by Chet Hardin
In the spirit of bipartisanship, Republican state Rep. Ken Summers and his House colleague Rep. Liz Szabo have submitted a bill that would make proving one's citizenship a requirement to cast a ballot.
The bill, which claims to be motivated by a belief that "the foundation of our political system is best served by elections that reflect the highest degree of integrity," would require that a voter provide a photo ID to access their constitutional right to participate in an election.
This ID could be a driver's license, a passport, a student ID, military ID or employee ID. Currently, a voter can provide any of these pieces of identification, as well as the non-photo variety such as "a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector."
According to the National Conference of Legislators, the states that currently request or require photo IDs are: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
This legislation is of course intended to keep the non-citizens from voting (for Democrats, no doubt). The argument is that it won't have an impact on legal citizens, as if you are legal you ought to be able to get an ID. This doesn't take into account the 11 percent of people who apparently don't have an ID for a number of legitimate reasons, and will therefore be refused their right to vote.
It's a non-starter, anyway, considering that the Republican majority in the House is by the slimmest possible margin, and that the Senate is comfortably Democratic as well as the governor's office. Just a bit of red meat thrown to the partisan dogs.