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i[ I i I, I ! ,/LIt; ' 8 TUESDAY, MAY 20 - THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014 VIEWPOINTS Cape Gazette Letters )) Continued from page 7 process to ensure the honesty of the information. The senator goes on to Claim that voting is not a "privilege." Privilege: noun - A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a par- ticular person or group of people. Voting is a special right (a privilege) granted only to the lawful citizens. Funny how neither of them mentions how a federally com- pliant photo ID card, readily available to all Delaware resi- dents, should be the sole proof of identification. Delaware is, after all, not Montana or rural Texas where state offices may not be convenient. The senators also fail to men- tion that to ensure that multi- voting or other "mischief making" do not occur we need a real-time computer system that allows a poll worker to record when each person votes (and where) and im- mediately flags second attempts or identification anomalies and alerts the poll worker. Irene Witoski Harbeson Same-day registration will promote fraud HB 105 will allow same-day voter registration in Delaware. I fall to see the benefits behind this legislation but see a lot of problems that will occur and fraudulent voting practices that this legislation will promote. In order to ensure that multi- voting or other fraudulent practices do not occur, we need a real-time computer system that allows a poll worker to record when each person votes (and where) and immediately flags second attempts or identifica- tion anomalies and alerts the poll worker. There is nothing in this bill that stipulates these necessi- ties. Preregistration was established so that the voter's address could be verified. If the voter's address is found to be inaccurate the vote is not removed from the tally, which makes it a false vote. There is enough voter fraud in this country already. New investi- gations are turning up more voter fraud all the time. The recent voter fraud that was uncovered in North Carolina should convince all of us that legislation like this is nonsense. The last thing we need is a bill that will invite more voter fraud. Please contact your senator and ask them to vote no on House Bill 105. Linda Shinn Georgetown Same day registration is a no-brainer HB 105 needs to be passed now. Those who are against the passage of same-day registration come up with ridiculous reasons for being against it. A common one is that it creates voter fraud. Studies have consistently shown that voter fraud is an extremely rare event. Several recent letters have cited a situation in North Carolina that is still under investi- gation. Nothing has been proven, and accusations are not facts. Same-day registration and vot- ing eliminates arbitrary deadlines, cutting off registration at crucial times just before elections. This is often when people become most interested in issues - 20 or 30 days before an election, when candidate debates and campaigns are in full swing. Perhaps the real question should be, why are these folks so afraid of increasing the possibil- ity of getting more people to the voting booths? Might it simply be that an increase in voter turnout threatens them in some way? It's time that Delaware stopped making excuses and passed this very important bill into law now. There is absolutely no valid rea- son not to. Janet Orlando Lewes Integrity of voting process vitally important Voting is arguably our most precious right. Making sure that the voting process is accessible, fair and secure is one of the most important duties we as lawmak- ers have. Before the Delaware Senate there is a piece of legislation that, in my opinion, could significantly undermine both the security and fairness of our elections here in Delaware. The legislation, House Bill 105, would allow for the registra- tion and voting of previously unregistered potential voters on the same day as an election, What level of identification will be required to register and vote on Election Day? A photo ID, a passport, maybe a Social Security card or a birth certificate? Nope. Anyone, a resident of another state or district, a current felon, or someone who has already voted somewhere else could simply walk up to a polling place, show a piece of mail such as a utility bill with a name on it and vote, whether or not they are actually legally allowed to vote in that election. I'm not making this up: no photo ID of any kind is required and no proof will be required that it's even your mail! Again, all I need to vote will be a piece of mail, and I won't be required to even prove it's my mail. I asked a computer-savvy col- league how long it would take him to make a fake utility bill that would fool election officials. He printed completely bogus and utterly convincing utility bills with the names and addresses of every state senator on them in less than 10 minutes. And by the way, under HB 105 you won't even need the original (or fake original) utility bill: you can use a Xerox copy! Under current law, if someone registers to vote at a fake address or does not live at that address, the Department of Elections will be notified when the voter card sent to that address is returned by the post office. This process is