I need an ID to go into a club, and no one is running my country in there.
It seems like a standard precaution really. I have to show my ID at court, when I drive, when I pay for things with my debit card, I have to confirm things with my *social security number* on the phone more often than not.. I don't see how this is really an invasive thing at all.
Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.
Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
prplchknz: i don't like it
I'm okay with it if we provide people with easier access to obtaining identification. It's not easy for everyone.
I'm actually dealing with this stuff right now. We are working on getting learner's permits for two of our kids and changing our address on my husband's and my ID. All of us were born in the US. I think, maybe, one of my husband's great grandparents might have been from the old country and that would be our most recent non-American ancestor. We've been living in this city since 2002. But it's still a pretty big pain in the rear and we are a lot better off than many, many people.
I'll tell you why something that is easy for someone with money is not easy for someone who is more or less destitute:
transportation- In the midwest, at least, getting places can be difficult for a lot of people. The license branch in my city is at the very edge of the city limits. There might be one bus route that goes that way and there are no sidewalks for a good mile on either crossroad. It's going to take us a couple of trips to get our stuff done, but we have two running vehicles with full tanks of gas sitting right outside our door. Not everyone has that.
access to documents- A lot of poor people have insecure housing. Poor people are often at the edge of homelessness because The Rent Is Too Damn High (had to steal that). They move frequently because they get evicted and/or keep trying to find a place they can afford. Sometimes that means moving in a hurry and it usually means moving your stuff in whatever vehicles you can beg from friends of family none of whom may own so much as a pick-up truck. Stuff gets lost. Stuff like birth certificates and other types of identifying documents. Trying to replace them can be next to impossible. Say you lose your birth certificate and you were born several states away. How do you get a replacement birth certificate? Well, when it was me, I got online and found the website and sent the money and waited. But I had internet access was able to scrape up the money. I think it was around forty dollars. I just checked to see what it would cost to get a copy of my son's birth certificate from several states away and they now have a new option. I can use a copy of my valid ID (which, if I was trying to get it for myself in order to obtain a valid ID would be impossible), a signature, and a check or money order. So that would mean coming up with an envelope, a stamp, and a money order for $15 (a lot of poor people do not have or cannot get a checking account). Most of this stuff can be purchased at a grocery store, if you've got the money and can get there, but it's about $20 total give or take and may be more depending on whether or not you've got access to public transportation or you've got to give somebody gas money. When you're struggling to pay the rent, $20 is a lot of money.
proof of address- This is easy if the utilities at the place where you live are in your name. If you are living in a household where they are not or if you have had to have someone else get stuff turned on for you in their name because you've got an old bill you can't afford to pay off or if you are sofa surfing or staying in shelters, you probably don't have two documents that prove you live where you say you live.
Personally, about half the time I've gone to the license branch, it has turned out that there is some reason I can't do what I came to do. Usually some document I didn't realize I needed. I don't have much of an excuse for that: I have internet access at home and I'm literate. What if I wasn't very literate, didn't have internet access and I didn't have the money for gas or a dependable vehicle?
None of this is a huge deal if you are not strapped for cash and you have reliable transportation. But I've been strapped for cash and have lacked reliable transportation, so I know that it can be a very big deal. Having someone not be able to vote for no other reason than that they lack access to resources is, IMO, wrong. We ought to be able to come up with a way to make things more accessible for people. If and when we do, I'd not have a big problem with requiring ID in order to vote.
Edit: I looked at my local public transit page and found that, unless you happen to live on the bus route the BMV is on, you're going to have to take two buses, most of which run on the hour. So it could be up to a five hour round trip. That doesn't include a possible trip to the social security office if your card is missing or the trip to the vital statistics office or grocery store to get a birth certificate.
“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
What cafe said, plus if you work normal business hours you have to take time off from work to go to the DMV. That only works if you work a decent job with PTO or at least the understanding that you might need to take unpaid time off to TCB.