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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (11-30-11)

ID requirement would change our unfettered right to vote
Whatís the problem with voter ID?
Lots. Letís start with the concept that voting is a right, not a privilege to be limited by any political group. Within living memory the right to vote was arbitrarily denied to many Americans through poll taxes, ěliteracyî tests and plain old-fashioned threats of violence. Now, some people are busy trying to limit the ability of the poor, elderly and minorities to exercise that right through an unnecessary, expensive and unfunded ID system.
Neither the county commissioners nor legislators have produced any evidence of voter fraud even existing or being so pervasive as to need protection. Neither the commissioners nor the legislators have said how much an ID program would cost or who will pay for it. We all know who will pay, us taxpayers, either through some tax increase or through a secret reduction is services.
ěBut I get asked all the time for my Drivers License or ID,î say the proponents. So what? Those are for commercial transactions, and not a matter of oneís rights. You donít have a right to buy groceries with a debit card, thatís a commercial transaction. If you donít like the deal, exercise your right to walk away and let them restock their shelves (or use cash).
ěBut thirty other states have voter ID laws,î say the proponents. Does anyone recognize ěBut Mom/Dad, all the other kids are doing itî? In the not-so-long-ago, a number of states passed laws designed to prevent some minorities from registering or voting. That didnít make it right then, and itís not right now.
The bottom line is that this is an unnecessary and financially irresponsible effort to prevent some citizens from voting by some right-wing conservatives, using a phony threat. Voting is one of the absolute and unfettered rights we have in this country and now some are trying to restrict it, again. Tell the politicians to stop!
ó John P. Burke
Salisbury
School for Blind questions
Recently North Carolina has opted to close the Governor Morehead School for the Blind and consolidate its programs and administration under that of the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf. Under this plan, North Carolina will have two schools for the deaf and one satellite campus serving students who are blind under ENCSD leadership, but the future of this compromise and its impacts on students are unclear.
How can ENCSD administrators trained in deaf education make instructional decisions for students who are blind? How will resources and money be shared? Will students who are blind get equal access to resources since they are a satellite campus? What assurances are there that students who are blind will be kept in a stable environment in Raleigh? What will the future hold for parents who wish for their children to attend the School for the Blind?
If, in the future, ENCSD decides to close the satellite campus in Raleigh, how will the students who are blind have access to transportation or learn travel skills in rural Wilson County? How will these students access the many transition services in Raleigh? Now is the time to advocate on behalf of these students and ask these questions of your elected officials.
ó Alan Chase
Raleigh

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