If there is to be debate on whether a government-issued identification card must be shown in order to cast a vote, then let it be on the merits of the requirement rather than a "Chicken Little" myth Brad Johnson and other Republicans are making about " ... numerous incidents of voter fraud coming to light across the country." The facts simply don't support the allegations made Sunday in Johnson's Billings Gazette guest opinion. Johnson is trying to win back the Montana secretary of state position he lost to Democrat Linda McCulloch in 2008.
My work takes me to the five-state Northern Rockies region, and I regularly attend statewide conferences held by county clerks and elections officers. These are the folks who actually run elections and know what is — and isn't — happening. I don't mean to speak for these public servants, but I can say that at conferences I've attended in Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, the claim of the "voter fraud" is consistently refuted by the people who actually administer the process. As McCulloch noted in her opposing guest opinion, voter fraud " ... does not exist in Montana."
If you don't believe McCulloch, then ask your local county clerk or elections administrator. This falsity has been repeated and left unchallenged so often that some people mistakenly believe voter fraud is rampant when, in fact, it is nonexistent in most states. Our current voter-identification safeguards in Montana and other states across the nation are accurate, reasonable and accommodate many different voters in many different life situations.
McCulloch proved her point with facts; Johnson makes unsubstantiated allegations.
Peter D. Fox