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Voter ID law  is a deterrent

To the editor:

New voter ID laws have been touted as preventing voter fraud. Recently, New Yorker columnist Jane Mayer told NPR’s “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross that after extensively researching the issue, she concluded that voter fraud in the U.S. is miniscule.

And yet NPR has reported that intimidating billboards in minority areas of Ohio and Wisconsin recently warned citizens that “Voter fraud is a felony!”

Some individuals may have to incur financial costs to go and procure IDs. Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar says the costs of transportation and attaining an ID amount to a poll tax, violating several constitutional amendments that guarantee our right to vote.

The Ledger-Transcript has reported on a Peterborough woman who was turned away from registering to vote, even after providing Town Clerk Linda Guyette with her driver’s license. Steven Graves complained to the town’s Select Board that Guyette sent the woman (his daughter-in-law) away to get further identification to “prove her domicile.”

The state assistant attorney general specified recently that a citizen can prove domicile with a N.H. driver’s license or certain other documents, and minus these documents a person can sign a “qualified voter affidavit.” Guyette told the town Select Board she had received “little guidance” on the new laws. Guyette says she will now follow the new procedures.

All of the above points to one alarming conclusion: The requirements of new voter ID laws may discourage or prevent vulnerable citizens from exercising their right to vote. But remember this: Photo IDs are not required to vote in the election on November 6.

Martha Eichler


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