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Kudos to the Bangor Daily News for the editorial concerning bipartisan election reform, and the need for modest steps. Amidst the inflammatory rhetoric, it’s encouraging to be reminded that we actually agree on some reforms.
Some people will be disappointed with the small steps approach. But this approach allows the public to process the details, hear all arguments, and gradually coalesce around a bipartisan solution. Rebuilding public trust and consensus around the needed reforms takes patience. People need time to get beneath the partisan “talking points” and sort out their opinions. Democracy is messy, but the process of getting to the solution is just as important as the solution.
Another promising “step” that enjoys overwhelming public support is a national voter ID. Forty-six of 47 European nations have a national voter ID. Mexico and Canada do too. We are the outliers. A recent Rasmussen poll reports that 75 percent of Americans support voter ID, including 69 percent of Black folks. The federal government could issue a national voter ID, free of charge, to all eligible voters, removing any concern that minorities would be disenfranchised.
In the spirit of democracy, let’s focus on where the public is already in substantial agreement, and build from there.