy) free trade agreements with the lower monetary value countries.

October 2, 2011 at 10:08 p.m.
rolando said...

amnesti sez, What the writer of this article doesn't seem to get is this new voter ID law was designed to specifically disenfranchise certain segments of the population in order to keep them from voting.

The only "voters" disenfranchised are the dead, the felons, the illegal aliens, and the illegal dual-state voters.

This will put a measure of legitimacy into our voting.

Who stands to lose under this the voter ID law? Those who would corrupt the voting process.

Who stands to win under this voter ID law? Everyone else.

Take your pick...corruption or cleansing.

October 3, 2011 at 7:11 a.m.
rolando said...

conservative, you delivered a massive double-punch with those posts. Thanks for the laughs. Too, too accurate.

You didn't mention being close to park benchs and discarded cigar/cigarette butts, though...locations also known to be favorable to Democrats.

October 3, 2011 at 7:14 a.m.
rolando said...

There was nothing "Democratic" about FDR's socialist beliefs that prolonged the recovery of the economy by 10 years.

Oh wait. That is a basic belief of the Democrats...

This is now "Obama's Depression". Everything he has done has worsened the economy...and he still hasn't a clue.

The goal of Democrats today is to destroy our economy and make us all dependent upon -- and owe fealty -- to the government and the elite...just as in Merry Old feudal England.

October 3, 2011 at 7:29 a.m.
carlB said...

rolando, there is something wrong with your eagerness to blame FDR for even being involved in the 1929 great depression before 1933. What did the Republicans do during the four years to stabilize the great depression and recover from it? Now your same eagerness is showowing to blame President Obama for not "fixing" all of the crisis conditions before he was elected.

October 3, 2011 at 11:37 p.m.
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