Today the Nashua Telegraph posted a letter to the editor entitled “It’s not unreasonable to require ID to vote“. This letter is obviously pushing for an ID to vote. The writer, W. B. Heffernan Jr. of Nashua, talks about how many people have ID’s to have their taxes done.
“My job is processing taxpayers seeking to get their tax returns prepared at no charge, and that job includes determining that they have valid photo IDs.
The program is open to all, but caters to seniors and low-income taxpayers. The latter category includes “minorities.” These people, who the “anti-voter ID crowd” claims will not be able to vote because they won’t have a valid photo ID, have no problem in presenting one to obtain free tax preparation.”
I find a few thing wrong with this. First you cannot say that the people who are using your program accurately represent the state of New Hampshire. The state of New Hampshire is a relatively small state but W.B Heffernan could not possibly know all of the people in New Hampshire. Talking to a few dozen or even a few hundred people at the Nashua Public Library does not represent all of New Hampshire.
In northern areas of New Hampshire it could be a 30-45 minutes to the nearest DMV office. For a senior who does not drive, this is a waste of time and money.
My other problem with this is that at no point does W.B. Heffernan say what is a valid ID. Right now the Voter ID law is scheduled to change. Durning the 2012 elections the Voter ID law required an ID to vote or a signed affidavit saying that you are who who you say you are. This generated over 20,000 signed affidavits from people in New Hampshire that did not have an ID and wanted to vote. Those 20,000 are the ones who continued to vote without an ID. There is no way of knowing how many people who do not have an ID did not even try to vote.
Under the current State Senate I highly doubt that the Voter ID will be fully repealed. What we can do is stop the further implementation of the second phase of the law. Phase two requires polling stations to take the picture of a person who do not have an ID. This is very costly and does nothing. Are they going to post the picture on Facebook asking ‘do you know this person?’ If they move forward with phase two it will cost the state thousands of dollars every year to buy digital camera for every polling station and the training associated with it.
The second major issue with phase two is what is considered a valid form of identification. In 2012 there were many acceptable forms of identification including personal recognition and college IDs. So for those who do not have an ID but have voted in the same place for years the moderator can vouch for them with personal recognition. Not is phase two, it is unacceptable along with college IDs and municipal IDs.
If we cannot overturn the Voter ID law then we must fight to stop phase two of the Voter ID law as it is written. It will do more to disenfranchise voters than actually stop the fictional voter fraud problem in New Hampshire. Not to mention it will cost the state more money, which is a serious problem in itself. Would you rather see more money cut from our community colleges to buy cameras for every polling station in New Hampshire to be used once or twice a year? I do not.