Editorials

Votes for drivers if they show their IDs at polls

Election judges in 2009 check voters’ names and signatures against paper lists and then hand them ballots at the Douglas School gymnasium in Belleville.
Election judges in 2009 check voters’ names and signatures against paper lists and then hand them ballots at the Douglas School gymnasium in Belleville. tvizer@bnd.com

Too often policy is the product of hypocrites serving their own partisan power needs instead of the outgrowth of principled stands by those doing what they believe is fair and right.

At-large vs. Electoral College selection of our presidents fits into that category, with policy shifting depending on whether your party is in power. So does automatic voter registration.

State Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, introduced a bill that would automatically register every driver eligible to vote. Oregon and California recently passed similar bills, and this generally seems to be a cause for Democrats.

Those would be the same Democrats worried about voters being forced to show a photo ID at the polls, claiming it is a disenfranchisement barely a step away from the old Southern literacy tests.

Well, hogwash. Being asked for your ID is a routine that accompanies most exchanges at the discount store. Showing an ID when we exercise our greatest right as citizens of a democracy seems like a minor matter.

Go ahead and automatically register everyone eligible to vote, but as part of that initiative let’s make everyone show their driver’s license when they go to the polls.

Licenses can easily be marked to reflect voter status, say with a red, white and blue stripe in the corner. Marking the licenses would prevent illegal immigrants with licenses or drivers younger than 18 from voting. Those without a license could have voting status marked on their state IDs.

Politicians with fistfuls of absentee ballots and public apathy are much greater threats to our democracy than votes for drivers.

  Comments