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Letters to the editor September 6
Sep 07, 2012 | 4056 views | 1 1 comments | 206 206 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voter ID ruling lauded

We commend the ruling of the D.C. Circuit Court striking down Texas’ voter ID law, which at its core would disproportionately disenfranchise poor and minority voters. No election should be won or lost based on the exclusion of eligible voters. Barriers at the polls are a violation of a basic principle of our democracy; our country relies on the participation of its citizenry in choosing elected officials, without regard to race, gender or geographic location.

Our tradition emphasizes the individual and collective responsibility we have to play an active role in our community and choosing its leaders. Rabbi Yitzhak taught, “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” Given the Jewish community’s historical role in the struggle for civil rights, we are particularly sensitive to any instances of voter disenfranchisement. It is our duty, and that of all Americans, to ensure that all citizens are afforded the free and unfettered opportunity to vote and have their votes fairly counted.

Although the court’s ruling applies narrowly to Texas, it also sends a clear message to all states seeking to keep eligible citizens from performing their civic duty at the ballot box: disenfranchisement of voters cannot not be tolerated.

Rabbi David Saperstein

Washington, D.C.

(The author is director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.)

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 01, 2012
You are wrong Rabbi. There is no evidence of any state wishing to keep US citizens from voting. There is plenty of evidence of voter fraud, non citizens voting in elections, of dogs (Seattle Times wrote a story of dead dog registered to vote) voting, and so forth. Why, in your opinion, is it okay to disenfranchise US citizens of their right to vote and to have their vote legally counted? Ever hear of the US mail? You can even give your signed ballot to someone to drop off at any polling place if you can't make it. So if I need an ID to buy liquor, cash a check, enter a court house, get on an airplane, register to take classes at a college, enter many high schools, get a driver's license, get a marriage license, get a credit card, have something notarized, apply for a loan, get a job, show a police officer on demand, and so forth, it is reasonable to prevent identity theft at the ballot box as well. Your argument is ancient and does not hold the proverbial water test.