Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Nightmare of Voter ID

I have been thinking about how the new voter ID law will affect my adopted home state of Mississippi, my county, and my city. Of course I am concerned about a law that works to disenfranchise a whole segment of the population of a state that already faces so many challenges. No one should lose their access to the franchise NO ONE. In Mississippi we deal with alot, it is often said that we are first at being bad and last at being good. It is true when there are lists about any thing good we are last. We just ranked last this week on a list of best and worst states for women by Ivillage(no big surprise there), we suck at education, our teens get pregnant better than others, we are awesome at STD/STIs and we haven't really mastered that education thing yet.  Yet, we also stand on the shoulders of giants who gave their lives so we could vote freely and without restriction. So please keep in mind that voter ID is a solution in search of a problem there is no great problem with voter fraud.  What voter ID does do very well is disregard and discourage disabled, poor, elderly, and minority voters from voting.   Voters like my mother who while she has a wheelchair it is extremely hard for her to get out of the house (we don't have a ramp). She also does not have a copy of her Minnesota birth certificate which is $25 dollars to replace. For those very reasons she does not have an ID. In the past couple weeks I have had the experience of being at the state capitol watching our lawmakers in action. One of the things I had the privilege to watch was the house debate on requirements and provisions for the new voter ID law.  Let me just tell you if I wasn't already convinced that this whole thing is a sham, that debate would've done it for me.  Here's the great plan in a nutshell. So you go to get your voter registration card and now at your registrars office you can also can what, a photo voter ID. What is the requirement for said ID you may ask well? Show one, just one, of nine forms of ID that DO NOT HAVE A PHOTO ON THEM! Such as your medicaid/medicare, social security card, you get the point. During the debate it was asked if all one has to show is ONE piece of non-photo ID to get this photo voter ID why not just let people vote using the non vote ID they are using to get the ID. A hush went across the chamber for a few seconds as we waited for the answer. Drumroll please, because that's not going to work it has to be a picture ID. My daughter, she's fifteen, leaned over and said "that is not logical at all if all they need is one piece of ID to get the ID anyone could go in and say they are you".  Thus my point there is a reason why the a state ID and driver's license requires so many pieces of paper if you don't have a previous picture ID. They want to make sure you are who you say you are. If the standard by which we are upholding the fake need to determine people's identities at the poles is this, just so they can say they made it easy for poor people, they should just give up.  I hope that the justice department sees this hot stinking garbage for what it is new millennium Jim Crow (especially when you consider the restriction on people doing voter registration drives, you can only register 10 people PER YEAR). Oh and did I mention they don't have a really good estimate on how much this ridiculousness will cost the taxpayers of our state. I know they are very concerned about our money, ha!