The June 22 editorial “A vote against voting” argued against states’ new stringent voter-identification laws and said the number of documented cases of voter fraud is “tiny,” implying that this is a small price to pay for easing the way of some voters who just happen not to have a valid ID.
In this age of razor-thin margins and legally contested elections, it is insulting to most Americans to suggest that relaxed voter ID standards allowing even the possibility of stolen elections is somehow acceptable.
If a government wants to be trusted and respected, it must maintain the legitimacy of its elections and restrict voting to those confirmed to be eligible. Anything less would signal “open season” for those who are willing to steal in order to gain power.
H. Allen Stegall Jr., Frederick
Regarding E.J. Dionne Jr.’s June 20 op-ed column, “Rigging the 2012 election”:
An analysis of votes cast in Georgia with the photo ID law in place refutes Mr. Dionne’s assertions that voter-ID laws will reduce voter turnout among minority groups. Georgia started requiring a photo ID for in-person voting in 2007. When we compare the 2006 general election with the 2010 general election, voter turnout among African Americans outpaced the growth of that population’s pool of registered voters by more than 20 percentage points. From 2004 to 2008, Hispanic and African American voter turnout increased by 140 percent and 42 percent, respectively, rates that align with the growth rates of voter registration in those demographics.
Mr. Dionne argued that photo ID and related election-security laws are not needed because voter fraud “is not a major problem.” As chairman of the Georgia State Election Board, I can attest that every year we investigate and penalize hundreds of people guilty of election and voter fraud, and we work with county district attorneys to prosecute them on criminal charges.
In Georgia, one instance of voter fraud is an unacceptable breach of the public’s trust.
Brian Kemp, Atlanta
The writer is secretary of state for Georgia.