Comments: Moving On....

I may not be able to vote this November because of the ID restriction. My license expired, and since I don't have a car I didn't bother to get it renewed. Getting it renewed will require a lot of work: I've got to go to my parents house in New Jersey and get my birth certificate, then come back here to Virginia with it, and then I need to get on some utility bills, perhaps the water bill, so I can prove residency in Virginia. I've been living in Virginia for 4 years now, but I've no evidence of that. The process of getting an id will take me a few months. I'm not sure I'll have the spare time to get it done this summer. Even if I do, I don't think it will matter, I'd have to re-register to whatever location I've proven my residency, and by the time I'm done proving who I am and proving that I have residency, the time to register will be closed.

I've no way to prove I am who I am. And I'm white and middle class. I imagine among minorities there must be millions in my situtation.

Posted by Lawrence Krubner at July 21, 2004 12:17 PM

Anne, you've given me a days worth of work to do just getting through all this! Thank you!

Posted by Hugo at July 21, 2004 01:07 PM

Call me crazy, Lawrence, but I can't imagine trying to function in society without an ID. But then, I use credit cards, write checks, buy airline tickets, and do a dozen other things that require me to prove I am who I say I am and I have the right to spend my money. (Put that way, it's a bit irritating.)

On the other hand, your point is well made and I withdraw my remark. It's quite possible, it seems, to function without an ID in this society, so maybe we do need a public debate over whether or not government-issued IDs should be mandatory for voting.

Posted by Anne at July 21, 2004 03:37 PM

There are thousands of people in Florida who do not have a photo ID and a lot of them work in construction. They have lost their driver's license because of a DUI and they can't afford a checking account because of the high fees banks charge.

Wal-Mart recently starting a check-cashing operation, $3.00 for a payroll check, and that's cheap for the area.

The state ID card is $10 [I think] and you have to go to the Drivers License Bureau to get it. The wait is one to three hours, so you lose a day's pay in addition to the cost.

I had to wait until I could get a new Social Security card to change my license from California to Florida. Florida requires a Social Security card for some reason.

The whole photo ID card thing sounds good, but it could dis-enfranchise a lot of poor people.

Posted by Bryan at July 21, 2004 10:50 PM

Clearly this "ID to vote" issue is a much bigger problem than I understood it to be, but I'm still puzzled by the idea that tons of people can't produce ID.

I mean, how do you get a job without an ID? I haven't gotten a job in the last 15 years without having to prove my identity.

Posted by Anne at July 22, 2004 08:19 AM

I pay for lots of stuff with a credit card but no one asks me for a photo id when I'm using a credit card. I'm old enough that no one asks me for an id when I go to a bar or buy alcohol. I've been working freelance for the last 10 years so I haven't had to prove my citizenship in a while.

I've been meaning to renew my license for awhile but I kept putting it off and putting it off. The recent scare on Amtrak gives me a new reason to take care of it. I ride Amtrak every month, and I'm nervous to think what would have happened if I'd been swept up in the recent bomb scare and questioned and not had any id.

Posted by Lawrence Krubner at July 22, 2004 11:15 PM