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Bill would require photo ID to vote

April 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A California lawmaker wants to crack down on voter fraud by requiring all voters to present a picture ID to poll workers before receiving a ballot. Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Hesperia put forward the voter fraud bill, AB 1415. The Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee was scheduled to hold a first hearing on it Tuesday afternoon. "There are a number of instances where people are on the registration rolls who are dead, who are felons, who are illegal citizens or illegal non-citizens, people who have no business being on the rolls," said Assemblyman Adams. "People who are underage, people who don't even exit, those instances are absolutely prevalent throughout California."

In the past, opponents of similar bills have argued that voting fraud is not, in fact, widespread, and that requiring voters to present a picture ID would discourage some people from going to the polls.

"The basis of democracy is the vote," said State Senator Lour Correa, D-Santa Ana. "I've spent most of my adult life encouraging people to vote, and so to me, if you want to make this country even stronger, get people to vote. I'm not sure an ID is going to help the situation."

Adams' bill also aims at cracking down on absentee ballot voter fraud, by requiring people who mail in their ballots to mark them with their driver's license or ID number. Election workers would be required to check the numbers before the ballots could be counted.