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Opinion Letters False panic in voter fraud

Mrs. Chapman again “cries wolf” about an imaginary problem that is nothing more than a distraction to realitybased issues facing our state. The right to vote is at the heart of what it means to be an American; and it should be accessible to all citizens – not a privileged few.

It’s no fluke these laws are occurring now. Politicians who've been advancing corporate tax breaks instead of middle class jobs don't want to face us at the polls. An ID law would cost millions of tax dollars to implement. It’s just not right to create some expensive program to stop a fictional problem; especially after laying-off thousands of teachers.

Do you know someone who doesn’t drive? Or who goes to college? Or who changed her name when she married? Or was born in a time when your birth-certificate was the family Bible? In every one of those instances someone will find voting a lot more difficult with an ID bill. It will create barriers to voting for people of color, low-income voters, and youth. It’s a given fact that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Mrs. Chapman discussed how Georgia had an increase in African-American turnout since the law’s passage in 2006. One wonders, Did Barack Obama being on the ticket have any influence on that? Mrs. Chapman goes on to discuss how she couldn’t find people impacted by this unnecessary law.

In Tennessee, Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old African- American woman who has voted in almost every election since she was old enough to vote, couldn't get a voter ID card because she didn't have a copy of her marriage license. She says that she didn’t even have problems voting during the “Jim Crow days,” but she does now under the new voter ID laws.

In Pennsylvania, Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year-old woman who has voted in every election for the last 60 years, can't vote now because she lost her photo ID when her purse was stolen and state officials can't find the birth certificate she needs to replace it.

In Wisconsin, Ricky Lewis, a 58 year old veteran, showed state voting officials proof of his honorable discharge from the Marines Corps, but he still couldn't get a voter ID card because the county couldn't find his birth records.

Lastly, I would be impacted. As a young person working to build my future I shouldn’t have to go out and purchase a new Driver’s License because I move or take time off from work to get a voter ID because some fringe people believe in conspiracy theories.

This is North Carolina. We've never solved any problem in this great state with less democracy, and we won't now. What is really going on is that Republicans are putting up new hurdles that make it harder for millions of law-abiding citizens to vote. It seems as though if they can't count on your vote, they'd rather you not be counted at all.

Justin Conley — Franklin, N.C.





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