Saturday, January 25, 2020

Voter ID

Did you ever hold a strong opinion on an issue then after a long time with little thought on the subject you suddenly had an epiphany that forced a complete about-face?

Case in point, and this really happened to me.Yesterday. I have long been a supporter of the concept that a valid ID document should be required at the polls. Then it hit me: This is probably a violation of the 24th Amendment!  Unless there is a provision which allows one to obtain a real ID at no cost, the requirement to show one at the polling place is essentially a poll tax, and that, my Friends, is unconstitutional.

Sure, this is not a problem for most of us. We have valid drivers licenses, passports, and so on, any of which will work fine. But what of the people, and they are legion, who do not drive, who do not travel? Not a problem, you might say. Anyone of legal age can go to a DMV or BMV as the case may be, and with proper documentation may obtain a real ID. For a FEE. Granted, several states, including my own, have made provisions to waive the fee in certain circumstances. So under the "no harm, no foul" concept there is no problem. But maybe there is. What of the expense and hassle of appearing at the BMV branch office?  Not to mention that MANY states have no such fee waiver.

Thus it is that I sit stewing over a problem that two days ago I didn't know I had.

Where does your state stand? Where do you stand?


Grace said...

I don't have a 'real' ID because in Virginia it is a PITA to get one, it was so much easier to re-new my (expired) passport. Government issued photo ID is pretty much a standard requirement for everything these so if someone can't afford the $30 or so that is required then there should be a subsidy - then again how do you prove you need the subsidy? But yes, only citizens should be eligible to vote and therefore you need to prove you are a citizen. Birth certificates? Naturalization papers? There should be something you already have that proves you are a citizen...

vanilla said...

Grace, it's a puzzle I still believe proof of who you are at the polls should be a requirement. No citizen should be denied his voting rights; no non-citizen should be allowed to vote. Most of us have all the documents we need but a problem does exist for some. Yes, the PITA inflicted by the process for obtaining "real" ID is, well, real. I did mine, BBBH did as you did. Wait 'til next year.