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Opinion Letters The right to vote is the bedrock of a Democracy

This is not a partisan concept. The North Carolina State Board of Elections always stressed this at every training seminar for the l00 county boards of elections the entire 13 1/2 years I served on the Board. Five and one half of those years were by appointment by Democratic Governor Jim Hunt and eight years by Republican Governor Jim Martin, and the same emphasis was put on following the laws and making it as convenient as possible for the voters to exercise their rights.

What has happened? The present Republican legislature seems determined to make it as hard as possible to vote. Even though I have voted since I was 21, I will now have to arrange for someone to take me to get an official ID as I no longer have a valid driver's license as I can no longer see well enough to drive. The Republicans argue that voter ID is necessary to prevent fraud, and our Senator Jim Davis voted for this law even though there has been no evidence of voter ID fraud on election day. During my entire service on the State Board, we never had a hearing on identity fraud.

I have already made one attempt to get an official voter ID by asking someone to take me to the license office. The office was so busy that we waited one half hour and realized it would be at least two more hours due to the number of people ahead of us. My friend could not wait that long. Think of the thousands throughout the State of N.C. who will be put through this hoop. I will have to go again.

We can only hope this law will be struck down by the Court as it has been in Pennsylvania.

Ruth Turner O'Bryan — Franklin, N.C.





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