Terry A. Henderson: Value of voting

April 19, 2013 

Value of voting

The controversy over requiring ID for voting seems misplaced and anachronistic. It used to be that we left front doors and cars unlocked, a handshake was a contract and a person’s word was his bond.

Fast forward, and now our less personal society requires that we safeguard most transactions of value. And that’s the point. Anything of value requires that we safeguard our identity and protect the integrity of the underlying transaction. It is a fact of modern life.

It is impossible to cash a check, retrieve a package at the post office, buy Sudafed at the drug store or board a plane without proof of identity. Passwords and PINs are universal. Getting a driver’s license, claiming a lottery win or securing a library card all require proof of identity. Why should voting be less a transaction of value than any of these other activities?

Sadly, it is naive to think and act otherwise. But it is government’s job to make it easy to get a legitimate photo ID. That should be simple.

Terry A. Henderson


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