feloniousmonk: . It's been established in the past decade or so that in the United States it is unacceptable to "dredge up the past" and investigate these sorts of things.
Why am I opposed to the new Voter ID bill in Wisconsin? Here’s one reason: it shouldn’t have to cost you money to exercise your constitutional rights. In the case of a poor person, it can be a significant amount of money just to get a state ID.
Let’s walk through this. Here are my assumptions: a person working for minimum wage who lives on the north side of Milwaukee* and was born in Milwaukee County.
The fee for a state ID card (not a driver’s license) is $28. But to get that, you have to have a birth certificate. To get that, you have to go to the register of deeds office in the Courthouse or mail your request. The fee is $20. Many people in poor neighborhoods don’t have checking accounts, so you have to get a money order. I don’t know how much that costs at one of the check cashing places so prevalent in poor neighborhoods, but it’s $1.10 at the post office. It takes 2-3 weeks to get it. You also need to show the DMV proof of identity. We’ll just assume you have a Social Security Card. If you lost yours, well, I don’t know what you do, because they require proof of identity like a state-issued identification card or a passport, which of course you don’t have. At least the card is free, but from personal experience, you’ll have a long wait in the Social Security office.
Which brings me to another point: time. The DMV is only open during the weekdays. If you work a minimum wage job, you’re unlikely to have paid time off. So it will cost you $7.25/hr to go to the DMV. First you have to get there. You don’t have a driver’s license, so it costs you $2.25 by bus. From 35th & North, the bus takes 30 minutes to get to the Downtown DMV. I’ve never been in and out of the DMV in under an hour, and the downtown branch tends to be busy, so let’s allow one hour at the DMV and one hour to and from. Then, of course, you have to get to work, so let’s allow another half an hour for that. That’s a bare minimum of 2.5 hours to get your ID card, or $18.13 in lost wages.
Let’s add it up!
ID card fee $28**
Birth certificate $20
Money order $1.10
Postage for birth certificate request 44c
Minimum wage $7.25/hr * 2.5 hrs = $18.13
Bus fare $2.25 each way * 2 = $5.50
That’s a lot of money if you’re poor. Didn’t we outlaw poll taxes because they disenfranchised poor voters? Yep, they were abolished in the 24th amendment to the Constitution.
*The poorest section of the city
** I didn't realize the the Voter IDs were free, but the point still stands (see the video in the original post)
Many of Florida's year 2000 election night problems stemmed from usability and ballot design factors with voting systems, including the potentially confusing "butterfly ballot". Many voters had difficulties with the paper-based punch card voting machines and were either unable to understand the required process for voting or unable to perform the process. This resulted in an unusual amount of overvote (voting for more candidates than is allowed) and undervotes (voting for fewer than the minimum candidates, including none at all). Many undervotes were potentially caused by either voter error or errors with the punch card paper ballots resulting in hanging, dimpled, or pregnant chad.
A current and valid Wisconsin driver license.
A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day (NOT for first-time voters registering by mail).
A university, college or technical institute fee card (must include photo).
A university, college or technical institute identification card (must include photo).
A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
A check or other document issued by a unit of government.
... may be legal if the primary purpose is to identify those who are not properly registered to vote and prevent them from voting illegally, but not if the purpose is to disenfranchise legitimately registered voters on the basis of a technicality. (Wikipedia)
« Older A Simple Plan to Fix the American Political System... | Social consensus through the i... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt