Advocates pushing for laws requiring voters to present identification when at the polls are arguing that people already need proof of who they are for everything else.



“There are so many places we don’t protest it, but now we raise the issue on this?” said Republican Rep. Steven Levy of Marlborough outside of a State House hearing of the Committee on Election Laws yesterday.

Levy was responding to Gov. Deval Patrick’s comments stating he wouldn’t support Republican-backed legislation that demanded voter ID.

“I am not interested and will not sign anything that makes it harder to vote,” Patrick said, adding that voting is “a right” and the state needs to encourage participation.

Levy, however, called voting a “sacred privilege” and argued it should be protected.

 

Levy said he was disappointed in Patrick’s response, since he hasn’t reviewed the proposed legislation, and hoped the governor would reconsider.

Advocates against ID-ing voters backed Patrick, saying it would deter renters, low-income residents and students from visiting the voting booth.

But Suffolk University student Lauren Haffner, 18, disagreed, saying the state should support proof of persons to avoid the risk of voter fraud.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.

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