Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NC Voter ID law solution: issue photo ID cards at the polls

When the North Carolina General Assembly passed the voter identification law requiring voters to present some sort of legal identification when voting, allegations were rampant that Republicans proposed and passed it keep voters who would regularly vote for non-Republican candidates. The allegations remain running wild today and will not stop even with the case reaches the United States Supreme Court that will uphold the North Carolina law. Prediction: The law, despite aggressive litigation by the US Attorney General, whoever she may be, will be upheld. Therefore, if you don’t have a legal ID as described by the State of North Carolina, do yourself a favor, if you want to vote, and go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and obtain a picture ID. It’s just as easy and convenient as going to the polls to vote in the next election.

Think about it. You make the effort to go to the polls to vote, waiting in line to present yourself to the volunteer election official who asks your name. You give that person your name, and soon after, almost immediately, the election official tells you that you’ve already voted, even though your spouse can vouch for your whereabouts for the entire day, a story for another time. It doesn’t matter, even if your spouse is with you. As it turns out, someone has voted in your stead earlier in the day, and, there’s little or nothing you can do about it. Even if that’s not happened, the election official asks for your address, and after your confirmation, you’re allowed to vote. To some of us, that’s always been a little unnerving, even though, in North Carolina, voting impropriety has not run wild like those allegations mentioned in today’s first paragraph. This ain’t Chicago, thank goodness.

Voter ID fraud is not worse than losing your identity altogether; it's more like having your credit card number duplicated and spread across the country. What the voter ID law will do is to prevent operatives on both sides of the aisle from driving vans through various neighborhoods and to gather non-registered citizens, take them to the polls, get them signed up and provide them with a ballot, hoping with all that good will they’ll vote for the candidate who sponsored the van. It’s part of the “ground game” of politics. As it turns out the Democrats have better organization at that level, so the Republicans want to put a crimp in the successes of the Democrats instead of working as hard as the Democrats to win the vote, legally. That’s how Obama won North Carolina in 2008. He did win the state that year, didn’t he?

To all, here’s a compromise: If someone wants to vote and doesn’t have a picture ID, tell him/her to go to the polls carrying the documents required for an official North Carolina picture ID. The election officials at the polls should have someone there with an iPhone or iPad to take a photo of the non-IDed person and scan his/her documents, transmitting it all back to DMV. Then give that person an affidavit that says they are indeed a citizen of NC and qualified to vote and that if they are lying, there’s a detention facility waiting for them. Then give that person a provisional ballot. Once the ID information is verified, the ballot will be counted, and an ID will be mailed to the address given. The next time that person shows up to vote without an ID, disallow the vote and require 100 hours of community service.
-------------------- word of the day
sastruga (noun) [sas-truh-guh; sah-stuh-guh; sa-stroo-guh]: ridges of snow formed on a snowfield by the action of the wind

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