By Perly Viasmensky
Apparently, Kamala Harris doesn’t believe people need to show identification to vote. This woman lives in town and doesn’t see the houses. We need to show identification to see a doctor, to travel, to show to a police officer in a traffic matter, even to check into a hotel. Why not to vote?
Harris said, “There are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t — there’s no Kinko’s, there’s no OfficeMax near them. I don’t think that we should underestimate what that could mean, because, in some people’s mind, that means, you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove that you are who you are.”
In February 2004, FedEx acquired Kinko’s Inc, rebranded it as FedEx Kinko’s, then rebranded it again in 2008 as FedEx Office. Meaning that Kinko’s for the last thirteen years doesn’t exist.
Does this woman believe that people living in rural towns still transport themselves on burros? I am not going to go into details of every state of the union and its rural communities, but I live in Nevada and our rural areas are not ghost towns (even though we have very interesting ghost towns that every tourist should visit).
Jackpot, Nevada is a rural town in Elko County with casinos, casino resorts, restaurants and motels; I am sure people can make photocopies of their identification in any of those places.
Verdi, in Washoe County, is also a rural town—its largest industries are builders and contractors, restaurants, and metal fabricators. Panaca in eastern Lincoln County is also considered a small town; its largest industries are five public schools; four Parochial and private schools; Air, Water and Waste Management; a Post Office and Chamber of Commerce.
Smith Valley in Lyon County is also considered a rural town, but they have a Post Office where people can go for photocopies for a small fee, of course.
Esmeralda County, in the west of the State of Nevada with a population of 783, is the least populous county in Nevada. (Does Ms. Harris want a smaller rural town?) The Esmeralda County seat is the town of Goldfield. It is the home to many historic sites, mining communities, ghost towns and a farming community. Esmeralda County even has a Courthouse. I am sure people can find a place there to have a photocopy made.
All this could be avoided if we go back to the way voting was for many years gone by. People needed to vote in person on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
This could avoid “misunderstandings” regarding ballots received by mail and there’d be no need for photocopying their IDs. Taking into consideration that when voting in person the election personnel seated behind a table has a book to confirm that the signatures match. Voting by mail creates lots of doubt, because we have no proof that the signature on the envelope where the ballot is mailed with our signatures on the outside of the envelope is going to be matched to the signatures on the book by the employees of the election department.
Even voting in person creates doubt with the possibility that the election department representative allows people that “forget” their ID to go in and vote anyway; and that, I witnessed myself; the female election department representative is instructed not to ask voters if they are American citizens with the excuse that they will verify such information at a later time. Consequently, many noncitizens are voting in our elections.
Voting is a right within the United States Constitution, just as serving on jury duty is a civic obligation and a privilege for qualified United States citizens.
Every American should be proud of both, but apparently Kamala Harris wants to do everything her own way.
* * * * *
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org