The Voter Photo ID Laws vs The Disenfranchised debate

I’m still officially on a writers hiatus, but wanted to post this as the topic had caught my eye in the forums. There is a lot of contention being thrown about over the subject of whether or not laws mandating Voter Photo IDs will disenfranchise people such as the elderly, the homebound, the handicapped, ect.

Now I'm probably going to regret interjecting here but I’m going to be dumb enough (or masochistic enough if you prefer) to share my two cents on this subject.

I have epilepsy and for this reason don't drive. Since I don’t have a drivers license I rely on a State ID for proving my identity. Now this handy-dandy item has many neat applications; with it I've been able to prove I am alive and the parent of the children whom I have enrolled in the public education system. I have used it to validate my personhood when going to the hospital for treatment. It has helped me verify my existence when getting my prescriptions filled (pharmacies around here require assurance that you are who you say you are when purchasing medicines - even if it is life-saving meds such as the ones I've been prescribed). The ID allowed me to apply for a debit card. It allowed me entrance into college. It allows me to purchase beer or liquor. It allows me to rent R-rated movies. It allows me to book a motel room. And it provides me the necessary confirmation I need to board an airplane. It provides all these wonderful services because I cannot, in all good conscience, drive.

Now, getting a state ID is, I suppose, a huge hassle in the eyes of some…I had to apply at the same dept. everyone else goes to obtain their drivers license. I had to provide my birth certificate and social security number for the process. In the future, when I go to renew the ID I'll have to either walk or get someone to return me to the dept in order for them to take a new photo of me. Some may call having to go through all this being "disenfranchised"; and if I was a feel-sorry-for-myself type of person I might be tempted to use that word to describe myself. But I don't. In the world we live in, and the by the nature of the world we live in, common sense necessitates having proof of identity. Without photo ID we can't even get into a Michelle Obama book-signing. There is good reason for this, as there are so many amoral people out there who don't think twice about using violence against others, and especially public figures..

When we are all obliged to pull out the photo ID's in order to go to a simple book-signing -or to buy medicines or to get on a plane, ect.- then I certainly don't begrudge photo ID's being required for voting purposes. The suggestion that the laws requiring them are geared toward only making an imposition on potential Democratic voters is ludicrous. I am an independent voter -in my life I've voted Dem and I've voted GOP and I can't promise which party I'll vote for in the future. But I can say that unscrupulous campaign practices are not the exclusive activity of either party. Some years ago my dog received mail from the GOP, a reminder for him to vote in the upcoming election that year. Another time, a relative of ours received mail from the Democrats, asking him to switch parties and become a registered Dem so he could help send their candidate to the White House. This relative had been dead for some years.

I don’t know who the political geniuses are that reach out to animals and the dead. What I do know is that every American citizen has the right to be protected from having their vote cancelled out at the ballot by an ineligible person (or ghost, or dog, ect.). I don’t want this to happen to me; I don’t want this to happen to any eligible voter.

So if I have to hobble downtown on a walker at 70 in order to update a Voters ID then I will do so. Of course, I have a feeling that by that time technology will have made it much simpler for all eligible Americans to cast legitimate votes.

In the meantime, I feel that bleeding hearts fortunate enough not to qualify as “disenfranchised” need to ask yourselves why do you resent laws supportive of Voter ID’s so very much? Far better than resenting it, why not give credit to those of us willing to apply for them when yes, it makes for an imposition but one we are willing to go through in the effort to protect the rights of all qualified voters?

Instead of complaining about the potential disenfranchising of certain peoples here is an idea: get off your backside and offer to drive your “disenfranchised” neighbors to the Voter ID dept. to get their photo ID’s! You do care that their single votes won't be cancelled out by an illegitimate one, don’t you? You do? GREAT! This way you’ll be making YOUR contribution to safeguarding their votes. And who knows? This kind of compassion might grow on you enough you’d be willing to even drive those same neighbors to the voting booth come election day.

Remember, whether we are neurologically impaired, handicapped, seniors, the sick or just happen to live way out in the boonies without transportation and have a 3-mile trek to the voting booth facing us, we don't need bleeding heart lip-service. What we want is our voices to be heard, our precious votes to be counted and the true consensus of the American people to be represented in elections.

Until next time, bright blessings to you and yours.


This Hub ©August 31, 2012 by Beth Perry

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Comments 20 comments

SassySue1963 4 years ago

Thank you for your input from the eyes of someone that the left is claiming will be "disenfranchised". It is ludicrous to make such a claim for an ID that we are required to have in order to accomplish so many things in our daily lives. I am currently without any means of transportation as well. If I have to walk the two miles to vote, then that is what I will do. According to the liberal left though, the Government should give me a car! It's not fair! I'm disenfranchised because I don't have a car! (no public transportation here).

