Saturday, October 18, 2008


Voter fraud and disenfranchisement and how to end it.

During the last presidential debate, the ACORN issue was brought up several times. There has also been a lot of discussion about voter roll purges and ID requirements. I think I have an idea that would help with both concerns.

How about a federal government ID for voting, receiving entitlements and organ donation preference (a much-needed increase in registering, I expect) all rolled into one? The one extreme group, who think that all voter registration drives are out to perpetuate fraud will be placated by the verification process, as will the other extreme group who feel any requirement to vote will unfairly exclude voters.

As for those who quiver at the thought of any type of national ID, well get over it. This would be voluntary.

I know that there are some elderly people who lack the documents to get this form of ID, so they can be grandfathered in. Say, everyone over 55 or 60 is exempt at the beginning and phase out the exemption over the next 25 years or so. Make them renewable every 10 years, on the person's birthday (20th, 30th, ....) and start every new voter at 18, when they first become citizens, or when they first register to vote, with one.

Sure, it will take time to phase it in, maybe over the next 6 years, so it does not "go live" during a presidential election. Make it paid for by the government (meaning ALL OF US) so there is not an undue burden on the poor. It will create some new jobs and help speed up the process on election day.

If you want to vote, without the fear of being accidentally taken off the rolls, get the ID.

If you want access to federal entitlements, get the ID.

This would be a big plus with the far right who believe every person getting entitlements is trying to defraud the government. I think it would help with tracking trends and give those studying the needy in our country valuable data.

The ID could be used to cash checks and board airplanes, too. It would not replace the passport or drivers license, but would be a third valid form of ID.

OK, so this is not the last word on voter fraud and disenfranchisement, but I hope it gets people thinking about solutions.

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