The Hon. Barack Obama
c/o Obama for America
P.O. Box 8102
Chicago, IL 60680
Dear Senator Obama:
As you are no doubt aware, the Supreme Court today announced its decision in a controversial case, Crawford vs. Marion County, deciding 6-3 to let stand an Indiana law requiring voters to show official ID cards at the polls. I must admit that my first thought was that this is what happens when a radical Republican gets his hands on the White House and the ability to push his picks for the Supreme Court through. My second thought was that this is why we need to elect someone like you as President in November.
I would like to share my third thought with you.
I read recently that you were spearheading a voter registration drive across all 50 states in anticipation of the election this November. That’s a worthy activity, and one I think will benefit the nation as a whole. But unfortunately, in light of today’s Supreme Court decision, it doesn’t go far enough.
That’s why I would like to propose that in conjunction with your voter registration effort, you start a program to go along with it to make sure that everyone who wants to cast a vote in November’s election, and is required to show ID to do so, have an ID. I’m no expert in setting up these things, but here’s how I envision something like this would work:
- You would set up a mechanism for implementing the plan. Whether this would be seen as a tax-exempt organization, or a foundation, I don’t know, but it would need a network of people willing to help with the work.
- Announce that this organization is dedicated to the purpose of enabling anyone who wants to vote to do so. Most of the work of the foundation apart from registering voters would be to provide whatever assistance they need with getting an ID that would be recognized by their state of residence to qualify them to vote in the election. This would involve everything from help filling out the forms, to locating and securing the necessary paperwork (birth certificates, personal affidavits or other documentation) to establish identity and eligibility to vote, to paying the fee for the ID card for those who are having trouble paying the rent and putting food on the table, much less laying out $20 or $50 or more for an ID card.
- Solicit and collect donations from your donor base. I can’t help but think that there are many generous, caring people out here who would be willing to donate to help register voters who otherwise would be disenfranchised by the Supreme Court ruling.
Senator, I know that you are a busy man and have many people vying for your attention, but I would like for you to consider this proposal, not just because it would create a great deal of goodwill for you and your campaign, but because it will bring many people to the voting booth who would otherwise be shut out of the process. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Omir the Storyteller
cc: Howard Dean, M.D.
Chairman, Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003