Recently I exercised my right to vote in state and local elections. I waited for my turn to tell an election official where I lived so I could get my ballots and realized how behind the times we Americans are — over-trusting a broken system. I have served in the Navy and seen voting in many countries; all of them required some form of ID. Those include our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, also Spain, France and Italy.

Showing a photo ID when receiving an election ballot is a simple way to assure election officials that you are not an impersonator of a registered voter or someone not entitled to vote, such as a non-citizen or non-resident of the community. There are those who try to vote on a still-valid registration of a person who recently moved away.

A Pew Research Center report noted that, during the Obama years, approximately 24 million (one of every eight) active voter registrations in the United States were found no longer valid or were significantly inaccurate. More than 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as active voters.

Old Dominion University polled a large online sample of foreign nationals residing in the United States, including aliens present both lawfully and unlawfully. They concluded that 14% of these non-citizens were registered to vote in U.S. elections.

I feel it is time for our local representatives to take action, as seven other states have, and require an ID in order to vote.

Tim Gallant, Lewiston


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