Voter I.D. - The Time is Now!
 
Several years ago, I received a panicked text from a friend of mine who had just finished voting and was appalled that the poll worker did not ask to see photo identification.  When I informed him that they could not, by law ask for identification, he was shocked – and with good reason.  With the stakes extremely high in elections at every level of government, the potential and motivation for dishonesty at the ballot box is also disturbingly high.

We have all heard instances of localities with more votes cast than registered voters, deceased individuals on voter rolls, vote “harvesting” where the signatures of valid voters are illegally obtained to vote without their consent, and so on.  The fact is, voter fraud cannot even be accurately quantified without a uniform system of determining the true identity of every voter who casts a vote.

Opponents of voter I.D. claim that it “disenfranchises minority voters.”  Simply put, this is absurd and an insult to every minority group in the country.  In fact, after North Carolina passed a very comprehensive voter I.D. law African American voter turnout actually increased.

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Moreover, the push to use 100% vote by mail in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is laden with opportunities for wide scale voter fraud.  The reality is that there is no way to monitor the origin of paper mail-in ballots, nor who is actually sending them.

Americans should expect and demand that every reasonable measure be taken to ensure the security and validity of our elections.  One of the most basic protections is to have voters provide evidence that proves that they are in fact, who they say they are.  The list of situations that require photo i.d. is endless, including renting a car, entering an office building, picking up tickets for a minor league baseball game and applying for food stamps, to name a few.  There is no reason that something as vital to our republic as voting should not be accorded the same level of security.

As such, I am proud to be the sponsor of a bill currently being drafted that would require photo i.d. to vote, while offering other protections to our election system.  This bill is the culmination of extensive research, which examined other state’s successful initiatives to craft legislation that will be fair, effective and easily complied with by all residents.  It also calls for New Jersey to participate in an interstate voter registration crosscheck program, which will identify those registered to vote in multiple states.  The ID requirement should be extended to absentee ballots, which are an area of grave concern to those who are interested in protecting our elections from dishonest participation. 

We are privileged to live in a free society where qualified citizens have the right to choose their leaders and shape the future of their country.  Protecting the validity and purity of those elections is paramount to our survival as a nation.