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View Diary: North Carolina's Republican lawmakers eager to use Supreme Court's VRA ruling to curtail voting (97 comments)

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  •  Yes; you missed the connection that I attempted .. (1+ / 0-)
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    ... to make; my apologies, I'll try again.  Like long lines at certain precincts, requiring ID's from people that do not already have them, will increase the difficulty of voting and reduce turnout.  Both of these methods, requiring ID's and long lines at certain precincts, are designed to reduce the turnout among certain groups; they both add hurdles to the process.  That's what voting booths have to do with ID's; they are both methods to reduce voter turnout among certain groups of people.

    Among the examples you gave:

    We require a drivers license to drive an automobile because it is an inherently dangerous activity, and we in the community would like for new drivers to exhibit some amount of knowledge and skill before being allowed to drive on our streets; thus the requirement for a license.  In our society, we have an inherent right to vote; but to drive an automobile you must demonstrate an ability to do so safely.

    The requirement for an ID to purchase beer or cigarettes or to enter a bar is in response to a need felt by the members of a community that children should be protected from these types of activities; and since the employees at these places do not otherwise know the ages of our children, an ID must suffice.  When you register to vote, you give identifying information such as your name and address that are recorded and can later be verified; and when you vote, the name and address you give are checked to match a list of registered voters, and then checked off on that list.  Every registered voter has the right to vote.

    The level of difficulty in getting an ID to vote varies among states.  It can be difficult for some folks to get a certified copy of a birth certificate, especially if you weren't born in a hospital or do not know which hospital you were born in.  A certified copy may also incur some costs such as shipping and perhaps a notary fee.  Other complicating factors might be if you were given up for adoption, or were in a foster care program, of if you were/are estranged or otherwise separated from your family.  If you don't drive, then you will have to make some kind of arrangements to get transportation to and from the drivers license bureau.  In many locations, like where I live, the wait time at the drivers license bureau is many hours; that's many hours that both you and perhaps the person providing transportation for you must be able to spend, which for a lot of people may be something of an uncomfortable request of a boss for time off from work, or the expense of having someone look after your children while you are gone.  For the elderly, injured, or ill, that kind of wait can be uncomfortable for other reasons as well.  Last year, the new ID rules in Pennsylvania were so egregious that for some folks it took several days and trips to go through all the steps that were required to get their IDs.  And I recall that there were incidences where at some drivers licenses bureaus in Pennsylvania folks were charged a fee for the ID, which is of course a poll tax.  A poll tax is a violation of your right to vote.  For people who are already struggling to make ends meet each month, a $20 or $30 fee for an ID is just one more additional hurdle, one more way in which Republicans can reduce turnout among folks who tend to vote for Democrats.

    If it were easy, if there was no inconvenience, no expenditure of scarce funds, no tracking down of documents, no arranging and paying for transportation, no requests for time off from work, no childcare issues, no health related issues, etc, then yes, there would be no problem.  But that's not the point.  The point is to make it more difficult for people to vote; else the Republicans would not be making so much effort to enact these requirements.  They already know that it's not easy, that it is inconvenient, and that it will indeed reduce turnout.  That's why they are doing this; it is an important part of their overall strategy to reduce turnout among Democratic leaning voters; and they know it works.

    There are more detailed and more well thought out essays on this subject written by those with far more knowledge of the issue than I have; but in response to your question, this is my off the top of my head take on things.  The Republicans have done their research; they know that requiring IDs from people who do not already have them will significantly increase the difficulty of voting and consequently lower turnout among groups of people that tend to vote for Democrats.  It has the same effect as reducing the number of polling machines in an urban precinct.

    I hope that somewhat addresses your question.

    Love one another

    by davehouck on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:54:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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