To the editor:
On Sept. 18, I attended a Board of Education workshop to review recent voting changes in the Taconic Hills school district. Under the new rules, the district will no longer maintain a list of voters but will review and accept voter identification on each election day.
US citizenship is required for voting. How will voters demonstrate citizenship? Many residents don’t have passports and most don’t carry copies of their birth certificate. How will election officials determine who should prove citizenship? How will the process be made non-discriminatory?
Voters must be residents of the district. School district voting rules are different from other elections. The board’s attorney said that state education rules require the voter live in the district for half of the year. How will this be determined? Must voters with multiple residences maintain logs of time in their school district home?
Voters must a have physical address to verify that they live in the district. Many residents do not have documents showing a street address — and a post office box is not good enough. Many renters don’t have utility bills showing a street address. Standard driver licenses don’t show physical addresses. Will voters be required to pay the extra fee for a Real or Enhanced driver license — even if they don’t fly or cross the US Canada border?
How will voters requesting an absentee ballot meet these requirements? Will they need to mail in documentation or appear in person to request a ballot? What about disabled people who need an absentee ballot but cannot travel to district offices to request one?
Given the many unresolved questions about the new system, why did the board make the change? Board members claim to have observed potential election fraud and see the change as an answer — but no charges have been filed and there is no public record of the potential fraud. Is it possible the board had another agenda?