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Del. Cole's voter ID bill is needed

Date published: 12/13/2012

Del. Cole's voter ID bill is needed

Ron Apter's assertion that Del. Mark Cole's voter ID bill is an attempt to make voting more difficult for certain population segments is unwarranted ["Why is Cole stuck on anti-voting legislation?" Dec. 5].

Fake IDs are easy to come by--ask any "underage" college student or illegal alien with one. In spite of this, no one at the polls showing a "questionable" ID is ever turned away. He or she is asked to complete a "provisional" ballot. At the vote canvass, the provisional voter's identity and qualification is verified by state government sources.

Based on the findings, the Electoral Board (two Republicans, one Democrat) either accept or reject the ballot. This is done in full view of one "outside" representative from each party (the actual ballot is kept confidential until counted). In my view, a legitimate voter ID requirement has been a major deterrent to fraud.

With all due respect to Mr. Apter, I would point out that there have, indeed, been exceptions. Attempts have been made to circumvent our system in every election I've been involved with; although many of those were thwarted by our poll workers or the registrar, its unknown how many "weaseled through" the system.

I'm saddened that securing the integrity of our elections by more stringent voter verification is being made a partisan issue. As we've seen in many a tight election, everyone's vote is invaluable and should be safeguarded (as we would for anything with such great value).

Nevertheless, if paring down the list of acceptable IDs will make the old, the poor, minorities, and college kids "more determined to vote," as Mr. Apter says, then what is the issue?

Alan Branfman


Alan Branfman is Spotsylvania Electoral Board vice chairman.