Arthur, thanks for your comments.

There are certainly anarchists and, I think, many libertarians who oppose secure government IDs and oppose giving a fingerprint sample to a government agency because of “Big Brother” issues. Put another way, there are many people on the right who fear the government and don’t want to see a fingerprint ID system implemented for Americans who want to vote.

I suspect that there are also people on the far left who also oppose secure IDs for the same “Big Brother” reasons.

Leaving out the “Big Brother” fears, I don’t know any centrist or liberal people who oppose secure IDs.

So, number one, the opponents of a fingerprint ID system for voters are both on the far left and also on the far right.

Personally, I think every country needs a secure ID system for its citizens as a national security and crime-prevention measure if nothing else.

And yes, of course, no Internet voting system should be implemented without fingerprint identification of every voter using that system. To do that, fingerprints would have to be given at the time of registration.

The ID that would be required in order to register in the first place is a state-by-state issue, but whatever those varying rules might be, once the County had a person’s fingerprints that person would never be able to vote multiple times and no other person would ever be able to vote in the first person’s name, which in and of themselves are both great improvements over the security of the existing voting system.

Let’s say that someone’s true name is Frank Wilson but he shows up at the registrar’s office with an ID that says he’s “Jack Adams.” Let’s also say that the state’s ID requirements for registration are weak and he’s registered as Jack Adams.

Once he’s registered and has submitted his prints he will never in the future be able to claim that he is anyone else because the proof of his use the Adams name would be in the government records. He will never be able to register again to vote under any other name.

His prints would be “in the system”, that identity would be locked-in, he would never be able to vote multiple times, no one would ever be able to vote in his name.

So, even if he was born as Frank Wilson and the ID he used to register is weak, the fingerprint-verified voting system still makes voting more secure and is a win for the system.

With the ubiquity of smart phones, fingerprint ID is available to millions of people. A USB fingerprint reader for a desktop machine could probably be produced in large quantities for a cost under $20/unit.

I don’t see secure ID as a left/right issue. Another reader posted a comment in which he blamed the right for opposition to the system I described because of the right wing’s desire to disenfranchise the urban poor.

I see these issues (1) secure voting that is (2) reasonably easily available to all citizens as fundamental governing issues, not liberal/conservative talking points. There are as many people on the right who oppose a fingerprint ID system for voting as there are on the left.

— David Grace

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store