I am concerned about my Aunt’s vote. She is 72 years young. A severe stroke results in her residing in a nursing home. My Aunt is as mentally sharp as she was before her stroke. It takes two people to assist her in the washroom. She cannot dress herself and is wheelchair bound. Current Illinois law preserves her right to vote under 10 ILCS 5/19-12.1. She’s unable to drive since her stroke 11 years ago. She is without a valid ID or driver’s license and is unable to present herself in-person to obtain one. If a Photo ID Law were enacted, she wouldn’t be able to vote. She doesn’t have a utility bill in her name, she doesn’t have a mortgage bill, or any other ID available. How will she ever have a say in her own government, the people who represent her without a right to a vote? Illinois has approximately 1,200 long-term care facilities serving more than 100,000 residents, from the young to the elderly.
But wait. What about dead people voting? Pets voting by mail? In our county, and many others, you must sign in to vote. This signature is compared to previous signatures on file for your name. If your signature is not comparable to other signatures on file your ballot will be further reviewed. My Aunt’s signature is the same today as it was 10 or 15 years ago. And, I don’t know about you, but I can’t copy my Labradors’ signature to save my life.
Voter fraud is infinitesimally small, but we must preserve our right to vote freely and fairly in every election we choose to vote in — no matter our disability or ability to provide a photo ID. Without our voices being heard, our choices and our freedom, and our country’s democracy is at stake.