Solving a problem that doesnt exist
If you are an eligible voter in Idaho but dont have a photo ID, you might be wondering if you can vote. The Ada County elections mailer states you will be asked to show a photo ID before you vote. The mailer fails to state that you have the option of signing a personal identification affidavit instead. According to a Government Accountability Office investigation: 21 states passed new voter ID laws in the last 10 years, while seven states added more requirements, bringing the total number of states requiring identification to 31.
This would lead you to believe that voter fraud is rampant. However, the GAO investigation also failed to find evidence of any significant levels of voter fraud. This finding is backed up by experts like Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia Law School, as well as a Department of Justice study done when George W. Bush was president.
These laws discourage people from voting and their stated objectives are focused on resolving a problem that doesnt exist. I hope the word will get out to all eligible voters in Idaho: you can still vote even if you dont have a photo ID.
ELAINE KAZAKOFF, Boise
News media contribute to confusion
I am disturbed by the misleading information that one will not be able to vote if they do not have a photo ID. Both print and electronic media leave this erroneous perception. Please start explaining to the public that if one does not have a photo ID, the individual may sign an affidavit to confirm his or her identity. There is a widespread effort to make voting more difficult and the Statesman, as well as the state and county voter information mailers and pamphlets being distributed are contributing to this effort by not making clear what the voters can do in order to exercise their right to vote. Please get the word out before the election!
VIVIAN KLEIN, Boise
Voter information misleads Idahoans
To many in the United States this years presidential election could be the most important election in our countrys history. Many feel these elections could lead to dire outcomes for our hard-working families and for our democracy. No matter which side of that fence looks good, we know freedom is key to what makes the U.S. great.
Recently, the Idaho Voters Pamphlet (subtitled Making Elections Make Sense) arrived at my home. But my mood soured the minute I read the command, Bring Your ID and VOTE! I wondered, Is this new? I have never had to show an ID in Idaho elections before. I flipped to page 2, where a heading in bold print states, Photo ID is now required to vote in Idaho. Read the first sentence, though, and it says, To vote, you must either present a photo ID or sign a Personal Identification Affidavit. (Wheres the affidavit explained?) After that, the passage finishes with a list of acceptable IDs. Since when does Idaho behave like big brother and make its residents procure IDs to exercise their duty to vote? I dont know about you all, but this doesnt feel like freedom.
LEONTINA HORMEL, Moscow
A simple protest
Registered voters who do not have photo IDs acceptable by the state must fill out an affidavit, stating that they are indeed themselves, when they go to the polls.
This is a small burden, but a burden nonetheless, on senior citizens, handicapped citizens and others who have no acceptable photo IDs.
Show solidarity with the old folks and the handicapped. Do not show a photo ID. Do fill out the affidavit and put the election workers to the chore of dealing with this unreasonable requirement.
This is one small way you can protest against voter suppression.
CAROL STACEY, Coeur dAlene
We the people have no say in this election
Ive lived in Idaho for 40 years. I love this state, the people, the way of life, and my ashes will someday rest on an Idaho mountainside. But there is one major drawback: Idaho has no voice in presidential elections. The first truth is, presidential elections are invariably decided before the Idaho polls even close!
Voting is a precious right, and its vital we exercise that right. I vote, and I urge every eligible voter to do so, but Im a realist and I refuse to be blinded by ideology. Casting our ballot is vital, but its not an answer-all. I will vote on Nov. 6 to affect state and local elections and issues, knowing full well I cannot help redirect our nations decline from the top. The second truth is the Electoral College system wont allow it.
As long as the Electoral College system remains in place, as long as the president and vice president of the United States are not elected by straight popular vote, we, the people of Idaho, will have no direct impact on the process.
JOHN A. MOSHER, Kooskia
Your vote for president doesnt matter
You people make me laugh. I always enjoy reading the opinions, because there is so much to be said, and about half of what is said has fact to back it up. This is one of those opinions. First, when it comes to the president of the United States, we could vote for King Kong and have the exact same effect on the outcome. Not only are we a republic, but we are a majority republic. The president is not elected by the popular vote democracy, hes elected by people we choose, the Electoral College. And on a larger scale, Idahos four votes don't matter. If you want your electoral vote to matter, move to Florida. As Idahoans we can have an effect on state and local issues.
Proposition 1. If you want unions to control the school, vote no, if you want teachers, parents, and administrators to control the school, vote yes.
