Friday, May 13, 2011

Would a photo ID?

(Note: There were some hiccups at Blogger yesterday, and the last two posts to the blog were lost: one by Aaron and one by me. Aaron's post had been linked by Politics in Minnesota, and we're sorry for anybody who came over here and looked in vain for the post. I had a backup copy of mine; here it is. I don't know if Aaron has the time to reconstruct his or not.)

1) Prevent a felon who is not “off paper” from voting?

No. (There is nothing on a driver’s license about civil rights status.)

2) Prevent a resident alien from voting?

No. (A driver’s license says nothing about citizenship. A little more about this one in a moment.)

3) Prevent someone who has moved but still has an ID from his or her old place from voting in the old precinct?

4) Prevent someone who got mugged in the last week and had his wallet or her purse stolen from voting?

Yes. (A spouse or neighbor could vouch for this person under current law.)

5) Prevent your aged mother or father who recently moved in with you from voting?

Yes. (You could vouch for your parent under current law.)

6) Prevent your daughter who recently moved in with you because of an abusive spouse from voting?

Yes. (You could vouch for her under current law.)

7) Prevent people who are homeless or move frequently from voting?

            Yes. (But who really wants the riffraff to vote, anyway?)

The answers to all of these questions can be gleaned from a study of Sen. Limmer’s (he’s really making a name for himself, isn’t he?) SF509, particularly Section 21 of SF509.

The bill says that you can only prove identity and residence with a single photo-id document. If you’ve been following this issue, you know that virtually all of the “voter fraud” cases identified by the people so worried about it are disqualification or residence issues, not identity issues. None of the first three examples listed would be cured by requiring both elements in a single document, and it clearly disenfranchises the people in examples four through seven.

Here’s one of the really good parts of Limmer’s deep thinking, though. One of the documents that will be acceptable is a good ‘ol current Minnesota license, so long, of course, as the address is current (or if you have the renewal or change of address paper issued, too). But a driver’s license isn’t proof of citizenship. The bill proposes to take care of that by requiring a Social Security number on a driver’s license application. (See Section 5 of the bill.)

You need to be a citizen to get a Social Security card, right? No, not really.

Can you imagine, though, what would happen if you required real proof of citizenship to apply for a driver’s license? Sen. Limmer’s pelt would be on somebody’s wall, you can bet on that.

When you get right down to it, SF509 and its House companion HF210 are the real fraud here. It’s hazing of voters; it’s disenfranchisement, plain and simple. It will add substantially to the cost of elections and do nothing to actually enhance their “integrity.” For every person it prevents from voting for a legitimate reason, it will prevent thousands of legitimate voters from casting a ballot.

Photo from Ann Coulter's website

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