Editorial: Don’t let complexities deter voting

Editorial: Don’t let complexities deter voting
February 11
00:00 2016

The right to vote is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. The complicated voting system we have today is not. Where do officials get the rules that make voter registration complicated? Looks like they come from the financial industry.

Once a person decides that he or she wants to register to vote, the process begins. The registration process is not getting much attention these days. The idea of showing a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in a voting booth is being challenged in court. But a photo ID is needed in order to register to vote, too. The complications begin at registration.

According to the North Carolina voter registration form, the Help America Vote Act ID, requirements include providing the ID number on a valid driver’s license or non-operator’s ID card on the registration form.

The form says: “Under federal and state law, if you are registering and cannot provide a valid ID number in Section 3, you should include with this application a copy of one of the documents below:

* A current and valid photo ID.

* A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government      document that shows your name and address.

“If you do not provide a valid ID number on your application or submit a copy of one of the documents noted above, you must show ID the first time you vote.”

Why do we need to give our photo ID information twice, when we register to vote and when we show up to vote?

The registration form also asks for the last four digits of people’s Social Security Numbers.

In addition, it asks for previous voter registration information if people had a previous voter registration in another county or state.

Then it will take two to three weeks before a person can get a voter registration card. Voter registration has been turned into a process similar to applying for a loan, which is complicated.

The voter ID requirement to vote in person is burdensome, especially after going through the registration process. This process has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution.

At least North Carolina still provides an alternative to voting in person. Several organizations are pushing absentee voting, although there is a form to fill out to request the ballot.

Early voting will still require the photo ID when voting in person, but things will be confusing at the polls this year, so at least that could take that burden off of voters.

The bottom line is, people have to register in order to vote. And people have to vote in order to change government. People should not let the complications deter them from exercising their constitutional right to vote. Our ancestors fought and died for it because it’s that important. The deadline to register is Feb. 19.

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