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Matthews: Non-partisan to defend right to vote

Let me finish tonight with this.I think people who want to vote should be allowed to. We shouldn't be out there putting undue burdens on people.

Let me finish tonight with this.

I think people who want to vote should be allowed to. We shouldn't be out there putting undue burdens on people. We should be encouraging people to vote, not discouraging. 

But I also think it's the good work, the chosen work, of political parties to get the voters to the voting booth. They have a calling, which is to activate voters. And it looks like this new thing of requiring government-issued photo ID cards is creating a real challenge here. 

I would hope that organizations, and not just Democratic orgranizations, will be out there this summer in places like Philadelphia getting people to deal with the bureacracy to get themselves a voter ID card. That means getting the raised birth certificate and the social security card you need to get that voter ID card. It is going to be a real challenge, but I can't think of a better role for party people--committeepersons like my grandfather--and civic groups to get people in a position to cast a vote this November. 

Here's the point: it's not a partisan activity to help people exercise their right to vote. It may help one party more than another (I would think the Democrats) but that is because the decision to set this new requirement could keep a disportionate number of Democratic voters from casting their ballot. 

Is there anyone in this country who would dare stand up and say a person who's been voting for years the same way should, all of a sudden, be denied their vote? Well, I think we should all think about ways we can stop that from happening.  

As I said in my interview with Congressman Brady, this could be a great "hurrah" for the old big-city political organizations. The committee people could run down their streeet lists, go to the doors of the persons on the list, find out who hasn't got a government-issued photo ID card and help them get one. It is the kind of political work you can't do on television. That, in itself, is reason enough for the local political workers, the committee people like my grandfather in the old days, could really get to work on this, and we on TV should be encouraging them and the effort every bit of the way.