Somewhere between Republicans who are convinced the last presidential election was rife with voting irregularities and Democrats who insist there were few if any instances of objectionable balloting, may be found other Americans who are unsure but still have utmost faith in the system and want to ensure nothing ever tarnishes it.

The process of voting in the United States is the best in the world, free of widespread fraud and corruption, since members of both major political parties have important roles in the process. They may be far apart when it comes to domestic and foreign policies, but that gulf in beliefs closes on Election Day. That’s when everyone puts the country first.

British author Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who wrote under the pseudonym S.G. Tallentyre, penned these words over a century ago: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It was her way of sharing the mindset of French writer Voltaire. Most Americans still agree with that robust defense of freedom of speech, although it has become more difficult, given the current political climate, to readily accept the opinions of one’s neighbors or even family members.

In a letter to the editor last week, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, resident Donald Hanak said Republicans believe in “one citizen, one vote,” and support the use of a form of identification that includes the individual’s picture to help prevent voter fraud. He pointed out that such a mandate would not adversely affect people wishing to vote because many states, including Maryland, offer photo IDs at no cost or for a nominal fee.

We firmly believe that every eligible citizen is entitled to vote, and should be able to do so without hardship, but have come to the conclusion that Hanak, a member of the Republican National Committee, is correct in saying it would not place an undue burden on the poor or non-white people to require a photo ID. Democrats must realize that doing so would quell those who believe people have voted twice or that somehow ballots have been cast for people who are deceased. Or that illegal immigrants voted.

President Joe Biden called new Georgia voting laws, which include ID requirements, “Jim Crow on steroids.”

What’s the big deal? If you want to drive, you obtain a license that has your face on the front. Teachers, medical professionals and other workers must wear ID tags. Choosing men and women to lead our nation demands a measure of accountability that proper identification would provide.

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