By DIANE DIERKS
Joe Pearson, democratic candidate for Indiana Secretary of State, raised concerns about the voter identification law, during his keynote address at the Clay County Democrat Dinner on Friday, Sept. 15, at Traditions banquet hall in Brazil.
In reference to the May primary elections Pearson said, "Voting I.D.s can be manipulative. Senior citizens who had lived there and paid taxes their whole lives were turned away.
"Voting is a right, not a privilege."
Although Pearson supports the law, he says there has to be some changes. Since the voter identification law was passed, voters are required to present a state or federal-issued I.D. card that includes a photo and expiration date.
Most people have this form of identification because it is included on their driver's license. However, if you do not drive, as in the case of some senior citizens, you may not have the required form of identification.
Pearson commented that some veterans in DeKalb County were turned away at the poles in the last primary election because their identification cards did not have expiration dates.
Contributing further to the difficulty of obtaining proper identification is the closing of multiple branches of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Some people must now travel to neighboring towns to obtain I.D. cards from the BMV.
Pearson also hopes to simplify the process of absentee ballot voting, by ensuring that anyone who wants to vote by absentee ballot will be allowed to, without the current stipulations.
Pearson concluded, "We will work to ensure that everyone can exercise their right to vote, regardless of age, race or economic status, while at the same time protecting the integrity of the process."