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Are States Trying to Keep People from Voting?

The California Senate approved a resolution condemning what Democrats call voter suppression. But proponents of voter ID laws say they are crucial to prevent fraud.

Some call it “voter suppression.”  Others say it's a legitimate effort to cut down on voter fraud. Thirty states since 2008 have introduced laws making it harder to cast a ballot, according to the ACLU.

The civil liberties group has criticized state laws requiring voters to produce government identification at the polls.

“In fact, while documented instances of voter fraud are almost nonexistent—nationally, the Department of Justice found just 26 cases over a three-year period—up to 5 million potential voters may be kept from the ballot box by these laws,” the ACLU said in a recent newsletter.

A recent Christian Science Monitor poll, however, found that 77 percent of registered voters support voter ID laws.

“By giving us a reliable way to verify the identity of each voter, the voter ID law will enhance confidence in our elections," Pennsylvania's chief elections official, Carol Aichele, said recently after that state's voter ID law was upheld in court against a challenge by civil rights groups.

Now Sacramento is weighing in. The state Senate on Aug. 13 approved Senate Joint Resolution 29, calling for a federal investigation into voter-ID laws and similar Republican-led efforts.

What do you think, Patch readers? Are these laws aimed at suppressing voter turnout? Or are they simply a common-sense way to ensure that only registered voters cast ballots?

Additional reporting by Patch Staff.

Franklin August 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I only read the article after your changes. But I wanted to say that Patch should stand up for itself. There are people who have agendas who will claim something is biased when the article does not match their views. I'm thinking that the article, before you changed it may not have been biased. Or it might have been biased in that it reported facts fairly. Yes, sometimes articles need to be revised when they are inaccurate. I hope you didn't change an accurate article. I can't say whether the article was or was not biased. But if a reporter wrote it, if a copy writer and an editor passed the article and if Patch does not consider itself political (like Fox or Current), then you should revise articles very carefully. I hope that was the case.
Franklin August 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Requiring ID's might be difficult for the elderly. For example, some states require a valid driver's license or ID card to vote. How many 95year olds have a valid license? Not many. They might have an expired license, but some states require a valid license. So the person might be able to get a valid ID card. Have you been to the DMV lately? Do you think a 95 year old person can wait in line three hours to get a photo? Also, in some states, there aren't DMV's close to people (not necessarily California). So it's not that easy for a person to make it to their DMV even if they can wait in line. If the state took an expired license, fine. But in these states, an expired license isn't good enough.
David August 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Most 95yr olds are in Skilled Nursing Facilitys and those that live on there own do have ID trust me they need it to go with there Medical cards for hospital stays this whole idea about screwing the old people out of there vote is crap we need to stop voter fraud.
David August 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Also you can make and apointment at DMV and they have seating as well.
David August 24, 2012 at 05:48 PM
ID's can be renewed my mail as well.

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