Sen. Mark Obenshain attacks voting rights . . . again


    Obenshain has introduced SB1061:

    Introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain: requires Electronic Poll Books to have DMV photographs on screen and  requires Officers of Election to challenge the voter if the photograph is not sufficiently similar to the appearance of the voter.

    As you no doubt have noticed, the entire state moved from the old paper poll book to laptop computers — electronic poll books.  Now, when you go to vote, the election officer pulls up your info on a laptop, checks your ID against the poll book record, then hands you a ballot and notes the poll book that you have voted.

    This legislation should not pass because:

    1.  In most cases, DMV photos are years old and out-of-date.  DMV does not necessarily take a new photo when a driver’s license is renewed, thus, DMV photos are years out of date (DMV photo for my wife and me are 7 years old).  As a result, the photo in the pollbook likely will be years out of date and of little or no value in voter identification.

    2.  Adding photos to the pollbooks will require a MAJOR re-programming of every electronic pollbook in the state — where is the money in the State Board of Election budget for this?  

    3.  Re-programming electronic pollbooks to add photos will impose a substantial work burden on General Registrars.

    4.  How often will new and updated DMV photos be added to the pollbooks?  Adding new photos to the pollbooks will require a lot of extra effort and expense for General Registrars and for the State Board of Election.

    5.  In 2014, Australia tested a group of experienced customs officials to see if they could look at a photo then pick out the person in the photo from a group of people standing in front of them — the error rate was 14% — the officer could not identify 14% of the people from a photo.  This has significant implications for using photo ID for voting because our election officers are not as well-trained and experienced as customs officials.  Election officers work one or two elections annually; customs officers check photos all day every day and they fail to identify people from a photo 14% of the time.  If the error rate for election officers is 14%, do we want to deny 14% of voters the right to vote because of an election officer’s inability to match a person to a photo?…

    Please contact your state senator and ask her/him to not support SB1061.

    I suspect this is another Republican attempt to give election officers another excuse to interfere with people trying to vote.


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