September 3, 2012

Regarding the Aug. 31 front-page story “U.S. court blocks Texas voter-ID law, citing bias”:

I have the solution to the voter ID dust-up. My solution was spawned after learning that lots of smart people declare that requiring voters to affirm their identities with a simple photo ID is either racist, harmful especially to the poor, or a barrier to a basic right enshrined in the holy but oft-amended Constitution.

Hold onto your hats. Here is the solution that will please all: Everybody, yes, everybody, who walks into a polling booth can vote. No proof of identity required. Illegal immigrants, foreign tourists, children — any and all are welcome. The more who vote, the more vibrant our democracy.

However, to ensure the vote cast is counted, upon leaving the polling booth, the voter must provide their ABC’s: proof of (A) residence, (B) a high school education, and (C) a current year tax payment. The need for the first is obvious; the second will help ensure enough literacy to understand what they’ve voting for, and the last will ensure they have paid something for the services they want from their local, state or federal government.

I call this solution “All May Vote; ABC Decides”: Like all novel solutions, it will have critics galore. Yet in your secret heart of hearts, you know it’s the right thing to do. At a minimum, it will be another reason to finish at least high school and another incentive to pay something to our too generous, now very impoverished, Uncle Sam.

Jim Roberts, Alexandria