Letters to the Editor

Letter: Photo ID hurdles

In his recent letter, Rolf Bilet had some fun comparing the difficulty of showing a photo ID to vote with showing a photo ID to buy liquor. Evidently, he is not aware that not all people are so fortunate as to have a photo ID to start with.

Such people include many seniors, students and people who cannot afford a car, as well as urban residents who have ready access to bus transportation. It is a simple fact that minorities have a smaller percent of photo IDs compared to the rest of the population.

Some states offer a free voter photo ID if voters do not have another form of valid voter ID, but not all do. Alaska has 30 DMV offices and one sticks out: Utqiagvik. I wonder how many people fly to Utqiagvik to get a photo ID?

A few years ago, a legislator from South Anchorage was pushing a photo ID requirement for Alaska, but it is evident that that push failed. I am not sure why but I suspect that it had to do with the difficulty many Alaskans, especially those in the Bush, would have getting a photo ID, as well as the cost the state of Alaska would incur if the state were willing to insure that voters had a decent chance of meeting the photo ID requirement. Not that long ago, the state was trying to shut some DMV offices down.

John Jensen

Anchorage

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