Yes, You Count!

The following op/ed piece was submitted as a letter to the editor by our own Brenda Eckels Burrows and is being re-posted here on the site, in its' entirety, with her permission.

While there is much to discuss in Senator Groen's recent op/ed pat-on-his-own-back, my thoughts tonight are focused on one particular “thing” Sen. Groen and his ilk have done.

“HB 129: Protects the integrity of the election process by requiring that a voter show identification in order to cast a ballot. New Hampshire was the only state in the nation to allow same day registration but not require an ID or employ provisional ballots.”

Well, NH also does not provide free voter ID cards. What kinds of ID will be allowed? What won't?

I know many 18 to 22 year olds who don't drive, and at best may have an out of date high school ID card. As a volunteer driver taking older folks to doctor appointments, I find many are struggling to produce an id at the doctor's office, and sometimes hand over a dog eared 1970's license. As a lay religious, I do not quite understand where a poor person living on $630 SSI, paying $550 in rent, and the remaining $80 on medicine, toilet paper, and deodorant is going to come up with an extra $10 just to get a non-driver ID card so they can vote. And what of the homeless, living in our woods, our cars, and most shamefully, in the garden sheds of the more well off Strafford County folks? Who is going to help the developmentally disabled or blind person fill out this form, and gather the documents? Who will stand in line so the disabled person can sit down and rest aching bones?

Since there is no bus service to the Strafford County DMV office in Dover, how will those lucky enough to find $10 actually get to the DMV? Is there a crosswalk over the bridge that takes one over route 16? Actually, is there one to even cross the street? If a person from Rochester walks to the DMV, how do they walk out? The exit leads onto the highway! Will Police be ticketing people who walk across the road in order to begin the trek back toward the Catholic High School (where presumably there is at least a chance of a bus)? How will voters who don't drive afford the bus? If they are too frail and elderly to handle the walk, and they have to take a taxi, how will they pay for that?

Did Sen. Groen and his friends ever consider for a moment that not everyone has a “special” license plate that allows them to fly through tollbooths to Dover DMV? Did they ever consider that not everyone has an ID? Previous politicians certainly did, which is one reason same day registration, not having to produce an id at voting time, and the steep penalty (prison, several years) for lying about being who they stated they were and a true resident of NH were put in place.

Or did they know exactly what they were doing? Think. Does your grandfather have a current ID? What about that crippled lady down the street who was a housewife? What does YOUR 18 year old have for an ID? Should that fellow with ADHD lose his right to vote because he lost his ID? Do you think it right that only those rich enough to have a car, $10, tollbooth change, and a flexible job they can just leave to go get an id should be allowed to vote?

A recent editorial was titled “We've reached the time that defines a community”. No, I say that we have reached a time that defines our humanity. Who deserves to vote? Who deserves to eat? Who deserves to be considered by the politicians in Concord?

Who deserves to be considered by YOU, dear reader? Do you only care for yourself? Your family? The folks you sit with in your church? Or, are you willing to reach out and acknowledge ALL our citizens – even * gasp! * ALL HUMANS, are worth you acknowledging them and the needs they have?

Fix Sen. Groen's mistake. Admit that a person, a human, who is a US citizen, who lives in NH, has the right to vote even if they don't have a car with a “special” license plate that takes them tollbooth free to Dover DMV. Place one small ad here at the Foster's or Rochester Times. “Yes, You Count! Call For Ride to get ID so You can Vote. Xxx-xxxx” If you take one person, and help that citizen to vote, you will have made our state better.  But hurry, next election is Augist 9th...

Here's Mine.... “Yes, You Count! Call For Ride to get ID so You can Vote. 603-755-6882.
Brenda Eckels Burrows, aMGC
Milton, NH