You're absolutely correct though. If you are so very concerned about those who need help to either get an ID or get to the voting booth, then get off your duff and DO something.

Great Hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

HI Beth-- just came across this hub by chance and wanted to comment. You make a really good reasoned arguement and I applaud anybody who stands up against the crazy conspiracy theories out there from both the left and the right. I will say this though, that since the 2000 election, the dirty tricks redisgtricting that took place under the Bush Adminisgtration, and especially since the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, Liberal Democrats like me are very nervous.

That said, I totally agree with you that Voter ID's definitely need to be overhauled and tightened up so that dead people and small animals are not besieged by both parties. It is happening. It was not so many years ago that the photo ID for non drivers that you refer to did not exist, so things are getting better.

Though I am generally liberal and progressive in my politics, like you I have voted across party lines in the past both locally and nationally. I long ago stopped writing political hubs or airing my political views on Hubpages forums. I save that for my " Political Packrat" blog. You are a brave woman-- thumbs up:-)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

SassySue1963, thank you. And on the transportation problem, I'm going to remember you in my prayers tonight. Hang in there, and keep the faith and I truly appreciate you taking the time to drop by :)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

robie2, thanks for the input and kind words. And yeah, I know how you feel. I don't have too much patience for either party any more. I tend to think from a Libertarian standpoint these days, but even here, the crusader-type antics some party members display toward anyone who disagrees with them can be downright childish.

I appreciate you coming by; don't be a stranger :)


American View profile image

American View 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

Beth,

very good hub, maybe you should consider writing more.

Due to very bad health, I'm a part of the system. At one point I was in the hospital for over two years. During that time I lost everything. So before I can leave the hospital I had to prove who I was, only now I couldn't. So I had to get a birth certificate, Social Security card, photo ID, it was not easy but it was able to do it.

I wonder why the Democrats are looking to put up excuses against the law when people like you and me a willing to go out of our way to get our votes counted.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

American View, I am so sorry to hear of this! But kudos to you for not giving up and struggling to get your life back in order.

That is a good question, too. My speculation is that there are a good number of Dems that fear their party won't have enough legitimate votes and are seeking to shelter any and all illegitimate voters they can get to the polling booths. Having said this, I still don't believe voter fraud and intimidation, or at least the temptation to use these tactics, are exclusive to any one party.

Thanks much for dropping in and commenting!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Originally, only male landowners were eligible to vote, so we've come a long way!

Proper identification is a tool needed at the polling place to insure the integrity of the vote. Votes cast by legitimate citizens can instantly be neutralized by fraudulent voters, so yes, by all means, make sure the vote is honest.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Will, so true! Thanks much for dropping by and commenting :)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Great information, Beth!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

TY Dexter :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Its a similar thing over here, there is on the one hand the no I don't want them, and of course the yes's too. At this moment in time they are still talking about whether to bring in a national id or not, we will have to see, hows the book going? just took a peak at your site! lol! nosy is as nosy does as they say! well done for writing all those books, I am having trouble trying to translate mine from old typewriter to computer, I wrote it back in the eighties! phew!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Nell, you'll have to let me know how that goes. I didn't realize they were contemplating voter ID's over there.

The story is coming along well, but I've changed it to a new (and hopefully more exciting) format. Thanks much for checking out my site!

Wow! Is yours a novel?


Skarlet profile image

Skarlet 4 years ago from California

Great hub.

Congrats on getting your ID. I am glad you wrote this. Voted up and shared.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Skarlet, thanks much!


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Beth,

As much as I detest most government being involved in people's lives, this is one aspect of it that I'm in agreement with you on.

It'd be much easier if all of us could identify everyone else by sight alone, but since that's not possible, identity verification has it's points. I'd rather produce a card than have my skin-scanned any day.

femme


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Femmeflashpoint, I hear you on government intrusion. And I find it ironic (at best) that an administration which has no problem in using drones to monitor citizen lives and which attempts to suppress the freedom of speech of movie makers still seeks to play Rights advocate when it is convenient.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The real reason for opposing voter ID is obvious...cheating.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Pi-shaaw, Will! Why American politicians never stoop to cheating at elections - they are the salt of the warming earth, the carbon footprint of Gorean theology and Chicago dough all rolled into one here ;)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Do I detect the elusive scent of sarcasm Beth? In fact, a rather heavy scent?

^_^


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

My homemade parfum; I dab it behind my ears sparingly, gingerly...usually :0

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