These United States Not So United

I live in the United States as do most of you who are reading this, but I would argue that our states are not United.  Let me present Voter ID Laws as exhibit A:

Did you know that 30 states will require voters to show some form of ID at the polls in November 2012? In half of these states, the ID must include a picture.  In 5 of the states, the new voter ID laws have not yet been approved by the Department of Justice who will determine if they meet the standards  of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  And in the states that don’t have voter ID laws, most state legislatures introduced bills recently to require voters to present some form of documentation at the polls.

My state of Massachusetts is one of the few with no voter identification requirements.  Of course, I had to register to vote, but to actually vote, all I have to do is give the poll worker (usually a neighborhood cop) my name and address and they check it off on a list.

Here are some examples of forms of ID required in a sampling of states:

Kentucky: If you have a credit card or driver’s license, or social security card, you can vote.  That’s it.  But I think Kentucky would be wise to loosen up the requirements a little bit and just make voters prove they have Kentucky roots. Maybe they could be given a quiz and have to answer 3 of 4 questions correctly: 1.  Name one Kentucky Bourbon. (anyone who says Jack Daniels would be attempting to commit voter fraud) 2.  Who is the basketball coach for the Louisville Cardinals? 3.  Who won the Kentucky derby? 4. What does the K stand for in KFC?

Idaho: To vote, you must present an ID card with a photo.  When I was doing the research on this, I misread the requirement as an ID with a potato.  But that’s pretty good.  Not everyone has an official state picture ID so why not allow folks to bring a picture of themselves with an Idaho spud?

Colorado:  Pretty much anything goes for an ID: pilot’s license, utility bill, medicaid card and so on.  If I were an advocate in Colorado, I would campaign to add the following to the list of acceptable forms of identification: a supermarket super saver’s card, an oxygen tank permit (the air is thin in CO with a ton of retirees who may not have a valid pilot’s license) and for people who have no identification, they could take a beer challenge.  If the person could identify Coors in a blind tasting with two other beers – Old Milwaukee’s Best and Lone Star (a pretty good Texas beer; a notch above PBR) – they’d be allowed to vote.

Alaska:  If you have a hunting or fishing license, you are all set.  But if all you have is a student ID, forget about it.

Texas:  You really shouldn’t mess with Texas and they do take their voting seriously such that you can vote with a permit to carry a concealed handgun. I suppose if  you forgot the permit, showing the concealed weapon would do.

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5 Responses

  1. Everybody, please end all this stupidity. All states should require all individuals to have a picture id to vote. No exceptions.

    Just common sense, which is not that common.

  2. I agree with your all states should part, but my statement would be all states should not require any id for a registered voter to vote. It’s just silliness. ID laws are a solution where no problem exists.

  3. I live in PA and we will be expected to have our ID handy come November. Why can’t you just show your Registration Card? I know here it is very discouraging for older citizens w/o photo ID. It’s complete BS.

  4. We can’t because the GOP figured out that the folks least likely to have the ID are most likely to vote Dem.

  5. I know, it’s a huge issue here in Philadelphia. The city doesn’t necessarily have a squeaky clean reputation when it comes to politics either, so that does not help the fight. My mother, who is 85 really feels it’s an issue. There are some in her group that will just give up voting because it’s too hard for them to get valid ID. That is disgrace!

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