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Voter ID: 'Solution' to a nonexistent 'problem'

Date published: 1/6/2013

Voter ID: 'Solution' to a nonexistent 'problem'

Alan Branfman's vigorous support ["Del. Cole's voter ID bill is needed," Dec. 13] for Del. Mark Cole's proposal to reduce the number of acceptable documents for use by voters in identifying themselves at the polls is yet another legislative "solution" to a nonexistent "problem."

Only six weeks after the successful conclusion of the 2012 presidential election, those who are determined to make the voting process ever more challenging for selected groups should instead focus their efforts on solving the commonwealth's true problems, such as the struggling economy, statewide transportation needs, and the education of our children.

In Stafford County on Nov. 6, only a minuscule proportion of voters identified themselves by using one of the four documents that Del. Cole is so determined to eliminate. At the eight individual voting locations I personally monitored throughout Election Day, as well as the other 19 precincts covered by my two fellow Electoral Board members, the process was an orderly one and waiting times for voters were generally in the range of no more than five to 10 minutes.

While Mr. Branfman seems to be unconcerned about the need for resorting to provisional ballots, the vast majority of our voters do not consider this option to be an acceptable one. Moreover, documented cases of "electoral fraud" are extremely rare, whether in Virginia or any of the other 49 states.

My own experience in overseeing elections in Stafford tells me that Del. Cole's attention and effort--and that of other legislators who, in the upcoming 2013 Legislative Session, apparently intend to revisit the so-called "personhood" legislation that would grant immediate property rights to a fertilized human egg--would more productively be spent in addressing the real problems presently facing our state's residents.

Doug Filler


Doug Filler is Stafford County Electoral Board chairman.