Yes to photo voter ID

Carolyn Cary's picture

Let’s say you are going through an intersection and have the green light. I plow through that intersection on a red light and hit your vehicle. What are the first two things you and the police will want to see? And if I don’t have those two things, you will sue me. Yep, a driver’s license and an insurance card.

From birth to death, we must have various certificates and IDs throughout our entire lives.

We don’t live in small villages anymore, where everyone knows everyone else and we are there our entire lives and we know who can be trusted and who can’t.

An article in the AJC, Sept. 12, 2012, by Mary Sanchez, declares that photo identification laws are a vestige of Jim Crow era.

For one thing, she seems to blame the Republicans (it doesn’t make any difference who does it — it’s wrong) for disenfranchising the poor, African-Americans, Hispanics, rural folks and the elderly.

So how do these folks get food, which they probably have to pay for, get medical attention, which they probably have to pay something to get, or occasionally get to church or perhaps a funeral?

To obtain a photo ID in Georgia, at least, costs not one single penny. If a person is so incapacitated they can hardly get to the bathroom and back, and have to vote by mail, fine, but their citizenship still needs to be established.

Another recent article in the AJC by Sonya Ross indicates ID laws may hurt young minority voters. Why? I may be going out on a limb here, but I bet they all can read and write and the majority can drive.

I think the real problem here is that each of our 50 states have different ideas on what constitutes a valid ID. There are currently 10 states that absolutely require a voter ID. Eleven more states “request” a photo ID. Twelve states require an ID but it doesn’t have to have a photo on it. Fifteen states have no requirement of any kind. But I’ll bet they’re thinking about it.

Let’s all accept the fact that a voter ID is required. Let’s all work on the simplest way to obtain one and agree that there is no charge for it.

To quote Ben Stein: “Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured ... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. Many of those who refuse or are unable to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.”

If you refuse to show a photo ID at the polls and just say, “Trust me, I’m a U.S. citizen,” here’s the scenario:

If I plow into your car, I’m not showing you any licenses or certificates, just telling you to trust me — I’ll get it fixed.

[Carolyn Cary is the official Fayette County historian and the editor of the county’s first compiled history, “The History of Fayette County,” published in 1977. She lives in Fayetteville.]