Voter ID Laws: Bureaucracy of Democracy

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In this election, to vote as a citizen of the state of Michigan, I will for the first time have to present photo identification at the polls, or sign an affadavit stating that I do not possess one. Michigan joins just seven states that now require photo ID.

In total, there are twenty-four states that require voters to present ID, although in seventeen of them no photo is required. In those states voters are able to vote with birth certificates and social security cards, forms of ID with no cost to acquire. This makes it possible for essentially all citizens to vote.

This is not the case with required photo ID laws.

Michigan’s voter ID law essentially creates a second class of voter.

Non-drivers are immediately put at a disadvantage, lacking the most traditionally recognized form of photo ID. The next two most common government ID’s, State ID and passports, both cost money to acquire. In Michigan any citizen can get a State ID from a Secretary of State office… for a cost of $10. Passport photos and processing fees are significantly higher.

The gist of it?

If a voter wants to avoid hassles at the polls, and not have to sign an affadavit exposing themselves to perjury and disenfranchsiement, they have to pay up.

How can we honestly look at the economically downtrodden of Michigan, the laid off, the uninsured, the foreclosed homeowner, and tell them that it costs money if they want to vote like everyone else? These laws fundamentally undermine democracy. In what free society are those who try to vote faced with this:

“Oh, no photo ID. Well, if you don’t have one you can sign this affadavit under oath that will make your ballot suspect and if we find out that you lied you can be prosecuted.”

I will not stand for it. I’m taking my social security card to my polling place, and I’m not leaving until I have voted. I will not be forced to lie under oath, and I will not submit to an unjust law, that will likely deprive some of my neighbors, for whom I know $10 is a lot of money, of their right to vote like the proud citizens they are, without suspicion or consternation.

Any voters in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, South Dakota, or Michigan, will you join me?

You can learn more about voter ID laws at: NCSL


    • chicagoa on October 17, 2008 at 17:33

    If the state is going to require photo ID, it should provide photo ID to all voters free of charge.

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