My local paper, the South Bend Tribune, ran this letter in their Voice of the People section:

I am writing in response to the Nov. 7 letter from Martha Southworth.

Southworth asks, if we need ID to open a bank account, or to drive, why not to vote? The lady does not seem to realize that voting in America is not a privilege, but a sacred right; not one to be denied without good reason. Therein is the difficulty with the new voter ID laws. There has been almost no in-person voter fraud recorded anywhere, so the new laws only serve to hamper voters, and as it turns out, primarily voters from one particular political party.

It is well known that historically voter fraud occurs most often in absentee ballots, and the new ID laws do nothing to deal with that problem. With more interest being expressed in voting from home, by computer or phone, the new laws are even less applicable to those methods.

While we need to protect the validity of the voting process, we should be increasing the ease of voting, not erecting barriers to anyone casting a legitimate ballot.     


I felt I must reply:

On September 15th the Voice of the People included a letter titled “Remove barriers to voting to make casting ballots easier” to make the case that there is no need for someone to present a state issued id when voting, in order to prove that they are who they say they are rather than being, in fact, an incapacitated relative. I would like to concentrate on one statement the writer presented as the thesis for his argument, “…realize that voting in America is not a privilege, but a sacred right.” Another sacred, God given right is for self-preservation for oneself and their family. This was spelled out in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution namely “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

My question to the letter writer would be, should we hold these same standards when someone is purchasing a firearm. Does he feel that someone should not be able to walk into the gun department of their local Wal-Mart and purchase a fully automatic rifle of the shelf in the hardware department, no questions asked? Reasonable people would question the sanity of this ideal but then again why would this “sacred right” not be absolute?

Mark Watkins
3576 Generations Drive
South Bend, IN 46635
(574) 387-9409


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