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On voter ID laws and Hawaii

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has an editorial this morning on voter ID laws, which it says will not inhibit voters in the state with the nation’s lowest turnout rate.

Voters are required to present identification at the polls only if they registered to vote by mail and did not provide identification at that time. Bank statements and utility bills, in addition to drivers licenses and other photo I.D. cards, are accepted, the newspaper says. 

Here’s their conclusion:

Few voters in Hawaii should have difficulty proving their identity and eligibility to cast ballots, which is a good thing. Given the weakness of the state’s voter turnout, and the importance of the November election, anything that needlessly discourages a voter from casting a ballot is bad public policy.

Other states have pushed to require voters to present photo identification at the polls, a move critics say will make it more difficult for low-income and minority voters to participate in the November 6 election. A  judge recently ruled that Pennsylvania’s voter identification requirement can not legally be enforced.

That debate is, of course, intensely political. From a CNN story: 

Critics say the new (Pennsylvania) law is an attempt by Republicans — who overwhelmingly support the measure — to gain the advantage in a close election.

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