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Letter of the Day: Voting and ID

<b>Voting and ID</b>

EDITOR: Pat Kennedy ("Unsavory politics," Letters, Tuesday) dramatically recalled for us the days of Jim Crow, poll taxes and religious tests as a part of the voting process. Dramatic stuff but totally irrelevant. Those 18th and 19th century measures where specifically designed to prevent certain classes of people from voting.

How is presenting a valid picture ID to be considered discriminatory today? I need a driver's license to get a Sonoma County library card. Likewise, I need it to open an account at any bank. Does Kennedy think that passengers should be able to board an airplane without valid ID? In order to sell some scrap aluminum, the recycler demanded my driver's license, took my picture and fingerprinted me. Oh, horror.

I grew up in Chicago during the time of Mayor Richard J. Daley. We knew how to vote in those days, as the voting booths were controlled by the Democrats, not the hated Republicans. "Vote early and vote often" was the slogan. Use your death certificate as proper ID. Your local Democratic ward office would make sure someone drove you to the polls at least once.

Voting, the most significant responsibility of citizenship, certainly deserves the same attention we give to a library card or a sack of aluminum cans.

RICHARD BONKOWSKI

Santa Rosa


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