Voter identification a good idea

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 12, 2002

The U.S. Senate’s passage of a voter identification bill could be the "crack in the door" that leads to voter ID in Alabama. Secretary of State Jim Bennett described the bill as an important step toward setting a higher standard in Alabama.

"We got a crack in the door," he is quoted as saying. "We just need to open it all the way."

Voter ID is a simple concept that would require voters to show proper

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identification ­ such as a driver’s license ­ when they vote.

It’s good

sense and could go a long way to discouraging potential voter fraud and abuse

of the election system.

But it remains an unpopular concept with elected officials here in Alabama,

many of whom are reluctant to change the laws and the process.

The federal bill, if it becomes law, could change that outlook. It requires

that voters who register by mail provide some sort of identification the first time they vote. And, if it becomes a federal law, it is certain to set a standard that states would likely follow. We’d like to think Alabama would follow, as well.

It’s time to bring voter ID to Alabama and to the nation, to protect the

integrity of our election process and to protect our democracy.

As Bennett said, "Nobody should fear proving who they are at the polling

place but the crooks," Bennett said.


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