In response to Thomas Shields’ letter (Jan. 7) regarding requiring an ID card in order to vote, has he forgotten about the use of poll taxes in this country?

Poll taxes were used to hinder minorities and poorer white people in their efforts to vote. Eventually, it became illegal to require any kind of fee in order to exercise the right to vote.

A state ID card costs money; if it were required for voting it would essentially constitute a poll tax, which is illegal.

Regarding photos on EBT cards — although it seems like a good idea to stop fraud, the reality is that it would do nothing. A person can legally allow another person to use his card (for example, a homebound person having a caregiver get groceries, etc). Because of that, EBT cards cannot be used as proof of identification.

As far as purchasing tobacco and alcohol, having the photo on the EBT card is not relevant, since the law requires store clerks to check state ID cards.

And saying one purchases narcotics with an EBT card is ridiculous. People might trade the card for narcotics and then someone else might use it. But since it is legal to allow a person to use someone else’s card, enforcement of any misuse is nearly impossible.

Real reform will need to come from more thorough investigation of any documented fraudulent usage, follow up, and punishment on the part of the issuing entity.

Karen Smith, Auburn

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