With all the rhetoric concerning the proposed Voter ID law, let us clear up some of the myth surrounding it.
First of all, I see nothing to indicate that this is racially motivated. We are all U.S. citizens, and as such have certain privileges and duties to go along with these.
We can choose to apply for a driver’s license. It means studying the rules of the road, taking a driver’s test and having our picture taken. If we pass, we are presented a driver’s license, which entitles us to drive, as long as we follow the rules.
We can choose to register to vote by signing a document and proving that we are eligible for this privilege, by showing some proof of ones birth. The laws are very specific on this, but with the recent rash of identity thefts, it would seem only prudent for us to show who we are, by way of a picture ID. Personally, I feel that the addition of a photo on the voter registration card should suffice. Certainly, it may cause us all a little inconvenience, but would be well worth the effort in order to keep our elections honest and above board.
Having worked as a poll manager and clerk for many years, I remember the days when we could vote by voter registration card only. All poll managers must sign an oath before the opening of the polls, that we will, among other things “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States.” We were supplied with handbooks for the conduct of elections and were well informed.
I remember an election many years ago, when the mayor of our city came in to vote. He insisted on voting, although he could not produce his voter registration card. He argued that I knew him and his name was on the book. I, politely, asked him, please, to go home and find it, or get a duplicate card at the Voter Registration Office in Conway. I was determined that I would not violate the oath I had taken by letting this upstanding citizen and very well liked mayor break the law. He was not happy, but did return later, with the card in hand and voted without further incident.
So, whatever it takes to keep our elections in accordance with our laws, let us move on without accusations of voter intimidation. We are all Americans and should all have to abide by the same rules.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.