Proposition 2 if teachers can be fired for doing a bad job, vote yes. If teachers can do whatever they want with no threat of loss of employment, vote no.
Proposition 3 spends $60 million in money we don't have, i.e. Nampa school district.
Have fun voting.
STEVE GARDNER, Boise
Support on his sleeve
On Oct. 19, I voted early but found I could not wear my Obama/Biden shirt. I was asked to step outside and turn my shirt inside out. Several people were standing outside and as I approached my truck to turn the shirt inside out, I mentioned to the people of my intent, the reason why, and that I meant no disrespect in the removal of my shirt.
An apparent Republican man asked if I wanted some matches to burn the shirt. I said, Excuse me and he repeated himself. Unfortunately, I didnt get his name as he was leaving though we did share some other words as I ended in telling him to have a good day. Its unfortunate that it is unlawful to wear a shirt of your choice in Idaho while voting and I would hope that same man doesnt use those matches to burn the American flag.
I do feel good about the fact that I can respect others choices even if I dont agree with them and the Democratic Party is voted by the people for the people not just the party. God bless America.
ROBERT COOLEY, Meridian
Voters have options
Contrary to what the media feeds us, we actually do have more than two political parties to choose from this November, not just for president, but also for state and U.S. representatives and state senator. Oh, presidential candidates Mr. Anderson (Independent) Mr. Goode (Constitution Party), Jill Stein (independent) and Mr. Johnson (Libertarian Party) dont have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on campaigning and advertising, so of course the media wont give them any attention.
But we voters, who are sick and tired of the big money, soundbite, tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear-just-to-get-elected, out-of-touch politicians, can research the independent, Constitution and Libertarian parties and candidates and give our support where it can make a difference. Vote third party. In this way, we can get the attention of the do-nothing, infighting, lobbyist-supported politicos.
E. VICTORIA O'CONNOR, Boise
Support candidates who support women
Womens health matters so much in this election. If we elect leaders who do not believe they should be making medical decisions for women, and instead trust women to decide what is best for them and their family, we would all be living in a better Idaho.
Womens health matters whether it is expanding birth control options through Medicaid to help prevent abortion or ensuring that politicians do not once again attack something as widely supported as birth control access. Why? Because birth control absolutely is an economic issue. Pills for a year cost as much as five weeks of groceries or six tanks of gas in a minivan.
Support candidates who support women. For yourselves, your daughters, and for our future.
SARA ADKINS, Boise
A childish cause
Every person needs a purpose or cause in life, but to make the Muppets and a march in Washington that cause is indefensible. What are the environmental consequences of a million people from around the country travelling hundreds of thousands of miles to Washington, D.C., buying and waving Muppets puppets that are probably made by child labor in another country, all for fictional television dolls?
Would it not be better to just donate the trip money that would be spent to PBS, thereby enabling PBS to cut any affiliation with the federal government and its small donation? This is said to be only 15 percent of the PBS budget. Then PBS would never again be vulnerable to fiscal scrutiny.
Surely, Muppet lovers of the world would rather do that for something they so dearly revere rather than have our grandchildren go further into debt to China to support their adult fantasies about puppets. But, I suppose one could do worse than have anthropomorphic television puppets as a cause.
MICHAEL CIVIELLO, Boise
Why do Republicans have to cheat?
In order to win the presidential election, these are some of the things the Republican Party has done or tried.
Ohio: Cutting off early voting, which hurts only working people, and allowing early voting only in Republican precincts, was stopped by public outrage and stayed by the court. In defiance, the Republican Secretary of State is now limiting the hours for early voting, and so-called patriots of the tea parties plan to challenge voters at precincts.
Florida: Purging voter rolls. Attempt to stop early voting.
Pennsylvania: Passing restrictive voter ID laws. Pennsylvania House majority leader Mike Turzai said, This law will guarantee Romney will win Pennsylvania.
Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida: Hiring a corporation known for election fraud to run their voter registration drive.
Mitch McConnell in the Senate declaring that their No. 1 priority is to defeat Obama.
Now, we learn Tagg Romney (Mitts son) owns the voting machine in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Hawaii.
Does anyone else see a difference in the actions of three individuals in one city, one prescient, and what seems to be an organized conspiracy to deny American citizens their right to vote?,
If their ideas are so good, why do they have to cheat?
STIOFAIN GAEL, Pocatello
The GOP lineup
Scott Brown (R-Mass.): can see your genetic makeup (with his x-ray vision?)
