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Voter Identification Cards, What's the Big Deal?

Ever stop and consider the role identification plays in our lives?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

I guess I am one of those citizens who doesn't understand what all the fuss is regarding voter identification cards. For as long as I can remember, I have always had such a card and cannot imagine voting without it. I certainly do not want someone else to vote on my behalf and I would hope election officials would verify all of the voters are eligible to do so. Besides, why should voting be any different than all of the other things we do requiring proper identification, for example:

* To operate an automobile.
* To register a vehicle.
* To open a bank account.
* To purchase or lease a house, condo, or apartment.
* To obtain a loan for a mortgage, car or anything else of substance.
* To start a job (needed for government reporting requirements).
* To apply for government aid or benefits, such as unemployment, social security, etc.
* To play or coach an organized sport, such as Little League.
* To be an adult leader in a Boy/Girl Scout Troop.
* To enter the military.
* To board an airplane or ship.
* To visit a foreign country.
* To purchase a gun.
* To make an in-store purchase using a check.
* To purchase alcohol.
* To visit a school campus, college, or company.
* To serve on a jury.
* To obtain a library card.
* To deposit garbage in the local dump.

That's right, you need proper identification to dump garbage, at least that's the way it is here in Pinellas County, Florida. There really aren't too many things you can do without some form of identification. Yet, there are people who balk at requiring proper identification to vote in elections, one of our most sacred duties as citizens, a task that is far more important than garbage disposal.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 32 states require some form of identification for voting; 18 do not, neither does the District of Columbia or our protectorates, such as Puerto Rico. In terms of the anticipated swing states for the upcoming election, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas require voter identification. However, New York, Illinois, and California do not.

Remarkably, Mexican citizens require a photo ID to vote in their country. In addition, the voter card has become the accepted way to prove one's identity, to open a bank account, board an airplane and buy beer. The Mexicans clearly understand the value of a valid identification card, why don't the Americans? Is it because someone has some ulterior motive for voting? Bottom-line, there is no valid reason for not having voter identification. It's a no-brainer.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeanne Dalaba June 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Well said! What IS the big deal (unless you don't have ID, which means you should not be voting)
gail June 02, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Another great and timely article Mr Bryce. An attempt to throw the election, could be could it?
Torrey Craig June 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM
What's the deal? When you register to vote you affirm that you are a citizen of the United States. Should you NOT be a citizen then you can be and should be charged under existing statues for committing a third degree felony. Existing law would have an individual found guilty of committing this type of fraud locked up for five years and the person would pay a fine of $5,000.00 How many people have been arrested and charged under the existing law? Or do we waste resources going on a fishing expedition? Or do we have internal passports issued by the our various state governments?
Luigi June 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Puerto Rico has had voter id cards since the 80's. The voter id card in itself is not the problem. It's how difficult you make the process of getting the id that's the problem. THAT is the issue. I also don't see the big deal about voter id cards, as long as you give people with very limited time and/or resources more than enough time to comply with the new laws. And that is simply not the case with a lot of the laws that are trying to get passed and have been passed.

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