Editorial: Photo ID to vote? Well, okay, but… | Editorials

Editor’s Note: Guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The following is from Thomas L. Knapp, director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

A perennial proposition in the ongoing “fight” (actually more a set of dueling theatrical productions than professional wrestling) on ​​”voter integrity” is the requirement that voters produce official government-issued identification documents. government, with photo, in the polling stations.

Anyone who’s ever worked security at a nightclub’s doors (yes, I have) knows that having a card with a photo vaguely resembling the person who owns it is no guarantee of security. ‘identity. And polling places have an intrinsic advantage over nightclubs: EVERYONE has to be on the guest list to get in.

Having individuals claiming to be voters when they are not does not seem to be a real problem, if only for another reason that it is an incredibly laborious way to fraudulently alter the outcome of an election.

In reality, photo ID requirements seem more about ensuring that only the “right” people – those who have the time and money to sit in government offices waiting for those very specials – can vote. There is, probably not by chance, a strong correlation between being one of these “good” people and possessing a complexion that matches one of the lightest shades of the Pantone Matching System color chart.

But it seems to me there’s room for compromise here – a way to take the alleged concern seriously and do something about it, in exchange for something that naturally follows.

The A side of this grand bargain proposal is simple: Give the supporters of photo ID to vote whatever they want. You cannot vote without showing government-issued photo ID.

Side B is a little messier: since photo ID is so important that it’s impossible to trust the results of an election that doesn’t require it, all past elections that don’t require it. not require are considered null, void and of no effect. Every politician chosen in an election without a photo ID requirement is automatically recalled, and every law passed by those officials — or by voters in an election without photo ID — is struck down.

Yes, all, all the way back.

I know for sure that no member of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, nor any of the legislators or delegates to the convention ratifying the Constitution, had government-issued photo identification.

How do we know that the gentlemen claiming to be James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, et al. weren’t they just a string of hikers in borrowed wigs and vests who fraudulently passed themselves off as the real characters?

If, as its proponents claim, photo ID is necessary for “election integrity”, we cannot believe that a past election was properly conducted or properly decided, and therefore should not consider bound by the results of these elections.

Your gesture, sowing panic for “electoral integrity”.

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