To the Editor:
Rep. Jason Murphey, in his column Jan. 3 in The Edmond Sun argued against the recent court ruling that nullified South Carolina’s voter identification law, and for Oklahoma’s similar law. Murphey was wrong on his statement that the upcoming election on Valentine’s day will be the first one in which the new law is implemented. It has been law for a while now, and I was required to show identification when I voted in Edmond on other occasions this past year.
But more importantly, Murphey is simply wrong when he claims that Oklahoma’s and other state’s voter identification laws protect the integrity of the voting process. I challenge Murphey to cite a single instance in which a person has shown up at the polls and attempted to vote, claiming to be a person other than him or herself. Impersonating a voter is simply a non-existent crime in Oklahoma and other states. It does not happen.
What does happen with the new law is that persons who have a legitimate right to vote are denied that right because they do not possess, do not know how to obtain, do not have transportation to obtain or otherwise have no means of obtaining the required identification. These laws are simply intended to prevent citizens from exercising their rights in expressing their wishes at the polls. If the wealthy and mostly Republican citizens were the ones targeted, there would be no such laws. It is that simple.
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the Oklahoma County Election Board, the voter identification law was implemented across Oklahoma in July, however, today’s balloting may be the first time since the law’s implementation that some voters have had an opportunity to go to the polls.