Masloff's underage voting shows the need for ID

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In a recent article former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff explains why she is "miffed" over the ID requirement to vote ("Voter ID Law Has Masloff Miffed," Sept. 29). Mrs. Masloff made a light-hearted admission to violating voting laws in 1936. "I lived in the Third Ward in the Hill [District], and I was barely 18 at the time, but I voted," she recalled. "You had to be 21 ... [but] they didn't pay much attention to the rules. I was a committee woman when I was 18 years old; I wasn't old enough to vote but I voted anyway." She added, "I lied about my age, and I've lied about it ever since."

If voting laws were being broken in 1936 by seemingly respectable citizens doesn't that prove our country's voting process is historically insecure and the need for an ID requirement? I had yet to make my appearance in this world in 1936, but, I would venture to guess, illegal immigration and threats to our national security weren't as big a problem then as they are in 2012.

I'm sure Mrs. Masloff's intention wasn't to cause irreparable harm to our country or the election process; however, there are people in this world today who will. Mrs. Masloff -- with the decision of Judge Robert Simpson to block enforcement of the voter ID requirement in the November election -- will vote, even if appeals are filed. Unfortunately, there are others with intentions not as pure and innocent as an 18-year-old Mrs. Masloff who will also be permitted to cast a ballot.

In the meantime, her admission should be used to demonstrate the necessity to secure the process of elections in Pennsylvania and the United States.

KEN WAGNER
Brookline


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