probably the best way to prevent fake ad- dresses from being used for falsified voting, and thousands of voter cards come back annually. Under HB 105, there will be no opportunity for the voter cards to be mailed. The potential for abuse in this process is obvious and astound- ingly easy to predict. I actually had a colleague in the General Assembly tell me "a little fraud" won't hurt anything. First of all, that's ridiculous: any fraud taints our election process. Sec- ondly, a "little fraud" in Delaware goes a long way. We have state races in Delaware where only a few hundred people vote. In the 32nd District primary election in 2012 only 401 people voted. How much "little fraud" would it have taken to steal that election? My point is, in Delaware with so many small elections, we are vulnerable to having the results tainted, especially in Democratic primary elections. HB 105 is also a "solution" in need of a problem. As it stands today, it is very easy and con- venient to register to vote in Delaware. You can register at the Department of Elections, the DMV, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Depart- ment of Labor, and even online. In addition, there are voter registration opportunities in any number of community organiza- tions and churches. I have organized voter registra- tion drives in many communities myself. In Delaware we should be very proud that we have both a very high voter registration rate and a very high voter participa- tion rate. Delawareans are not being denied access to our politi- cal process. Quite the contrary, we have a thriving and inclusive political culture. In addition to the potential for abuse and the lack of need, HB 105 poses very significant logistical problems. Currently, all potential registered voters are checked against the criminal database to ensure that they are not criminally ineligible to vote. This process takes time and is done through secure lines at the Department of Elections and the state court system. What, if any system will be used at the polling place on Elec- tion Day, and will the Depart- ment of Elections and the courts be able to handle this sensitive information in a secure man- ner? Also, will we see significant increases in the time necessary to vote because the staff at the polls will be busy handling new registrations? What is the fiscal impact in this tight budget year? Obviously, HB 105 will cause significant problems on Election Day. Do I believe that the backers of HB 105 are "out to steal elections" by making voter fraud extraordi- narily easy? Certainly not. To be clear, I don't believe this bill is intended to promote fraudulent activity, but it makes it so very easy to do so. I have no doubt the sponsors and supporters of the bill only have the most honorable intentions. They want to increase access to our political process, and I support that effort wholeheart- edly. My point is there must be a safer, more secure way to do that. I implore my colleagues to defeat HB 105 and ioin me in exploring other, more fair and secure meth- ods of improving our electoral process. Sen. Colin Bonini 16th Senatorial District Camden Ethics, campaign legislation needed We want to thank former Chief Justice Norman Veasey for his comprehensive report on the state of Delaware's ethics and campaign finance laws. It was honest and thorough. It illumi- nated both the problems of Dela- ware's weak campaign finance laws and offered solutions which the legislators should follow through on. Government integrity should become the highest priority for this legislative session. If trust is to be restored to government and voter apathy reduced, then reforms are essential. To protect the public interest should be the goal of both parties. In a recent letter we received from Common Cause the following recommen- dations were put forth. Requiring large contributors to political campaigns to disclose their occupations and their em- ployers, as required at the federal level and in more than 30 other states. Closing a loophole that lets donors avoid limits on cam- paign contributions by funneling money through LLCs and other entities under their control. Strengthening and clarifying gift laws and limiting the ability of lobbyists and others to curry favor by giving gifts to public officials. Increasing funding for the Delaware Public Integrity Commission, whose budget is a fraction - less than a tenth-of the budgets of comparable watchdog agencies in Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. We are pleased to see sev- eral bills addressing the above concerns, but some areas need strengthening. One of the bills, HB 284, does require large con- tributors to campgns to list both occupation and their employer. It is imperative that this bill and all of the legislation recommended by the Veasey Report pass this General Assembly. We applaud legislative leader- ship in working to achieve elec- toral transparency and fairness in government and hope that these bills receive bipartisan support in the best interest of all Delaware citizens. Beth Doty Rehoboth Beach Jan Konesey Dover Foreign & Domestic Car Repair Preventative Maintenance Oil Changes [lectrical Brakes Heating [, Cooling Tires [xhaust Computer Diagnostics [missions Testing [, Repairs 30Z-6t,5-8t,78 [ 33711Wescoats Road, #Z, Lewes [