Voter ID isn't about fraud, it's to discourage minority turnout

The self-appointed expert writing a detailed letter on voter IDs and voter fraud is deceptively avoiding the elephant in the room (“Voter ID would prevent fraud,” March 2). How can anyone discuss the impact of voter ID laws without mentioning the landmark decision of North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory? That decision found that North Carolina Republican legislators worked with "surgical precision" to change voting laws in order to disenfranchise black voters. They could not have been more expeditious about implementing these changes immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court found that Section 3 of the 1965 Voting Rights Acts was obsolete in 2013.

The Fourth Circuit caught the North Carolina legislature with their pants down in the matter of their strict voter ID laws. The court observed that the state of North Carolina could not identify "even a single individual who has ever been charged with committing in-person voter fraud in North Carolina.” The need to prevent voter fraud was the stated concern of both the North Carolina Republicans and the letter writer. The court found that there was a clear discriminatory intent of the North Carolina Republican dominated legislature.

It will be a cold day when any African Americans in Maryland would be reconciled to strict voter ID laws which, as the court demonstrated, were calculated to keep African Americans and other minorities from voting. Please don't insult their intelligence or ours by purporting that making it more difficult to vote has any other purpose.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

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