Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Get That Voter's License Number

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Get That Voter's License Number

The new law to require voter ID at the polls looks, at first glance, like a sensible idea. Until you realize, especially when the bill was running just before an election, the havoc it would have brought. Most voters, especially in Philadelphia, urban areas, and even smaller close-knit communities, walk to the polls. Not everyone carries ID on them. Had the bill passed, and then had the time to be debated by and then passed the Senate and then signed by the Governor, there would have been a very short period of time to inform all voters to bring ID with them to the polls. Many voters would have been turned away by a new law they did not have time to learn about.

To me, the right to vote is an important right that should be encouraged, not discouraged. Not only would people who forgot their ID not be able to vote, many people do not have ID. Many senior citizens and people with disabilities do not have a drivers’ license. To require such people to then obtain a non-driver’s identification just so they could vote would have been a burden of time and expense. Further, had they also needed to obtain a birth certificate in order to obtain their identification in order to vote, there would not have been enough time to process this paperwork before the election. On top of that, the expense of obtaining this identification would have had the effect of a poll tax, which is unconstitutional.

Finally, let’s get down to the reality behind the issue. The push for voter ID was part of a national Republican strategy that realized that Republicans tend to live in suburbs and in rural areas and they tend to drive to polls and carry ID while Democrats tend to live in cities where they walk to the polls and don’t always carry ID. It was a political ploy to tilt elections to the Republican side.

This issue by no means was voter fraud. The Elections Bureau reports that Pennsylvania is a state that most effectively prevents voter fraud. In Pennsylvania, a voter provides a signature in order to vote. The signature is matched against the signature when the person registered to vote. This signature evidence is one of the most effective ways to combat voter fraud, and it does so in a manner that does not intrude upon a voter’s right to cast a ballot.


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