Letter to the Editor: ID "Costs"

[This letter was written by LWV-Wake board member Phyllis Demko and published in The News & Observer.]

News & Observer - June 17, 2018

Regarding “NC voter ID question could appear on November ballot” (June 8): The General Assembly is considering a bill that will place on the November ballot a constitutional amendment for voter ID. Because this will suppress voting, we must think carefully about whether voter ID benefits outweigh its costs.

Many people think the ID requirement is a good idea – or at least that it will do no harm. Yet, there are costs. It will especially affect women who change their names because of marital status. Many voting-age young people postpone getting a license if they cannot afford a car and insurance. Others without drivers’ licenses will find it difficult to get transportation and money for obtaining identification papers.

The worst harm is that it will cost enormous amounts of money to design and implement new systems and processes as well as to hire and train personnel.

Yet, as verified by the NC Board of Elections, voter ID will not fix problems in our elections system. Only one irregularity in the NCSBE audit of 2016 could have been prevented by voter ID. Our public funds are needed for improving equipment, implementing data sharing, and adding expertise to combat cyber hacking – these will address the real problems.

Phyllis H. Demko