The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 30, 2012

Your View: A no vote on Voter ID saves voting rights

By Emily Myers, Mankato

— I’m a common citizen who represents the civic process of elections at the most basic level. Each election cycle I’m trained to be familiar with election laws in order to effectively enact them, so I’ve been paying attention to the news on the amendment knowing that I will be affected by it.

I feel that my job as judge, in questioning the identity of voters, will be to demonize them. I’m certain that other judges feel the same. Some judges volunteer — waiving the offer of remuneration in order to serve the process they so believe in. If this amendment passes, many of us will stop believing.

You see, I haven’t signed up to be a judge to refuse the right to vote or interrogate voter legitimacy, but to help people vote in a process that works.

Enacting this harmful piece of legislation will affect voters, election judges and the taxpayers — no one will be unharmed. Would I feel comfortable serving elections, representing a law I cannot believe in? One that also affects family members living overseas, people with disabilities, the elderly, students, immigrants with limited access to identity records? No, I wouldn’t. I could not do it.

I have many great memories of working the front-line of the election process over the years. The most profound experiences were in enjoying new American citizens’ excitement about being able to vote — some for the first time as elderly individuals who are finally able to enjoy the benefits of an accepting democracy. Helping them and others carry out their right is what I signed up for and will vote no on behalf of their right on Nov. 6.