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Voice of the people

Mar. 04, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

Proposed voter law is unnecessary

Voting legislation now being proposed in the West Virginia Legislature is both oppressive and unwarranted. Why? The federal Help America Vote Act, signed by President Bush in 2002, put in place strong voter ID requirements that have proven successful in West Virginia. The proposed legislation would add additional burdens to voters who are already legally registered. (Consider the challenges that many West Virginians have already faced at the Department of Motor Vehicles as they renew their driver's licenses under the new Real ID requirements.)

We have a voter ID law that already works. Taxpayer dollars could be better spent than to fix something that isn't broken. In fact, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, there are no documented prosecuted cases of voter impersonation in our state. Our focus should be on making voting in West Virginia more accessible and efficient -- as a means of addressing our very low voter turnout.

Throughout our history, West Virginians have worked to provide voting rights and opportunities for our citizens. Consider Lena Lowe Yost from Marion County, who was instrumental in the women's suffrage movement in West Virginia. Or U.S. Sen. Jennings Randolph of West Virginia who introduced legislation 11 times before a bill was passed to lower the federal voting age. This is our heritage.

This oppressive effort is not the American way and is certainly not what West Virginians have worked to accomplish.

Laura Deveny

The League of Women Voters of the Huntington Area

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