Friday, November 03, 2006

 

Voter participation is less than 50%..but it's the new ID laws that are really gonna suppress the vote

Nowadays voting isn’t as simple as just showing up and saying “I’m here”…and apparently that’s got Democrats pretty upset:

“Republicans and their allies assert that the identification requirements and other rules will lessen voting fraud. Democrats and their supporters contend the changes are ploys to suppress voting among poor, elderly, minority and disabled citizens, who are prone to support Democratic candidates.” Democrats Predict Voter ID Problems

This, of course, is ridiculous. The day-to-day activities that require us to show some sort of ID surely have to also affect the “poor, elderly, minority and disabled citizens.” Cashing checks, a driver’s license, renting an apartment – c’mon, these things don’t happen in a vacuum – somewhere along the line the market adjusted and people adopted to these requirements. Why should the requirements to enter a voting booth be so much less stringent than entering a night club?

Of course, the Post loves anecdotes and it begins its PAGE ONE STORY with the sad tale of Rep. Julia Carson:

“The Democrat, seeking to represent Indianapolis for a sixth term, showed the card to a poll worker, who told her it was unacceptable under a new state law that requires every voter to show proof of identity.

“The law compels voters to show an ID, issued by Indiana or the federal government, with a photograph and an expiration date. Carson's card was for the 109th Congress, but did not say when the session ends. "I just thought I was carrying the right thing -- if you have a card that has a picture and shows it is current," she said.”


Don’t you just love that arrogance? Everyone is supposed to know that the “current” Congress is the 109th but Rep. Carson is to be excused from not fully knowing the election laws in her own state. Kudos to Washington Post writer Amy Goldstein for zinging Indiana with that “gotcha”.

Then we learn why this is all so unneccessary:

“Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters, said identification laws, particularly ones requiring photo IDs, are "odious" and added: "There is very little evidence there's been any kind of voting by people who are ineligible to vote. We view this as basically another unnecessary hurdle voters are being put through."

Uhh Ms. Wilson – Two words: Cook County

Then there is the woeful tale of a Ms. Jowana Peterson of Indianapolis. Ms. Peterson “…lost her wallet with her license inside a few weeks ago. When she went to replace it, she brought a copy of her birth certificate from Chicago, her Social Security card, her ID card from her job as a financial planner and four utility bills. "They turned me out cold," she said, telling her she needed a new birth certificate from Cook County. ... Because she had signed up to work at the polls on Election Day, she was eligible to get an absentee ballot, but she worries about other would-be voters who cannot get one -- or do not know to ask.

“Even so, she says, "I feel pretty cheated. I am an American citizen. I've paid my taxes. I feel the system kind of let me down. It shouldn't be that hard."


Let’s examine just how the system let her down. I just went through a major hassle as to the correct form of a birth certificate needed to get a passport so I’m kind of sympathetic as to her problems there. Still, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is fairly clear as to the format of Birth Certificate required (IN BMV ID requirements). But I know my SS card clearly states it is not to be used for ID purposes. I know that most job ID cards (especially one for a financial planner – those jobs don’t exactly require a background investigation for a security clearance) don’t give a hint as to just how good a driver you are or whether you're even eligible for one. And utility bills? Electric companies only care about your ability to pay – not your talents for parallel parking. So why did she expect to get a driver's license out of all those documents?

See, what Ms. Goldstein leaves unchallenged in all this is just what the difficulty in obtaining an Indiana driver’s license has to do with whether the Indiana voting law requirements are too onerous. Indiana isn’t picking on Ms. Peterson because she’s a Democrat (how do I know she’s a Democrat? Like the Post would care about her story if she was a Republican?). The hurdles she is leaping to replace her lost license are exactly the same as they would be were this instead November 2007. And as we learned from the first story about Rep. Carson – all Ms. Peterson needs is a photo ID with an expiration date that is issued by Indiana or the federal government.

Oh wait – she doesn’t even need that – she’s getting an absentee ballot!

…just another example of why we all need to be down with the struggle as the Man continues to beat down the people. Peace. Out.

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