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  1. #51
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I have a friend who is very poor and has checks she can't get cashed because she does not have valid ID.

    In order to get her ID, she has to drive a half hour to see the doctor she was assigned by the state health program to get a letter stating she is who she says she is, then apply for a new Social Security card with that letter.

    After that, she has to wait for the Social Security card to come in the mail.

    Then she has to go to the county health department and buy a copy of her birth certificate ($10).

    She might need to buy a copy of her divorce decree to get the birth certificate. I have no idea how that is done or how much it costs to do it.

    After that, she has to come up with one (because the Social Security card will count as one of two) piece of computer generated mail with her new address even though she lives in an apartment where utilities are furnished and she uses a pre-paid cell phone.

    Then she has to go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have them check her documents and pay for the driver's license ($10-20) which can take a week or so to get in the mail.

    So you can imagine if a process is so prohibitive that she is having trouble getting it done even though she really needs the money from those checks that voting isn't even on the radar. And that, IMO, is contributing to a government that does not represent a decent chunk of its citizens.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I have a friend who is very poor and has checks she can't get cashed because she does not have valid ID.

    In order to get her ID, she has to drive a half hour to see the doctor she was assigned by the state health program to get a letter stating she is who she says she is, then apply for a new Social Security card with that letter.

    After that, she has to wait for the Social Security card to come in the mail.

    Then she has to go to the county health department and buy a copy of her birth certificate ($10).

    She might need to buy a copy of her divorce decree to get the birth certificate. I have no idea how that is done or how much it costs to do it.

    After that, she has to come up with one (because the Social Security card will count as one of two) piece of computer generated mail with her new address even though she lives in an apartment where utilities are furnished and she uses a pre-paid cell phone.

    Then she has to go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have them check her documents and pay for the driver's license ($10-20) which can take a week or so to get in the mail.

    So you can imagine if a process is so prohibitive that she is having trouble getting it done even though she really needs the money from those checks that voting isn't even on the radar. And that, IMO, is contributing to a government that does not represent a decent chunk of its citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    [devil's advocate]If people are too poor and disorganized to obtain a piece of state-issued photo ID maybe they shouldn't be allowed to vote.[/devil's advocate]

  3. #53
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Or better yet, we could go back to white, male land owners being the only ones that can vote.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Or better yet, we could go back to white, male land owners being the only ones that can vote.
    That's quite a bit of a stretch from a $10 birth certificate and a $10-$20 driver's licence. That's hardly much of a financial burden.

  5. #55
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    That's quite a bit of a stretch from a $10 birth certificate and a $10-$20 driver's licence. That's hardly much of a financial burden.
    It's not just the money. It's the transportation and the time and the childcare. And it is a large burden when you've got less than $1000/month for all of your living expenses other than food for a family of five. I can't imagine how it would be an okay thing for citizens to be deprived of a vote simply because they are poor. Not if we're going to pretend to the rest of the world that we've got some kind of democracy going on here or that we believe we're all created equal and should all have basic rights.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #56
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I can't imagine how it would be an okay thing for citizens to be deprived of a vote simply because they are poor.
    I don't think any of that constitutes a denial of the right to vote, and most of those things you listed sound like reasonable regulations instituted for purpose of preventing fraud. Do you think those regulations constitute an undue burden for their (non-voting) purposes, and if so, what alternatives do you suggest to safeguard the integrity of the process?

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's not just the money. It's the transportation and the time and the childcare. And it is a large burden when you've got less than $1000/month for all of your living expenses other than food for a family of five. I can't imagine how it would be an okay thing for citizens to be deprived of a vote simply because they are poor. Not if we're going to pretend to the rest of the world that we've got some kind of democracy going on here or that we believe we're all created equal and should all have basic rights.
    Again, devil's advocate: maybe she ought to go through with the transportation, time and childcare inconveniences because it would be worth the trouble to get a birth certificate (how do you not have one?!?!) and Social Security card (how do you not have one!??!?!) so that she can, you know, get a job and not have to live off of $1000/mth.

  8. #58
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I don't think any of that constitutes a denial of the right to vote, and most of those things you listed sound like reasonable regulations instituted for purpose of preventing fraud. Do you think those regulations constitute an undue burden for their (non-voting) purposes, and if so, what alternatives do you suggest to safeguard the integrity of the process?
    They are an undue burden only because identification is so difficult to obtain. I think birth certificates should be free if you are receiving public assistance or otherwise indigent. I think state IDs should be offered at more locations or be centrally located and addresses should not be so difficult to prove. One piece of mail or a signed letter from a landlord, etc seems adequate to me. Edit: And perhaps a picture ID need not be current as long as the photo is obviously the person presenting it.

    As has been mentioned by other posters, voter fraud is, by and large, a made up problem. Having these very restrictive requirements to fix something that isn't wrong is . . . well, it's not actually about fixing the problem, IMO. It's about keeping certain demographics from voting by people like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Again, devil's advocate: maybe she ought to go through with the transportation, time and childcare inconveniences because it would be worth the trouble to get a birth certificate (how do you not have one?!?!) and Social Security card (how do you not have one!??!?!) so that she can, you know, get a job and not have to live off of $1000/mth.
    Well, as I've mentioned before, poor people often have insecure housing and this means things get lost in moves. That's how she doesn't have this stuff. And she was working. Until she got sick and was fired from her job. Although I'm not sure how she's going to break even when she goes back to work and has to pay for childcare.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #59
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's not just the money. It's the transportation and the time and the childcare. And it is a large burden when you've got less than $1000/month for all of your living expenses other than food for a family of five. I can't imagine how it would be an okay thing for citizens to be deprived of a vote simply because they are poor. Not if we're going to pretend to the rest of the world that we've got some kind of democracy going on here or that we believe we're all created equal and should all have basic rights.
    The courts have already found poll taxes to be illegal, however small the amount. Making one's access to the polls contingent on items that cost money is tantamount to the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    As has been mentioned by other posters, voter fraud is, by and large, a made up problem. Having these very restrictive requirements to fix something that isn't wrong is . . . well, it's not actually about fixing the problem, IMO. It's about keeping certain demographics from voting by people like this:
    This says it all. We don't give antibiotics to people who don't have an infection. There is no existing problem needing to be solved here, just a new problem in the making.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The courts have already found poll taxes to be illegal, however small the amount. Making one's access to the polls contingent on items that cost money is tantamount to the same thing.
    Then where's my free transportation to the polling station? Using public transportation costs a fare, using my own vehicle means I'll be using gasoline and adding to the wear and tear of the car, etc.

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