Letters to the Editor

Identifying the irony

It is usually entertaining when Joe Tarica gets his dander up. Even when his broadside misses the mark — as it did in his Oct. 14 Tribune diatribe against the “voter ID crusade.”

He compared 10 in-person voter fraud cases unearthed by the study “Who Can Vote” with the number of registered voters to get an eye-catching fraction to the eighth decimal place. Comparing the discovered cases against actual votes cast would have given a larger, though still small, fraction. Convictions for fraudulent registration —10 in Virginia alone — are not in the analysis. But that’s just spin.

But nearby, in the same issue, The Tribune reports that California’s new online registration is a hit with voters. Here Mr. Tarica is tripped up.

California’s online registration system is anchored on that anathema — photo ID. Online applications must include date of birth and the last four digits of the Social Security number. These are checked against the record of driver’s license or state ID card. But wait — to get those documents you must apply in person, show a birth certificate or a long list of equivalents, show verification of legal presence in the U.S., surrender a thumb print and have your picture taken. Photo ID!