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Solving a non-existent problem? Hardly.

This map shows presidential election results by State House in 2012.  WIkimedia commons
WIkimedia commons
This map shows presidential election results by State House in 2012.

When I read the list of pre-filed bills for the 28th legislature, I was pretty disgusted to see Rep. Bob Lynn was at it again with a voter ID law. For one thing, Alaska already has rules about voter identification. It requires one piece of ID, or a poll worker to know with certainty you are who you say you are, or you can vote a questioned ballot. Voter Fraud isn't an issue around here, or in the U.S. as a whole. So why is there a bill on the table to fix this non-existent problem?

Voter suppression. A Pennsylvania politician even said pretty clearly that a voter ID law would win Mitt Romney the election in his state — implying, of course, that democratic voters would be disproportionately affected by such legislation.

Who doesn't have Photo ID in Alaska? Photo ID is required to drive, all but necessary to fly a major airline, and is needed to buy alcohol. While those of us in big-city Alaska might use photo ID all the time, would you bother getting a drivers license if your village doesn't have roads? If your village is dry? If you come or go by tiny planes that don't have a TSA agent checking your ID with a black light? If the nearest DMV is a hundred or so miles away?

How about elderly voters whose drivers licenses have expired, who don't drive, and who aren't much for boozing these days? Or a newly 18-year-old voter who, especially in rural Alaska wouldn't need to drive — but even plenty of youth in Juneau don't get their drivers licenses right away.

Also, if my vote costs $20 (the cost of a drivers license), that just doesn't seem right. 

Any statesman or woman should want to win an election honestly, not through voter suppression. Tell your lawmakers to shut down Rep. Lynn's proposed legislation. 

 

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