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News Opinion

General Assembly has addressed both voter fraud and voter suppression

Both voter fraud and voter suppression, the subject of recent Sun op-eds and an editorial ("Voter ID laws uphold system's integrity," Feb. 26, and "The phantom menace," Feb. 27), have been addressed by the General Assembly.

When an individual's right to vote is challenged at the polls, that person may establish his or her identity by presenting a voter registration card, Social Security card, valid Maryland driver's license, any identification card issued by a government agency, any employee identification card with a photo, or a copy of a current bill, bank statement, or government document that shows the individual's name and current address.

Under a federal law passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities, these same documents can be used to establish identity when an individual is voting for the first time after registering my mail.

In response to fliers urging people to vote on the wrong day and implying that you couldn't vote if you owed rent to your landlord or child support to your former spouse, we made it illegal to "influence or attempt to influence a voter's decision whether to go to the polls to cast a vote through the use of force, fraud, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, reward, or offer of reward."

For authorizing the mid-afternoon Election Day robo calls that implied Martin O'Malley had already won the 2010 gubernatorial election, Paul Shurick was found guilty of violating this law.

Sen. Lisa Gladden and Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg, Baltimore

The writers, both Democrats, were lead sponsors of the legislation described above.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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