To The Daily Sun,
In response to Lincoln Crutchfield's letter concerning students being turned away from the polls in Plymouth last Tuesday I must say that I am shocked. With all that has been made of voter ID in the last few elections, I am surprised students are not aware of the current situation. It has received plenty of media play.
Are you not staying abreast of the news? No one is turned away at the polls. The protocol in place provides that should you not have the proper ID or are not on the list of registered voters, you are directed to a location at the polls where you fill out a form and attest to the truthfulness of the information provided by signing it. Your photo is taken and then you are processed through the voting process.
The situation you described, while deplorable if true, is the strongest argument that I've yet heard for a voter ID requirement to be in place nationwide. To use your own words, "If we expect students to develop into civic-minded and informed adults, we must encourage voting and impress upon our students the importance of civic responsibility." One of our civic duties is to get to Town Hall and register to vote. A simple process that is very important to the community. It provides a problem-free voting process as well as voter lists for community demographics and jury duty lists. It literally takes five minutes and will eliminate any problems come November.
Just for your edification, no American citizen has a constitutionally protected right to vote. While there are amendments that prohibit voter discrimination based on race, sex and age (15th, 19th and 26th amendments respectively) there is no enshrined "right to vote" in the United States Constitution. While voting should most certainly be considered a duty and an obligation of being a citizen of our great nation, it is a privilege and not a right.