Thursday, May 26, 2005

Slowly I Turn, Step By Step...

According to a Reuters report, several states are overhauling their voter laws. At first glance, it seems like a good thing; eliminate voter fraud, create more opportunities for more voters to vote, and the like. But, wait. Some states are requiring photo IDs in order to vote.

So what, is your response. Here's what the problem is. Many people don't have photo ID. And if you've ever tried to get into a club or bar with a job-issued photo ID, you'll know that it's a useful as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. No, we're talking about a government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license, learner's permit (which some entities don't accept), or passport. To get any of the above, you need to prove citizenship or naturalized immigrant status. So, you need more photo ID. If you're a senior citizen who can't or won't drive anymore, you've either surrendered or discarded/destroyed your photo ID. So, you can't vote. Then there are those young adults who may not have a driver's license or passport.

And here's a big'un. Indiana just passed a voter law stipulating that photo IDs presented for voting in the state must be ISSUED from the state, or from the U.S. government (again, a passport). So, if you're a college freshman, old enough to vote, but not from Indiana, you can't vote in the state of Indiana despite being affected by issues passed by Indiana politicians for the four or so years you live in the state of Indiana. And, if that isn't dumb enough, you can cast a provisional ballot, but it won't be counted unless you RETURN TO THE LOCAL ELECTION BOARD BY NOON THE FOLLOWING MONDAY AND PRESENT ADDITIONAL PROOF OR SWEAR YOU HAVE A VALID REASON, SUCH AS POVERTY, FOR NOT HAVING PHOTO ID.

WTF? Let's look at American history, shall we? The post-Civil War/post-Reconstruction 'buked and scorned White folks of the South made it damn near impossible for newly-freed slaves to vote by forcing them to be literate. Then, they had to own land and present proof of land ownership. Hello? See any similarities between that and what's happening now? Let's just make shit up to keep people from voting. That way, there will be fewer, and eventually no dissenting votes, and we'll always make sure we have whoever we want doing exactly what we want. Why, we'll have President For Life. We already have Supreme Court justices who serve until they die or retire, whichever comes first.

The title comes from an Abbott & Costello gag where the storyteller tells a tale of catching his wife cheating on him, and the lines of the bit usually end with Costello getting a face full of seltzer. Anyone else wet?

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