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Letters to the editor – Friday (12-16-11)

Letís stick to voter ID issues, give others benefit of doubt
There is simply no call for Jeff Vailís accusatory tone toward opponents of voter ID (Dec. 14 letter). I give proponents of voter ID the benefit of the doubt that they honestly believe there is a problem with voter fraud and are acting with good intentions, and I call on them to acknowledge the same honorable intentions in their opponents. Election fraud cannot be eliminated, only minimized. Whether voter ID may do more harm than good is legitimately debatable.
Confidence in the election process involves conduct of election officials as well as the eligibility of voters. Someone has to look at a photo ID and determine whether it is authentic and belongs to the person presenting it. It is easy for me to imagine that being used to complicate the process for certain voters, or to deliberately stretch the lines at certain precincts. For voter ID to be implemented in an equitable manner, each and every voter must present a photo ID. Each and every poll worker must receive training to assess the ID in a prescribed fashion. The process to challenge an ID must be exactly documented and followed to the letter. Every challenge must be swiftly investigated and resolved. The delay to voters must be regulated, strictly monitored and reported to the public. All of these processes and procedures must be public and prominent, and deviating from them should carry harsh penalties.
What I have described is complicated and expensive, and it is reasonable to question whether it is worth the trouble. There is an undeniable history of disenfranchisement by the electoral process so, to some, the arguments being advanced for voter ID may sound too much like pretenses that were once used to prevent voting by minorities. If proponents of voter ID are serious, they should be willing to go the extra mile to address their opponentsí concerns.
ó Luke Hamaty
China Grove
Many lack an official ID
Mr. Vail, your letter is flawed in many ways. First, you intelligently asked, ěDid not the Founding Fathers require voters to be property owners?î Yes, they did. They also required you to be white and a Protestant. Would you like to reinstate those as well so a Republican will be elected?
The Salisbury Post already addressed your other argument about Loretta Sanchez. The real issue is that you donít realize everyone is not as blessed as you and I. There are a tremendous number of elderly and impoverished legal American citizens who are unable or cannot afford to get a government ID.
So unless Jim Sides or another government official is going to dish out the dough to pay for and transport these people to the DMV for an ID, then there is no legal way you can prevent these people from going to the polls.
Mr. Vail, you also asked, ěcan we say they (Democrats) whole-heartedly endorse voter fraud?î The answer to that is no. The politicians opposed to these rules are speaking up for the citizens who do not or cannot get an ID.
Your income or physical disabilities should never determine your eligibility to vote.
ó Greg Hicks
Concord
Appalled by Gingrich proposals
I have been recently appalled by Newt Gingrich saying we should eliminate child work laws. It seems almost impossible that this subject would be brought up by anyone of any political group. Perhaps it would be a good way to get back the jobs sent overseas to third world countries where children as well as adults work long hours, with very little compensation or regulations protecting them.
Maybe he thinks we could get our children to work as they did at the first part of the 20th century, for slave wages and in horrid conditions. He also advocated that ěpoorî children could work at the school where they are supposed to be in class, as janitors, cafeteria staff or office help, in order to not turn out to be drug dealers or prostitutes.
When I was in the seventh grade, we had end-of-the-year exams. That is when we found out that the three boys we saw working in the school cafeteria all day for free, and in the yard when they were through early, were actually supposed to be in our class. Of course they failed the exams, never once had they attended any class. They were all 15 years old. There were no special-needs classes. Therefore they put them to work until they were legally able to quit school at the age of 16, and believe me, they got the most work possible out of them. It was a disgrace then in the mid-í50s. It is even more of a disgrace for anyone, especially a public figure, to propose these things.
ó Janet Dennis
China Grove

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