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Opinion

Voter photo ID ‘cleverly hidden poll tax,’ reader says

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Diane King’s letter in the May 22 West Side Leader [“Bath resident responds to letter”]. She, like thousands of other Ohio residents, is missing the point on why Ohio’s voter photo ID law is unconstitutional. The issue that makes Ohio’s voter photo ID law unconstitutional is that the Board of Elections doesn’t issue photo IDs. The registered voter is required to pay the total expense of acquiring a photo ID. This is a cleverly hidden poll tax. The 24th amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed all poll taxes when it was ratified in 1964.

Let’s use this same scenario when renewing our driver’s license. One takes the vision test at the License Bureau on West Market Street. You pass the test but you are told the photo ID is not issued here. You are required to go to one of two locations, one in Green and the other in Northfield, to receive your photo ID. One more thing, you can’t drive until you receive the photo ID. You may have to take a bus, paying fare, or find some other from of transportation. Summit County drivers would be outraged if this were the case.

The Summit County Fiscal Office had an outreach program for veterans’ ID cards a few months ago. I received my photo ID at the Fairlawn [-Bath Branch] Library. The next day, the Fiscal Office was set up at the Richfield [Branch] Library. The next week or two the Fiscal Office was set up at many other libraries and community centers in the inner city. It only took five minutes to receive a photo ID. Why can’t the Board of Elections do the same? If they did, Ohio ID voter law would not violate the 24th amendment to the Constitution.

Sam Hevener, Richfield

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