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Is the Real ID a New Poll Tax?

Updated on October 9, 2011

Real ID Act a New Poll Tax?


Is the Real ID Tax a New Poll Tax?

As of a year ago in Florida I was required to pay for another driver's license even though my license was not required to be renewed but the law of the Real ID required I get a new high security license. I believe it cost me approximately a $100 dollars. I was really mad because I am a safe driver and haven't been required to show up for a license renewal in years. And while my old driver's license photo was good it is much better then the one I have now. But the DMV was kind enough to take several pictures ot try and make me happy with my new photo.

What is clear is that the Real ID is required in order to vote. And the Real ID puts my name and photograph into a national data base instead of just the local DMV. But it is the law and I complied. Funny how no one in this country is ever given credit for complying with the law even when they think it is a silly law.

The Real ID in Florida is rather sophisticated. It has security features which exceed passport standards. And it is required in order to drive a car, access medical care and even vote. It also precludes individuals who can't afford the Real ID from many privileges in society. I asked to have the fees waved and there was no policy to wave fees. This literally impacts a large proportion of Florida. It precludes Floridians who can't afford to pay for the Real ID which makes the Real ID Act unconstitutional. Critics of the Real ID Act believe this Act is nothing more then a poll tax.

No Poll Tax


A Compelling Argument

There is a compelling argument the the Real ID Act is a poll tax which excludes the poor from voting. This is extremely concerning since everyone who pays sales tax deserves representation. So I understand why immigrants are offended by this law as it does seem to eliminate their right to vote while they are paying taxes.

As I understand it there are several programs to offer other cards to this population but then is that fair to people like me who have paid the full price of the Real ID, requested the waiver and then my government hands out free or discounted cards to people who are in this country illegally?

So in the 2012 election is the Real ID Act a new poll tax which discriminates against the impoverished?


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    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi HSchnieder,

      People are very passionate about this subject and there isn't a great deal of understanding so I was just writing an educational piece about some of the controversy.

      You have added more food for thought as I wasn't aware it was a partisan subject. I thought it was simply a return of the poll tax.

      And I guess we will see which party benefits from the Real ID Act as it completely opens Florida Elections results to be contested in courts. And last I checked Barack Obama appointted the Justices.

      Thanks for reading, commneting and providing feedback.


    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      it is a poll tax and it is going on all over our country in the newly won GOP states. The Koch Brothers funded ALEC policy making organization has come up with these laws to restrict Democratic voting. It is unconstitutional, un-American, and an obvious power grab. Voter restriction laws like these are taking place all over. The Obama victory in 2008 scared the GOP into these unlawful measures. They must be stopped. Thank you for writing this excellent article showing your experiences and exposing this nonsense.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi tsmog,

      Take a few aspirin. This is giving everyone headaches. I would submit the Real ID Act requires citizens to pay for their registeration in the National Data base. Now I did it because I follow the laws. But there are many people who couldn't afford to obey the laws. And trust me I have fear I will lose that card because I know how much it cost to replace.

      Yes the demogrpahics of Florida are complicated. And most senior citizens are not required to comply with the real ID act and that is why I asked to have my fees waived. So there is a disparity about how the Real ID Act is implemented. And finally many see this as a poll tax.

      So do the elderly peoples' vote count as they don't have a Real ID so their identites could easily be stolen? And whle I have paid and others have not should my vote count more then those that don't have the Real ID?

      And in five years when the USA needs more money are they going to come up with yet another scheme to drain perfectly law obeiding citizens of their cash in the name of a national data base?

      So Florida maybe in for a completely contestable election because they could challenge the Real ID Act as a poll tax which doesn't represent the true desires of the electorate.

      Thanks for reading, commenting and providing feedback.


    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Hello JT. I could wander a bunch on this. It has struck more than one nerve. The first thing that comes to mind is the absurdity of the cost to the public as you have pointed out very succinctly. Just what exactly creates this cost and what sharing will occur with the information.

      Next, the oddity that comes to mind is the demographics of Florida related to the importance of the Polls as history pointed out not too long ago.

      Also, If I remember correctly Florida is a bell weather state. It will be interesting to see which states follows this if not already.

      Now, I think back on John Naisbitt and his books Megatrends and Megatrends 2000. I am feeling I better buy them again - LOL.

      I have a headache this is too complicated - smile.