Web Letters | The Nation

The Voter ID Fraud > Letters

Web Letter

Re: "The obsession with voter fraud has been orchestrated by the Republican Party, with Karl Rove playing a significant role."

This orchestrated effort by the Republican Party intentionally diverts attention away from the real problem in elections: electronic voting machines. There are many, many documented, verified problems with these machines, yet the machines persist. They are easily hackable. Executives of these voting machine companies have been caught in outright lies, lies that indicate criminal activity, criminal activity that ends up being settled through multimillion-dollar settlements only, with all criminal charges being dropped. It is utterly impossible, even with a computer printout that supposedly serves as a paper trail, to prove that a voter's votes were tabulated correctly. And the machines are ridiculously expensive, not only to purchase but to maintain.

Even the electronic counting of paper ballots is unreliable and prone to vote-rigging. The only improvement it has over the voting machines is that verifiable hand recounts can be conducted. But as we all witnessed in Florida in 2000, and again in Ohio in 2004, obtaining authorization for and then conducting a hand-counted recount is not a simple matter.

Citizens must retrieve our elections from their privatization by corporations. Capitol Hill lobbyists have legally bribed our legislators to hand over to a few closely held companies the keys to our democracy. We citizens are not even allowed, through proprietary contracts, to examine the software used by these companies to register and to count our votes. This is the shameful and disgraceful problem with our elections, not that people might maybe possibly on occasion be trying to vote fraudulently.

And if we could only get our hands on all those missing White House e-mails that went "poof" in the night, we would learn the truth about Karl Rove and his efforts, through his band of Republican Party operatives, to turn our government into one that is non-democratic, Republican Party-run and ideologically based.

Linda Carpenter Sexauer

Petaluma, CA

Jan 12 2008 - 5:53pm

Web Letter

Mr. Epps fails to note that there is a progressive argument for national photo ID. The argument begins with the acknowledgement that both citizen and government benefit from having contact with one another. Government being necessarily bureaucratic, we need to carefully choose the bureaucratic level at which contact requires photo ID. What is low-down and Rovian about the Indiana law and its cousins is that they require photo ID at a lousy bureaucratic level, at one that makes little sense unless you want to somehow manipulate voting.

It makes more sense to move the photo ID requirement up the bureaucracy, for example to a level that I call the citizen registration office. This is an office in which citizens could register their cars, renew their licenses and pay tax bills. By presenting a photo ID, for example a passport or a Social Security card with photo, or a national photo ID, citizens could also automatically register to vote. The office would notify eligible voters of where and when to vote in upcoming elections.

It makes little sense to counter the Indiana scheme by claiming that some people can't handle photo IDs. It is a reasonable requirement in any democracy. We need to apply it at the right bureaucratic level.

Paul Abbott

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Jan 12 2008 - 10:27am

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.