Lawmakers consider bill requiring photo ID to vote

2013-01-25T09:36:00Z 2013-01-30T07:42:06Z Lawmakers consider bill requiring photo ID to voteThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 25, 2013 9:36 am  • 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A Wyoming state Senate committee is considering a bill that would require voters to show a valid photo identification card to cast their ballot.

The Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee heard testimony on the measure Thursday and will discuss it again on Tuesday.

Republican state Sen. Ogden Driskill, of Devils Tower, the primary sponsor of the bill, said it is not an attempt to stop anyone from voting but would verify voters' identity and ensure they are in the correct precinct.

"A man's vote is probably the most sacred privilege we've got in the United States," he said.

The bill would require voters to show an election judge a valid ID issued by the federal government or the state of Wyoming.

The judge could challenge a voter who is unable or declines to show an ID. Voters who are challenged could return later to the county clerk's office with the ID.

Wyoming currently does not require ID to vote, but does require it to register.

Republican state Sen. Charles Scott, of Casper, said "mis-voting" occurs in Wyoming. Voters sometimes give non-existent addresses, he said.

"I think that happens with some frequency," he said.

The League of Women Voters opposes the bill. Marguerite Herman, a member of the group's board, said there is little evidence of voter fraud in Wyoming.

Many people don't have easy access to a government office to get an ID, and voter turnout is so low that people shouldn't be discouraged any further, she said.

Dan Neal of the Equality State Policy Center also opposes the bill.

"Our feeling is basically that voting is a fundamental right of democracy. We shouldn't do anything to put barriers in the way of people to get them to vote," he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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