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Senator wants study on using eye, thumbprint scans as voter ID

The debate over whether New Mexico should adopt legislation requiring voters to show identification at the polls has taken a new twist.

Senate Republican Whip Bill Payne of Albuquerque introduced a measure today that could lead to high-tech scans of human irises, thumbprints or other unique body characteristics being used as a form of voter ID.

Specifically, it would request that Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s office study whether using such technology would be a feasible approach and what the potential costs of implementing it might be.

“This could put to rest the criticism that voters cannot afford to produce a reliable photo identification when they vote,” Payne said in a statement. “Everyone ahs an eyeball or a thumb that could be scanned for identification.”

Recent attempts to pass voter ID legislation in New Mexico have failed, as opponents have expressed concern such a law could lead to the disenfranchisement of voters.

Backers of voter ID bills say they would prevent future instances of voter fraud. Ten states currently have voter ID laws in place, while a number of other states request that a voter show identification.

New Mexico is one of about 20 states that do not require or request voters to show any type of identification at the polls.


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