Obama's misguided opposition to safeguarding ballot box

Obama's misguided opposition to safeguarding ballot box

December 31st, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

If you have occasion to travel by commercial airline, you know that you are required to present valid photo identification before you may board a plane.

You also must present legitimate photo ID to purchase certain goods or to conduct certain financial transactions.

Why, then, would there be any objection to requiring the presentation of a valid photo ID before a person may engage in the far more important activity of voting?

Several states have enacted laws to require photo ID, as a means to protect the integrity of the voting process. Without such measures, polling place workers often don't have certainty that those who cast ballots are who they claim to be and are casting their ballots lawfully.

Moreover, the states that have begun requiring photo identification have generally bent over backwards to make such identification easily available to legitimate voters who lack it.

Nevertheless, the laws have been challenged time and again in state after state -- though typically those challenges do not yield evidence that legitimate voters were truly disenfranchised by the laws.

Now, the Obama administration has forbidden the state of South Carolina to require photo ID of voters, claiming the requirement is likely to suppress minority voting.

Certainly every sensible effort should be made to ensure the rights of lawful voters. But leaving the voting process open to fraud simply to keep voters from having to go through the slight inconvenience of obtaining valid photo IDs is not reasonable.