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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Photo ID for voters helps stop fraud

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I stand accused from time to time of promoting a pro-Republican stance in this column or, as others might say, an anti-Democrat stance. Let me clear the air without reservation. I promote a conservative stance of self-reliance, accountability and personal responsibility. That position defies party labels. But in fact, on several occasions, the conservative stance is the position held by the Republican Party. That is not always the case if you've been paying attention.

I have a bit of a passion concerning the issue of voter identification. I see absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with election officials asking each voter to identify themselves with some document that leaves no doubt they are in fact a registered voter and, in fact, they are supposed to be voting in a particular precinct. By doing so, we can accurately and honestly assure the residents of Missouri that the election results are fair and honest and accurate.

So the Missouri Legislature approved a measure this spring that will mandate a photo identification when voters go to the polls in November. And to smooth the process, the state has made ample opportunities available for those without a photo ID. There is no cost to the voter to acquire these IDs.

Seems fairly simple and long overdue.

But now Democrats from St. Louis and Kansas City have filed a lawsuit challenging the law. The irony, to me, is that their basis for the lawsuit is that local governments cannot afford the costs associated with providing identifications for those in need. A state law says the state government cannot impose programs on local governments without providing funding.

As you would expect, the American Civil Liberties Union announced the lawsuit.

I think the urban Democrat leaders are grasping for any straw they can find to halt the ID process prior to the November election. I believe they realize that many of their "potential" voters who lack identification will simply not take the time and effort to acquire a state ID. And because of this, they feel their voter turnout will be adversely impacted.

Guess what? They're right.

You can speculate all day long on why a potential voter would not make the small effort to get a state-issued identification. But regardless of the reason, it is generally accepted that those most reluctant would also be those more prone to vote the Democratic ticket.

That's what this battle is all about.

Democrats and Republicans alike want free and honest elections. On that point, I have full faith. But the key to victory is to get your voters to take that effort to go to the polls and cast a ballot. And the step of acquiring that ID will probably stop some from making the effort.

My position is clear. If you care so little that you won't make the effort to comply with the law, then perhaps you don't need to vote in the first place.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen