News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 7, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Aug. 7, 2012


Indiana voter ID law unfair to many


After seeing a number of letters to the contrary, I’m going to approve the stance taken by the Tribune-Star against strict voting registration laws. There are several reasons for my opinion, all covered in the editor’s article.                                                                                                                                             There is no proof that anyone has tried to vote illegally in an Indiana election.

Much more dangerous, it would seem, is the problem of the hundreds of names which should have been removed from the voting roster due to death or moving out of the area.

Here is a true problem just waiting to happen, by allowing our election boxes to be “stuffed” by unscrupulous people.                                                                                     

The new ID law puts an undue burden on the poor, elderly and disabled. These groups are already often disenfranchised.

At the polls, I stood in line behind an elderly lady who, upon showing her driver’s license, was told it was not acceptable because it had expired.

Although it was still her valid name, address and picture, and she had voted in that precinct many times, she was not allowed to vote for the first time in her life.

A friend of mine told of her 92-year-old relative who was taken to the polls and turned away. After finding all the information needed, she and her caregiver had to wait in a huge line for hours in order to get the ID because she was determined to vote.

By the time she was able to vote and be returned home, she was ill with fatigue.

A close friend of mine who is disabled also has voting challenges.

Often the disabled and elderly must depend on a friend or family member to help them get IDs. But if family members work, it can be an added burden so they may hesitate to ask for help.

The poor, who often work two jobs just to make ends meet, may find voting at all too inconvenient.

I would be interested to know how many people might have been left out or have just given up their right to vote because it is just too difficult.

It would seem to me that in this great land of freedom, we should try to make it not more difficult but easier for all to make their opinions known.

My grandmother was a suffragette who fought for my right to vote, and I will always cherish and defend that privilege.

When we begin denying the freedoms that have been won, we become less of a nation.

— Mary Jo Brown

Terre Haute

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