Originally created 09/24/05

The quiet truth

Just because something is said loud, that doesn't make it true. In fact, many truths are so quiet as to be unnoticed.

Let it not go unnoticed throughout the land, however, that the Richmond County experience with new voter identification requirements was a quiet success last Tuesday.

A new Georgia law, and one that a national panel is looking at as a model for the nation, tightens requirements on what types of identification citizens must present in order to vote. Gone are the old utility bills, which can't really prove you are who you say you are. Now there's a limited array of six photo I.D.s you can use.

Shrill voices on the far left have hailed the new law as a civil rights outrage, a new poll tax designed to intimidate blacks. Well, how condescending to presuppose that minorities are incapable of obtaining valid photo I.D.s, especially in this day and age.

And now, experience proves otherwise: According to local director of elections Lynn Bailey, of the 12,755 voters in last Tuesday's special election for the heavily minority District 22 state Senate seat in Augusta, only 13 voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots. Everyone else - 12,742 voters - had acceptable I.Ds.

And that's only weeks after the law was given a stamp of approval by the U.S. Justice Department.

Even those 13 challenged voters could have been able to have their provisional ballots counted, simply by returning with a valid I.D. within 48 hours. Only one did.

If we can prevent voter fraud with such a benign I.D. requirement - the kind needed by any check-casher - with such an imperceptible amount of bother, that's just fabulous.

That's the quiet truth.


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