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Oklahoma League of Women Voters urges Gov. Brad Henry to kill voter ID measure

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: April 4, 2009 at 12:50 am •  Published: April 4, 2009
The Oklahoma League of Women Voters is asking Gov. Brad Henry to vote no on a bill to require voters to present identification before casting their ballots.

"We strongly urge Governor Henry to veto this legislation,” said Gloria Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the league.

Henry is reviewing the legislation, said his spokesman, Paul Sund.

"But he shares the concerns voiced by the League of Women Voters, the American Association of Retired People and other respected, nonpartisan organizations that oppose voter identification laws,” Sund said.

The House earlier this week approved Senate Bill 4, Republican-backed legislation that would require voters to prove their identities by showing photo identification issued by a state, federal or tribal government, or the free voter ID card issued by their county election board.

Voters without the required identification could cast a provisional ballot after signing an identification statement under oath.

Henry, a Democrat, has until midnight Wednesday to act on the measure. If he does not act, SB 4, which passed the House 71-27 and cleared the Senate 25-21, becomes law.

Caldwell said the measure is not needed.

"If there were any evidence of voter impersonation in Oklahoma elections, the League of Women Voters would be first in line supporting this kind of legislation,” she said.

Caldwell said the measure could result in some longtime voters being turned away from voting because they lack an ID.

"It’s an inconvenience to some, and it’s a prohibition to others,” she said.

The other view
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PROVISIONS

• Senate Bill 4 would require voters to prove their identities by showing photo identification issued by a state, federal or tribal government, or the free voter ID card issued by their county election board.


• Voters without the required identification could cast a provisional ballot.


• People who lose their voter ID card could get a replacement.


• The measure would extend in-person absentee voting.

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