Floren: Why is photo identification considered voter suppression? I just don’t get it!

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.07.33 PMSubmitted by Livvy Floren, Sept 13, 2016

Why is photo identification considered voter suppression?  I just don’t get it!

As a card carrying “goo goo” (good government type) who has spent her entire legislative life encouraging voter participation (12 years as a member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee with 4 years as its Ranking Member), I have served on every single Task Force crafting legislation on contracting reform, ethics reform, voting technology reform, Freedom of Information reform, and campaign finance reform.

And, I have listened, with an open mind and heart, for hours – probably days and weeks – to compelling testimony for and against requiring voter photo identification.

Voting is the bedrock freedom of our democracy, and its security should be protected.  We need to present a photo id to board an airplane, register at a hotel, cash a check at our own bank, enter a government building or courthouse, and even obtain a senior citizen discount at a movie.

My proposal is that cities and towns would issue a photo identification card (not tied to a driver’s license) without charge to the requestor, and with costs assumed by the Citizens Election Program fund.  There is absolutely no hardship involved, and I think the sanctity of each citizen’s vote would be ensured.  To me, that is the ultimate voting right.

Please join the conversation by attending a forum on the “Election Matters: The State of Voting in 2016” – at 7 p.m. on September 20 at the Greenwich Library. The program is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Greenwich Democratic and Republican Town Committees, and the Greenwich Library.

Rep. Livvy Floren
149th District Greenwich and Stamford

  • JM

    Ms. Floren, your proposal is better than most of the recent ones, but it still doesn’t address the problem of people who don’t have the source documents needed to prove citizenship (unless getting these documents is one of the “costs assumed by the Citizens Election Program fund”).

    If you really want to prevent voter fraud, you should restrict absentee ballots – they are much easier to commit fraud with. In-person fraud is very difficult to commit and very high-risk considering the reward – that’s why there are so few cases documented. Preventing most types of in-person can be done more easily with other measures. To prevent double-voting in person, use ink-stained fingers, for example.

  • gerri

    It is a modern day poll tax which unfairly penalizes the elderly and the poor who may not have a driver’s license or a non-driver ID.

  • Joseph F. Allegro

    Voting is a right and also a privilege afforded us by this great nation. The integrity of the vote is of paramount importance and should not be taken lightly. If a small amount of effort is required of citizens In order to secure voter documentation so be it. I am a new resident and was pleasantly surprised to be asked for identification the first time I voted in Connecticut and I wouldn’t have it any other way!