I appreciate the concerns of Scott Marshall, Beaufort County elections executive director, for potential abuse of new voter photo ID cards, but I question common names creating an opportunity for abuse.
The cards will have the voter's name, address, voter ID number and precinct number on the card. In addition, the presenter has to be listed on the voter registration books to be allowed to vote.
A person cannot vote in any precinct simply by producing a voter ID card. That person would have to go to the voter registration office and have an address change before he or she could even vote a challenged ballot.
I do believe the number of people requiring a photo ID is very minimal, and the annual cost will be much lower than projected. Hopefully, a photo ID will be a great deterrent to illegal voting. People attempting to defraud the system would be much less likely to give a poll manager a picture of themselves if cards could be confiscated.
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It is unfortunate that our election system would be abused. The critical issue is to try to insure protection, by every viable means possible, for legal voters and candidates of their constitutional rights of a legitimate and accurate election voting system.
Cynthia Bensch, commissioner
State Election Commission