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Says voter ID critical to our election process

March 24, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Letter to the Editor,

Last November Iowa elected a new Secretary of State, Matt Schultz. One of the primary issues that Secretary Schultz campaigned on was changing our election laws to require that each voter must show a Photo ID in order to vote. The need for this is obvious of course, it’s a significant step in ensuring the integrity of our elections. The vast majority of Americans understand this and support voter Photo ID requirements. After all, we have to show an ID for many other reasons, so why not for  the act of voting? The integrity of our elections is critical, elections are one of our most sacred institutions. I’ve worked as a Precinct Election Official for a number of years, and I’d welcome such a change. This may not be a problem in our rural areas where we know most of our neighbors, but in Iowa’s cities it’s a problem just as it is in other states.

Sadly, the Democratic party has opposed this needed change. The Iowa House of Representatives passed this Legislation as House File 95 on a vote of 60 to 40, all Republicans voting for integrity in our elections, and all Democrats voting against integrity in our elections. Once the bill went to the Democrat controlled Senate, it was shelved in committee and won’t likely see the light of day this year. The 26 members of our Democrat Majority in the Senate also oppose this needed change and refuse to bring it to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.

We all know why the Democrat party opposes this change, it makes it much more difficult to commit voter fraud. Democrats use the excuse that requiring a Photo ID will somehow “disenfranchise” certain classes of voters. Precisely the opposite is true, requiring a Photo ID will help ensure that our system of one person, one vote has integrity, thus “enfranchising” every legal voter. 

Another excuse the Democrats use in opposing this change is that many of Iowa’s county Auditors oppose this change as well. I spoke with our Tama County Auditor, Laura Kopsa, and she stated that she too opposed this bill because it will likely drive more voters to absentee ballots because they don’t have to show a Photo ID to receive a ballot by mail. Presently there isn’t a way to verify that absentee ballots are filled out by the intended registered voter, or that it’s even sent to the proper address, so absentee ballots are wide open to election fraud.  The solution is not to leave both in person and absentee voting methods wide open to fraud, but to find a way to verify that all votes cast are honest. 

Over the years we’ve opened up our election system to a point where we really can’t be sure that we have the integrity that the citizens expect and deserve.   This must change, and requiring voters to show a Photo ID is a big step in the right direction. Please support Secretary of State Matt Schultz in getting this Photo ID legislation passed. And please let Tama County Auditor Laura Kopsa know how you feel about maintaining the integrity of our election system as well.  

Dean Fisher



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