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Voting the Right Way on Voter Registration

October 20, 2002

Re "Voting System Reform Bill OKd, Sent to Bush," Oct. 17: I am genuinely puzzled by the opposition of some members of Congress, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), and various civil rights organizations, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to the recently passed bill designed to improve our election systems nationwide. The stated reason for this opposition is essentially that the new regulations create "onerous" and intimidating "obstacles" to voter registration.

What are the new requirements? That first-time voters who registered by mail provide a photo ID such as a driver's license or alternatively, a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check or other official document with a name and address. If the first-time voter is unable to provide any of the foregoing, then a driver's license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number will do. Quite frankly, if a prospective voter was dissuaded from registering to vote because he or she was supposedly intimidated or confused by these requirements, or was unable to produce even one of these forms of identification, this person should not be voting anyway and the authorities rightfully should be suspicious.

Ric Ottaiano

Fullerton

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