BY SHARON MARTIN
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP wrote in a recent letter, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. If you can’t vote, you don’t matter.”
If it’s a democracy, then every citizen of voting age should have the right to vote. If only selected citizens are allowed to vote, it isn’t a democracy.
In 19 states, citizens can lose their right to vote because they don’t have a proper state-issued ID. Student IDs won’t do unless they have an expiration date. Yep, an expiration date! Someone doesn’t want these young, educated voters to vote.
It may be hard to understand, out here on the edge of the plains, that people can live their entire lives in some American cities without having a car or a license to drive one. People walk, bicycle, and use mass transit. They get to the polls, the grocery store, and to work, all without a photo ID.
Is being a student or a non-driver just cause to lose one’s right to vote?
Just get an ID already, if you can. But registered voters have already presented identification to register. Do we need another layer of security?
Legislators could ask for a good data base of Social Security numbers so that all eligible citizens are automatically registered. One number, one vote! If they are afraid someone will vote more than once, despite any lack of evidence, permanent ink pads are cheap. Just mark a voter’s finger.
The state of Pennsylvania has graciously agreed to foot the bill for their citizens’ IDs. No amount is too much, it seems, to ensure there is no voter fraud in Pennsylvania, although the defendants of the law who appeared before Pennsylvania State Court Judge Robert Simpson cited zero cases of voter fraud.
The new ID law can cost the state, according to Sen. John B. Blake of Pennsylvania’s 22nd District, ”as much as $11 million and another $2.25 million per year.”
What will proponents of the new law get for their money? They’re aiming to put their candidate into the oval office. Eleven million, in the age of Citizens United, is a cheap price to pay for the presidency.
When the highest office in the land can be purchased on the airwaves and in the Pennsylvania Legislature, does your vote count?
If your vote doesn’t count, do you matter?
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer