The Dilemma of Identification

If I’m going to cash a check at my bank, I need to provide photo identification. If I’m going to drive a car, I need to provide photo identification (after I sit in line all day to get that license). If I’m going to use my debit card at a retailer, I need to provide photo identification.

So why shouldn’t I need photo identification to vote? In a democracy, voting is one of the most sacred rights that I have. Why shouldn’t I have to prove that I’m eligible to do it?

Of course, if voters had had to provide photo identification in the past, President Nixon would have come into office in 1960 instead of 1968. Would he still have been as paranoid, if the dead voters in Illinois hadn’t taken the election? Would Camelot still be the home of King Arthur, instead of the euphemism we give to a philandering family? (I’m wandering off topic here. Sorry).

The Justice Department recently objected to a new Texas law requiring that all voters provide photo identification. The Voting Rights Act, Section 5, requires that states show that their new provisions do not discriminate against minority groups.

According to data the state provided to the Justice Department, between 29 and 38 percent of all eligible voters in Texas who do not have photo identification are Hispanics. According to Tom Perez, the head of the civil rights division, this means that Hispanics are at least 48 percent more likely than a non-Hispanic voter to have this documentation.

The state did offer to provide low-cost election identification certificates available to voters without any existing state ID, but Perez responded that this requirement creates the additional burden of traveling to a driver’s license office, undergoing an application process that includes fingerprinting and finding supporting documentation to prove one’s identity.

Does anyone else want to find Tom Perez’s office and ask him what color the sky is in his world? I know people who have had their identities completely hacked. To get a social security card, or a passport, as one of the early steps to getting a new license or ID, they had to pull together items like yearbook photos, newspaper clippings, birth certificates, pay stubs, medical insurance cards, and other forms.

But even if you haven’t had your identity stolen, or lost your license, sometimes taking part in society means that you have to make an effort to fulfill the requirements of society. Just because I will probably have to take a full day off work to renew my driver’s license every six years doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do it. I won’t like it, but I will do it. And if I want to renew my passport, and I’ve let it expire, I have to search around for my birth certificate and….let’s say it together….go…stand….in….line.

Do you want to vote? Excellent. Go get your ID so you can prove who you say you are. It doesn’t matter to me what color you are, or what your background is. If proving your identity at the voting booth is too much of a hassle, then you don’t need to vote in the first place. Want to learn a little more about Tom Perez? Watch this.

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