Paul Broun, M.D. (R-Ga.): Sits on Science, Space & Technology Committee with Akin. Evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell; I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them.
Joe Walsh (R-Ill.): Believes theres no medical reason to perform an abortion to save a womans life. With modern technology and science, you cant find one instance. He was marching in a parade while opponent and wounded warrior Tammy Duckworth was picking out a dress for a nationally televised address.
Jon Hubbard (R-Ark., state legislature): Will it ever become possible for black people in the United States of America to firmly establish themselves as inclusive and contributing members of society within this country?
Todd Akin (R-Mo.): Legitimate rape prevents pregnancy.
Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn., state legislature): Pro-Life yet had affairs outside his marriage and pushed a pregnant mistress to get an abortion.
Myth Romney: It does add up. Pick a number. Its not Romnesia, its Romndiculous.
I rest my case.
JEFFERSON YOUNG, Boise
Were all in this together
If you believe the Ayn Rand philosophy of every man for himself and you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps even if you don't have any boots. And if you believe the 1 percent will be generous and let some of their wealth trickle down as it did in the 1990s. Then vote Republican.
If you believe we are all in this together and that when we all do well we all do well. Then vote Democratic.
ELISABETH RATCLIFF, Garden City
BALANCING THE BUDGET
An unnecessary amendment
Citizens of Idaho. Consider in the coming vote the Balanced Budget Amendment and those who support it. The amendment, as it stands, does not balance the budget it imposes a 20 percent spending cap. The BBA allows a president to spend 80 percent more than the last guy did over a four-year term. Our inspired and wise founding fathers provided the constitutional fix: The House controls the budget 100 percent. In essence, the amendment moves power away from the House, weakens the Constitution, and limits our ability to affect it. We the people must put pressure on our representatives to honor their constitutional oaths and balance the budget with no amendment. If they dont do it we fire them. Current Idaho representatives included.
Don Curtis, Boise
The right formula
A serious study of history, and an ordinary grasp of arithmetic, should tell us that the only way to have four years of budget surpluses is to have a Democrat for president and a Republican Congress.
GERRY WISDOM, Republican, Donnelly
Examine values before voting
The U.S. currently spends 60 percent of the annual budget on military expenses, and how much do we spend caring for the elderly, the sick, the children, the infirm, the poor the least amongst us? Seven percent on Health and Human Services, 6 percent on education, 3 percent on Housing and Urban Development, 2 percent on agriculture.
Maybe these people are the 47 percent who use government handouts and dont need to be considered. Surely you arent one of those people! Yes you are if you claim a home-mortgage interest deduction, have an employer-based health insurance program, or a tax-free retirement account. Those three tax subsidies make up almost a third of our countrys welfare spending. With tax breaks the government helps middle class Americans buy houses, get medical coverage, send their children to college, and put away money for retirement. All are federal social programs.
Politicians are spending mind-boggling amounts of money to get your vote. As you listen, check each candidate against your criteria and against your principles. As for me, I want to try to follow the direction of helping the least amongst us, so I vote for candidates with those values.
BETTY SLIFER, Filer
For the voters who actually read for information, include the article by David Stockman, President Reagans budget director, Newsweek, Oct. 22. It is an excerpt from his book due out March 2013. Please read the whole article, including the last paragraph. Then vote.
John McGee, Boise
Climate is changing
The ice is melting! Yes, it really is. Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent in recorded history this last summer. Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has predicted that the final collapse of arctic sea ice will occur within four years! Why is this important? Light-colored materials such as ice reflect incoming solar energy, while dark materials such as seawater absorb it. Thus the arctic is warming at increasingly alarming rates.
A warm Arctic changes the jet stream and the resulting weather patterns of the northern hemisphere, causing the extreme and unpredictable weather weve seen in the last few years. This includes a longer fire season, and increased fires and smoke. Extreme weather not only affects our comfort, health, and safety, but has also started to affect food production. The loss of sea ice also allows the release of methane from the arctic, which is 23 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 further fueling climate change. Things are quickly plunging out of control.
In this election cycle we must elect politicians that are serious about climate change. If you usually vote Republican, take a deep breath of our smoky air and think about it.
AL POPLAWSKY, Moscow
Take an oath first
What do you think about requiring political candidates to be sworn in before debates? Maybe being under oath would temper their willingness to lie to us.
JIM SPICKA, Boise