Lawmaker Pushes Photo ID for Voters

A measure that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls got its first hearing today (on Thursday).  Rep. Bob Lynn, a Republican from Anchorage, sponsored the bill, and he views it as a simple way of preventing voter fraud.

If a person doesn’t have photo ID available, they would have show two alternate forms of identification, like a birth certificate or tribal organization card. A person could also be okayed to vote if they are recognized by two election officials. If a voter doesn’t meet any of these requirements, then they have to cast a questioned ballot. During the hearing, the director of the Alaska Division of Elections answered questions about the mechanics of the bill and number of cases of voter fraud that Alaska had seen.

She said the state had experienced very few cases, and that those would not have been prevented by the proposed law. Questions were also raised about the effect the proposal would have on the Bush and whether it would be constitutional, with representatives from the Association of Village Council Presidents and the American Civil Liberties Union speaking against the bill. Rep. Lynn Gattis, a Republican, also commented that some of her constituents from Wasilla have raised concern about the bill.

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