Not a fan of voter ID

Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

Last week, Secretary of State Matt Schultz came to Anamosa to speak as a guest at the Jones County Republican Central Committee dinner. I was told if I showed up around 7 p.m., as the press, I would hear him speak and address his major issues, voter ID and voter fraud. I showed up at 6:45 p.m. that evening and Mr. Schultz was just wrapping up his speech. No fault of the Committee’s of course, but it appeared that Mr. Schultz started his public address earlier than announced, wanting to get to Des Moines yet that evening at a reasonable hour.

Speaking for maybe a half hour, I talked to a couple of attendees about Schultz’s speech and got the impression he didn’t offer much information of the topics of interest.

I grabbed Schultz as he was leaving the banquet room at the National Motorcycle Museum for a few questions of my own on voter ID. He seemed to be in a hurry, but I was determined.

Schultz said the potential implementation of a voting ID card is a preventive measure to protect the system against voter fraud, people voting who are registered in another state or those voting who are non-citizens. Well, if a non-citizen showed up to vote in the first place, wouldn’t he/she be turned away? If that person were not a citizen, it would clearly show up in the database.

During the debate for Iowa Senate District 48 last week, Rep. Nate Willems even commented on this very matter, saying that there has been no widespread evidence of non-citizens conspiring to vote. Why prevent something that hasn’t been an issue at all? Why go through the trouble?

If you have a valid driver’s license, then Schultz said that would be an acceptable form of ID when voting. But, what about those who don’t drive, such as some senior citizens, who don’t really need a driver’s license any more? He said in this case, they would have to apply for and receive a free photo ID card through the DOT. More hassle than necessary if you ask me.

What about young college students or those 18 years of age who may not have a license? Believe it or not, but some young people don’t have a driver’s license, for whatever reason. We should not be singling them out when it comes to their right to vote.

Is our current voting system that out of whack that a voter ID card be required?

Today, you can go to the polls on Election Day and vote without showing an ID. Now, it’s not that simple, as there are people staged at each polling place, making sure you’re a registered voter and all of your information is correct in the system. If you’re legally in the system, shouldn’t you be legally allowed to vote? If there is an issue, then there is an issue with the registration of the voter. The issue should be handled before the person goes to the polls to vote.

In an article on the Des Moines Register’s website dated Sept. 21, it states, “… Schultz is seeking to identify noncitizens who are registered to vote in Iowa by comparing the state’s voter-registration rolls to state and federal lists of legal residents who are not citizens.”

Why are noncitizens even being allowed to register to vote in the first place? Now, that is where the issue falls. Nip this in the bun first before the polls.