Friday, January 25, 2008

Carded at polls: No photo ID, no vote

I'm gonna take a quick swipe at this and move on.

Who the hell am I kidding? As verbose as I get, it ain't gonna be quick.

Want to know the sub headline to this story?

Voters who use mail-in ballots are not required to show photo ID

Well that fucking shoots the "prevent voter fraud" argument all to hell. And of what use is the last "photo ID" for identity?
There's the poor, 32-year-old mother of seven who says it would cost her at least $50 to vote in person. There's also the 92-year-old woman who's voted for decades in the same polling place, but now can't vote there because she let her driver's license expire when her eyesight began to fail.

These folks live in Indiana, home of the country's most restrictive photo-identification voter law. The U.S. Supreme Court is now scrutinizing whether that statute violates the first and 14th amendments, in the most contentious legal battle over voting since the high court issued a bitterly divided decision eight years ago that stopped Florida's recount and handed the presidency to George W. Bush.

If the law is upheld, voting rights advocates fear it will encourage conservative lawmakers across the country to enact equally restrictive measures. The high court's decision is expected in the summer - leaving time to impact November's general election.

Opponents, most of them Democrats, say requiring photo ID at the polls disproportionately affects the poor, the elderly and minorities - the most likely to lack photo identification.

But supporters, most of them Republicans, say such requirements are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

OK, now the heavy lifting. If people can get fake passports, fake birth certificates and use those to get a valid driver license, what makes the government think they can't get fake photo IDs?

Just think. Every time you see a story about a government, any government, issuing new currency, which they hold in the highest regard, you will see a phrase much like or exactly like this: It will make the currency more difficult to counterfeit. Not impossible to counterfeit, but more difficult.

Give a good counterfeiter enough time and a decent microscope and the counterfeiting of currency or any other document will begin.

Holograms? Gimme a break. They aren't alchemy or magic. Don't believe governments have any more technical expertise than the counterfeiters.

Now, I've posted before I believe all states, if not nations, should use a common format for driver licenses. How can someone in Dallas, Hong Kong, Cork, Istanbul recognize the authenticity of an Iowa driver license when it may be the first time he/she's ever seen one?
Quiz: Which of the above are fake driver licenses? Hint, gambling is legal anywhere in the state. OK, Elvis is dead, so that one, although not fake is at least not valid.

And trust me on this, I've used my US driver license several times around the world for ID.*

Just the other day I was trying to show my sister-in-law I'm endorsed for any size motorcycle. It took me a fucking half hour to figure out where that endorsement was on the damn thing.

How can people around America and the world find pertinent information when they don't know where to look on the license. I couldn't at first and I'm a fucking native.

INFO ALERT: Now before I move on, I offer information you may not know, but can possibly use. I have friends who travel and they had no idea about this.

You can avoid a lot of fucking trouble if pulled over in a foreign country (I have been) or have an accident (I haven't) in a foreign country if you carry an International Driving Permit. They are used in conjunction with your own driver license which they reference. They're valid in most countries and are as important as your passport.

The only temporary problem I've had is an officer came to the window and was confused because he'd never seen such a Permit. A senior officer came over in a couple minutes, looked over the Permit and said in a language I don't know something to the affect it was valid authorization to drive in their country. I was on my way. Three minutes at most.

I can only speak about the US (and apparently the UK has them at AA), but AAA (American Automobile Association) used to issue the suckers for only $10 which included the picture which would cost you about $7 at a photo shop. No membership required and they usually had mine done in less than 15 minutes which was quicker than the photo shop. I obtained a couple IDPs before I realized AAA would handle the photo too. No hassle there and none outside the country.

Why are the posts I think will be quick always so fucking time consuming?

* I should be remiss if I didn't point out I USED to travel, but can no longer afford it.




Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

When I was in high school, I took a german exchange student to the local DMV because she wanted to get a driver's license. Her plan was to get her Oklahoma state license made international, thus saving her the $500 bucks it would cost her to get licensed back home. The next year I was talking to another exchange student and happened to mention that I had helped the german girl. She exclaimed "that was you?!", and then told me that, because of that girl, exchange students were now prohibited from driving. No real reason for telling you this, just thought of it when you mention the international permit.

1/28/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger SPIIDERWEB™ said...

Ya never know when shit will happen.

I'm often surprised when my good intentions go all to hell.

You tried to help.

1/29/2008 05:38:00 PM  

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