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Voter ID

Posted: April 5, 2012 10:49 a.m.
Updated: April 6, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Politicians are known to exaggerate from time to time, and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn followed that tradition earlier this week when he said a South Carolina law requiring voters to show a picture ID when going to the polls hearkens back to the Jim Crow era, when all sorts of measures prevented blacks from going to the polls. Those days are gone forever, though they remained in force for too long, and the new law -- it's being challenged by the Obama administration's Justice Department -- poses no threat to trying to disenfranchise people. Rather, it's a safeguard for the most fundamental right we all have.

For those who don't have a picture ID, there are measures in place to provide them for free and even to provide transportation to a Department of Motor Vehicles site for people who need it. That's hardly a Jim Crow measure. It's logical, in an era when Americans must show an ID to get on an airplane or cash a check, that a similar procedure be required for voting. Rep. Clyburn is making noise, but it is much ado about nothing.


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