Friday, January 18, 2008

Why not voter ID laws?

This is why.

I was one of those who thought that it made sense to require a photo ID to vote until I tried to help my politically active 83-year-old mother try to get one. At the Bedford Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch we were treated like terrorists. The supervisor was stone-faced as she handed us a piece of paper and said that she could not answer any questions and that we should leave now. The paper said there was a problem with Mom's Social Security number, but gave no indication of what it was or how to resolve it.

Social Security's automated phone menu was gloriously unhelpful. When I finally did get through to a human, he knew of no problem. The state BMV also claimed it had no idea of what was wrong. So I took Mom to the Bloomington BMV. There we were inches from success when they noticed that her Social Security card, Medicare card and Indiana driver's license all had her married name, but her birth certificate had her maiden name.
Even though the Social Security office has her maiden and married names on file, the BMV was unwilling to use its records to confirm my mother's identity. After long conversations with the supervisor and phone calls to the regional BMV manager, I was told to contact the county where she was married to get a copy of her 59-year-old marriage license.
When it finally arrived, after more phone calls and fees, we returned to the Bedford BMV, where we were finally given a photo ID without ever being asked for the marriage license. It took 100 miles of driving, hours on the phone, and several weeks to provide the same security against voter fraud that a simple signature would have offered. Could she have done this without my help? No.
Justice St. Rain

Add to that the fact there is been no (zero, zip, nada) prosecution for voter identity fraud in recent (Post WWII) history, and Voter ID laws are clearly a solution without a problem to solve.

It is therefor obvious that they have some other reason.

Their clearly obvious effect is to make it more difficult for some types of voters to cast a vote on election day.

Another word for that is Disenfranchisement.

And Disenfranchisement benefits only one political party.

Do you get it now?

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