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Voting should require photo identification | READER COMMENTARY

In this file photo, a canvasser wears gloves while processing mail-in ballots in a warehouse at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections headquarters on Oct. 7, 2020, in Glen Burnie. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
In this file photo, a canvasser wears gloves while processing mail-in ballots in a warehouse at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections headquarters on Oct. 7, 2020, in Glen Burnie. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS)

Reasonable minds would agree that we want to ensure the security and integrity of our elections. Maryland House Bill 274, backed by Del. Jon Cardin (“Bill seeks to break down barriers to voting by mail,” Feb. 15) would require automatic “No excuse needed” registration of Maryland voters for mail-in ballots and would send out unsolicited mail-in ballots to every registered voter. This is intended to convenience voters and likely to vastly increase the number of “absentee” ballots from the usual 20% to much higher numbers, as in 2020.

To verify that the person voting was the same as the registered voter, the bill would rely on election officials’ comparison of the signature on the ballot with the signature on the voter’s registration record. Given that a study showed that non-experts could identify their own signatures from forgeries only 14% of the time, this step doesn’t inspire much confidence.

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Photo identifications are required to get COVID-19 shots, to get on planes and many other things. No less should be required to vote. If an individual voter can’t get one, the state should provide one without charge.

Lynn McLain, Chestertown

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