It’s based on fairness

I was perplexed by the logic (or lack of it) in Ms. Cutshall’s recent letter claiming that HB 1264 is a voter suppression bill because it requires people to want to vote here to reside here. She alleges that the new law undermines democracy, because people who are here temporarily should be able to vote here and set policy for the rest of us. Why should anybody who is just “passing through” and who has no vested interest in the repercussions of their votes, have a say in how to govern our state? Why should people with no “skin in the game” and who might never set foot in our state again, have a right to influence what we pay in taxes, how we regulate our resources, our businesses or our children?

Ms. Cutshall ignores the fact that if such people are here on “a temporary basis,” then they obviously are residents somewhere else and can vote there. Is democracy better served if we make it easy for people to vote in two places? If simply being here temporarily qualifies one for voting, why not extend voting rights to tourists and vacationers, too?

Ms. Cutshall claims that the new law is a sneaky poll tax because the voters must show evidence of residence in order to register and, well, that’s just too inconvenient. If they have a car, they’ll be outrageously burdened by having to pay vehicle registration fees like every other resident with a car. Horrors! Apparently, it’s more just to allow people to use our roads without paying their fair share for upkeep. Or, is Ms. Cutshall advocating that because these “temporary people” paid registration fees elsewhere, we should subsidize them by allowing them to use our roads for free if they want to vote here?

The rationale for HB 1264 is not based on concerns for voter fraud. It’s based on fairness: that people who vote here and who will be affected by the vote should actually live here. If that’s “voter suppression” I’m all for it.