Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the voter ID card or hell no, you can't vote

I've been spending too much time the last several days trying to explain to people on FB why voter ID cards are a hindrance to voting. The common start is some person who already has an adequate ID card so that their ability to vote is not compromised espousing the opinion that they don't see what the big deal is. Just go get a card.

As a resident of the state with the most stringent requirements for a voter ID card, so say the memes, that just chaps my ass.

It never occurs to them that someone might not drive because they can't afford the insurance, much less a car. That this person might work a minimum wage job and has to take an unpaid day off from work which would represent 20% of their pay for that week which they can ill afford, take the bus to the nearest DMV office which could take hours, walk to the office from the bus stop and then wait several more hours to get their card. If they have the proper documents to prove who they are. And if they don't have a copy of their birth certificate (and how many of us do), then first they have to take another unpaid day off to appear in person with the acceptable proof of identity. And yeah, there are fees associated with that. This is not an 'easy' task. Now, throw in a couple of young children and bad weather and poor education and trouble with the language and infirmity and all of a sudden, it can be insurmountable.

A cousin informed me that he read that TX DMV was not charging for the voter ID card. Small comfort.

In Texas, to get the card that the Republicans have decided will prevent non-existent voter fraud...

Studies have shown that voter fraud accounts for only 2/100 - 1/10 of ONE % of votes cast. Two hundredths to one tenth of ONE fucking percent. And most those infinitesimal fraudulent votes are not cast by in person voting.

...a person must show one form of identification from the primary list or two forms of identification from the secondary list or one form of identification from the secondary list and two from the supporting list. That's one to three forms of identification needed to get a voter ID card.

The primary list is a driver's license, passport, military ID, or certificate of citizenship.

The secondary list is a birth certificate, or an original or certified copy of a court order showing your name and date of birth.

The supporting list of acceptable documents is very long and includes SS card, income tax documents, voter registration card, concealed carry permit, vehicle registration, and so on.

So, if you don't drive, don't have a passport, haven't served in the military, don't have a copy of your birth certificate, don't have a certificate of citizenship because you were born here, and can't afford to take a day or two off work or have small children you have to take with you on the bus to the DMV and the records office, and maybe you are in a freakin' wheel chair then getting this ID is not easy and while perhaps the card is free as the cousin says, there are fees associated with getting other proof of person documents.

The result and the purpose of this new required voter ID card is to prevent people from voting, to make voting some kind of privilege instead of the constitutional right that it is. One commenter claimed she felt the right to vote came with responsibility and I agree, when we vote we are being responsible citizens but that's not what she meant. She meant that people should be responsible enough to acquire the proper ID card.

I always thought the proper card for voting was your voter's registration card and your signature at the polls. At least it has been for every year of my life since I've been old enough to vote til now. We should be making it easier to vote, not harder.

While I am angry that the Republican politicians in charge here have passed this new law, whose only true purpose is to discourage voters who traditionally vote for Democrats, that has been challenged and will probably get overturned in time though the Supreme Court has upheld it for this election, what really upsets me is the complete and total lack of understanding and compassion so many people, overwhelmingly white, have for those that don't already have an acceptable form of voter ID.

They have the ease of their white privilege and relative wealth and sneer at the poor, the elderly, the infirm, the people of color, the young, the disenfranchised who all have the same constitutional right to vote for the leaders of their country and community as those that need make no special, and in some cases herculean, effort in order to exercise that right.

And that is just wrong and makes me sad that so many people in this country have become so heartless.

Here's a link to just one woman's attempt.  

Here's a link to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent on the recent ruling allowing Texas' discriminatory voter ID law to stand.


  1. It's all just an amazingly blatant attempt to disenfranchise those lacking in resources who might just vote for Democrats.
    It is, indeed, sickening.

  2. With all the bickering and slamming on all the commercials I am not sure there is anyone I want to vote for anyway. In my town the gals usually know your name and greet you. I carry my card always, but rarely have had to get it out.

  3. Just an "Amen." Not proud here that some of this started from Kobach in Kansas where I happened to live. A long time ago, we appeared at the polling place, stated our name, address, party (if it was primary voting) and they handed us a ballot if our name was on the list in that precinct. Simple.

  4. You might ask the FB boneheads why the courts consider it a poll tax.

  5. I can not add one word to this except to say Ohio has been this stringent for the last ten years. The only acceptable ID is a driver's license or state issued ID. I hustled my grandson off for the ID as soon as he turned 18, but then he's a privileged blond with blue eyes. I pass people at the bus stops every day, weary at 4 from pulling molds at Little Tykes or running lines at GoJo. There only opportunity may be Saturday, 8 to noon at the DMV. The system sickens me. I can only vote for those who might change it.
    I believe Ginsburg wrote such a strong opposition to the recent ruling to let the men know what they are facing when the challenge does not come at the eleventh hour.

  6. I see Marlu beat me to my thought---"AMEN!" I live in Texas, too. And come from blonde and redheaded people. I cannot understand how, with so many minorities, this is such a red state. I took the Obama sticker off my husband's van after he was accosted while waiting for a light to change. It seems Obama was responsible for this man's health insurance problems, therefore it was crazy to vote for him. During the many years we summered in MN, we were embarrassed to let it be known we were from TX. The voter ID law is just one more means of control. And the Supreme Court is only "supreme" for Republicans.

    I do appreciate your blog, Ellen. You are one talented lady-- and you think very much like I do. Yes!!!

  7. I've never been asked for my Michigan voter registration card. I bring it with me to vote, but the voting peeps just push it aside and swipe my drivers license. Not sure what the point is...

  8. It's just ridiculous. Gives me heartburn & I don't even live there.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.