Baumer strongly supports picture IDs for voter registration
Voters must show picture identification to election judges before they cast their votes, Katy Dolan Baumer, Republican candidate for the 44th District state House seat, insists.
“Do I believe in IDs? Yes, I do. I think it's fair that we would have an ID system,” Baumer told West Cook News. “It [voting] is our right, but we need to protect it.” The way to protect that right is by presenting a picture identification that shows the person is who he or she claims to be, she said.
Originally, the idea was to have precincts within local neighborhoods and then appoint election judges from those precincts to monitor the voters as they come to polling stations. The judges knew who their neighbors were, Baumer said. The judge would know if someone was claiming to be someone else when voting, but today it is different, she said. Today, we have become a transient society so in many cases the election judges may not know the people coming in to vote, the Streamwood resident said.
Baumer, who has served as an election judge herself in over 20 elections, said election judges are by no means signature specialists. Voters sign in and the judge compares the signature to the one on the registration form. It's not very scientific, she said, adding that signatures may change over time.
For instance, Baumer said someone who has Parkinson's disease may have a very different signature today than when they first signed a voter registration form years earlier. It becomes an even bigger challenge when a person cannot write and signs with an X. "How can election judges compare an X?" Baumer asked.
Many opponents to voter ID laws have said if people are required to have a photo ID it would keep poor people from voting.
“Why would it keep the poor people from voting?" Baumer said. "They can get a state ID for a nominal cost. It's a ridiculous argument. It doesn't exclude anybody who is a citizen of the United States [from voting]. It shouldn't.”
The identification required should have a picture on it and it should show the entire face of the person to ensure the person is who he or she claims to be, Baumer said.
Baumer said friends and family have shared two stories of voter fraud from suburban communities with her that could have been prevented if the voters would have been required to show an ID. In one case a woman went to vote and was told by an election judge that the judge had already voted for her whole family, Baumer said. In another case a man said he disliked election day because he had to vote in numerous precincts, she said.
Technologic malfunctions have also caused some raised eyebrows in previous elections as well. Baumer said problems encountered with voting machines can be prevented if the election judges in the precincts are doing their jobs properly. The first thing election judges are instructed to do when opening the polling place is to check the voting machines, she said. They need to run the tape and make sure the machine is properly calibrated. They must also make sure the right information is in the right places, she said.
If a problem occurs with a machine the election judge is supposed to immediately shut the machine down and put an out-of-order notice on it. The machine isn't to be used again until a repair person can attend to it, she said. There are people positioned throughout the county on election day prepared to repair the machines, Baumer said.
While the judge is waiting for a repair person to arrive, voters are either directed to a machine that is working properly or can be given a paper ballot, she said. Ensuring the machines are operating properly at the beginning of the day will help to make sure voters are casting their ballots for the candidates of their choice, Baumer said.