Photo ID voting law upheld

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By Jim Clark

When I was asked, a few years ago, to show my driver's license or other photo ID before I could vote, I was annoyed. I had been voting at the same place, with the same address, with the same signature on the books, for some time.

It was explained to me that this was a new law to prevent voter fraud.

Gradually, and grudgingly, I came to accept it. After all, who doesn't have a photo ID? It's very easy to get, even if you don't drive.

Then I began reading about how an Indiana case was being taken to the Supreme Court. The law was being challenged as being a Republican effort to cut down on voters who normally vote Democratic.

I thought that was a little silly. It seemed to me it was designed to cut down on the old cheating mantra, "vote early and vote often."

The Supreme Court agreed with me, something that doesn't happen often. On Monday, the court threw out the challenge to the Indiana law, and pretty much sealed the fate of all the other states who have similar laws, including Florida.

There are other voter things that bother me a lot more than showing a photo ID. This "early voting" craze that's sweeping the country makes me even more suspicious than a normal newspaper worker is supposed to be. I get no confidence out of knowing that somewhere there are ballots sitting, already filled out, for days or even weeks before they are counted.

There's also the matter of having election day on a Tuesday. Who thought that up in the first place? Why?

Shouldn't elections be held on a Saturday, when many more people have the day off and can make it to the polls? Or why not on a Friday and Saturday? Of course, that would mean that the government workers who handle elections would have to work on a weekend. Horrors!

Voting should be quick, convenient and painless, but most of all, honest. Let's make sure we have all the safeguards in place to keep it that way.

STYLE RULES: Every once in a while I'll list some of my favorite redundancies, which involve phrases where one or more words can be taken out without changing the meaning.

Here are a few for this week: ask a question; cash money; completely destroyed; consensus of opinion, and one of my favorites, bald-headed. We'll continue these from time to time.

WEB SITE: Anyone who knows me knows that I don't fly. I get sick near airports and airplanes.

But for some perverse reason, I'm fascinated by watching air traffic control radar. It's been tough to find for a long time, but I came across one on the web called atcmonitor.com.

You can watch, and listen, to Atlanta controllers, who are among the busiest in the world.

There is a video delay of a few minutes for security reasons, which is understandable, but it's still interesting to watch.

If you're into flying, give it a try. And if you find another site that let's you watch the actual radar, let me know.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.