While it came as a surprise to no one, Gov. John Lynch did the right thing Monday when he vetoed legislation that would require voters to show some form of photo identification in order to vote in New Hampshire.
The Republican-initiated bill (SB 129) seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, raises the cost of elections for cities and towns, and in close elections would delay the naming of the winner for a minimum of three days, if not longer.
But all of those reasons pale in comparison to this: In a state with no history of voter fraud, why enact a change in state election laws that would actually discourage people from voting? We always thought the goal of government and civic leaders was to encourage people to vote.
And for those who erroneously believe “everyone” carries photo identification these days, consider these results from a survey conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law in 2006:
As many as 11 percent of American citizens did not have a government-issued identification with a photograph – such as a driver’s license or a military ID – which at the time translated into more than 21 million adult citizens.
Eighteen percent of U.S. citizens age 65 and older did not have a photo ID, which based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates in 2005 amounted to more than 6 million people.
Minority citizens are less likely to carry photo IDs than the population as a whole. For example, the survey found 25 percent of African-Americans did not possess a government-issued photo ID, compared with 8 percent of white citizens of voting age.
And those individuals earning less than $35,000 a year were more than twice as likely not to have photo identification than those earning more than that amount. The survey found at least 15 percent of voting-age citizens in that income bracket did not have a government-issued photo ID.
Full Article: Kudos to Lynch for voter ID veto – NashuaTelegraph.com.