Thursday, October 2, 2014

To All you Voter ID fanboys...

As I have always voted, since the proper age, there has always been one constant in this world.  That constant is that when I walk into a polling station, I get asked to present my ID or drivers license.  This happens every time I walk into vote.

So, you say that ID's will prevent fraud, and of this you are most certainly correct.  Producing a valid ID will reduce the already nearly zero voter fraud that occurs in the United States.  But it will have a side effect, and it is a negative.  No matter how you are going to want to play this, it will turn out badly, as you will be restricting someones right to legally vote.

Yeah, you probably don't get it.  Its been that long since you went actually tried to get an ID, so I will be nice and spell this out for you.  If you move from say Oklahoma to Texas and you go to get a new drivers license, guess what things you are going to need?

Individuals applying for their first Texas driver license must:
       Gather documents that verify their identity, Social Security Number, U.S. citizenship
       or lawful presence status, and Texas residency.
Complete the application. (This form is also available at any driver license office.)

Present either:
        Proof of Texas vehicle registration (only if a new Texas resident) and evidence of
        financial responsibility for each vehicle owned by the applicant or
        A statement affirming that the applicant does not own a motor vehicle.
        Apply in person at any driver license office and bring the required documents and fees.
        Pass the knowledge and driving tests, unless exempt. (Read about testing in
        other languages.)
That doesn't seem to be such a chore does it?  So, lets break this down into sections, it will help you better understand why people are saying no on this.  First you have documents to verify your identity.  You have primary, secondary and supporting documentation, all of which must be the original or a certified copy.  So here is the list.
Primary Identification Documents
• Texas DL or photo ID within two years of expiration
• Unexpired U.S. passport book or passport card
• U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with identifiable photo (N-560, N-561, N-550, N-570, or N-578)
• Unexpired U.S. military photo ID card for active duty, reserve, or retired personnel
• Foreign passport, visa* (valid or expired), and I-94
• Unexpired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo ID

Secondary Identification Documents
• Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the appropriate State Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency from a U.S. state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or a Canadian province
• Original or certified copy of the U.S. Department of State Certificate of Birth Abroad issued to U.S. citizens born abroad (Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545)
• Original or certified copy of the court order with name and date of birth indicating an official change of name and/or gender from a U.S. state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or a Canadian province

Supporting Identification Documents
• Temporary receipt for a Texas DL or ID
• Expired Texas DL or ID (expired more than two years)
• DL or ID issued by another U.S. state, U.S. territory, District of Columbia, or Canadian province (unexpired or within two years of the expiration date)†
• ID card issued by government agency†
• Pilot license†
• Concealed handgun license†
• Voter registration card†
• Professional license issued by Texas state agency
• W-2 or 1099 form
• School records
• Military records
• Unexpired U.S. military dependent ID card
• Veterans Administration card
• Selective Service card
• Original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or divorce decree (a certified translation must accompany
foreign language documents)
• Any insurance policy (valid continuously for the past two years)
• Current Texas motor vehicle registration or title
• Current Texas boat registration or title
• Hospital-issued birth record†
• Medicare or Medicaid card
• Immunization records†
• Unexpired foreign passport
• Consular document issued by a state or national government
• Federal parole or release certificate
• Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) parole or mandatory release certificate
• Texas inmate ID card or similar form of ID issued by TDCJ
• Federal inmate ID card
• Tribal membership card from a federally recognized tribe
• Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)
Now, since you are moving into Texas and want to vote, or even drive legally you are going to need one or two secondary Identification Documents, or one secondary and two supporting documents to identify yourself.  That little thingy at the end of most of those, that is just stating that those documents must be supplied from a US based entity.  So you are saying this is easy, you have this right?

Yeah, most of us given the time can get the appropriate documents from the appropriate government organization.  But you are on the clock, the mid-terms are coming, and being the good little Republican stooge, or the model Democratic Party member you really want to legally vote, because we all know the future of our country is at stake.  So, you need to have the following, since you just moved and do not have a Texas drivers license:  Birth Certificate, and since you have voted in the past your voter registration card, and your Concealed Weapons Permit, your previous W2 (or 1099), or maybe you have a pilots license. 

You are golden, go get your drivers license and register to vote, but I am going to bet that you don't have many of the documents listed.  Of course you can get away without having them, you have a valid license, but how many people don't?  How many people forget about it?  In WV I renewed my drivers license once a decade, I recall in VA its once every eight years, and in Texas it is four or five years?  +Larry Dillon that is your neck of the woods, what is the time on a Texas Drivers license?

So, you managed to get all that information together, and now you get to spend an hour or so waiting to go to a window where everything you brought is checked out to ensure you are who you claim to be.  Congratulations are in order if nothing is found out of sorts, except you just moved, and you didn't get all those documents right away.  See, they got misplaced, which means you have to call your home states vital statistics order a new Birth Certificate, and hope it doesn't fall into the black hole known as the USPS.  Really, getting a drivers license in and of itself can be a nightmare for someone.  Missing paperwork, inadequate paperwork, and host of things that can and might go wrong when you are trying to get or transfer to another state.  It is always a simple thing to get paperwork, until you have to wait and do it yourself.  But you want to tie voting into an ID or drivers license.

Sure motivated people with hours to spend will get the job done, they will spend the hours getting new documents mailed to them.  But you are assuming that everyone has the time to do all the leg work, or the money to pay someone else to do it.  Things go missing, even when you don't move.  They get mislaid, moved, shuffled around.  How many of you can lay your hands on your birth certificate, right now, within five minutes, maybe ten?  Yet you are going to make it more difficult for law abiding people to vote? 

You know what, if you see background checks on a gun as an infringement on your second amendment, ID laws outside of the normal cursory checks are a violation of the 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th amendments.  Yeah, we all know that when we vote we produce ID, so why make it just a little harder to have a specific voter ID?  You hypocrites want to rail against many things you see as an infringement on the Second Amendment, things as a gun owner I see as being mostly reasonable (the federal laws and some state laws), yet you want to violate five more, because illegal immigrants, "terrorists" might vote, and there might otherwise be "voter fraud" which has been shown repeatedly to not occur.