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What if you don't look like your picture?

Those-were-the-daysby Yvonne DiVita

If I used my old college photo, or my legally issued ID from NYS (issued when I turned 18), or the pic of me here, taken when I was ... young... to get access to vote... I wouldn't be voting. I mean, seriously, do you look like all of your ID photos? I don't.

Well, the political clowns are at it again. Wearing their stupidity hats - here's the scoop as reported on Ms.blog:

By Ashley Lopez

Ruthelle Frank, an 84-year-old resident of a small town in Wisconsin, is suing her home state because, for the first time in her adult life, she might not be able to vote. In 2011, Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature enacted a new law that requires state-issued photo identification for all voters. Because Frank cannot drive, she has never held a license. Last November, Frank’s daughter drove her to their local Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain a photo ID.

Frank says she knew she did not have a proper birth certificate, so she took her baptismal certificate, marriage certificate and Social Security card to the DMV, hoping that would be sufficient.

It was not.

When she got to the counter, a woman looked at the baptismal certificate and said, “Well, this is illegal. How do I know you are not an alien?”

“I was…about to cry,” Frank recalls, “because I have lived at the same address for 83 years.”

Frank left the DMV without an ID, and now may have to pay $200 to have her birth certificate changed because her maiden name is misspelled.

I totally feel this poor woman's pain. My experience getting a new driver's license here in CO, after Blocking-the-vote-button-300x275 moving from NY, was similar. I did have my previous license, with a picture on it, but I did NOT have a 'legitimate' birth certificate. I had a document saying I'd been born in NY, because the my birth certificate, so I'd been informed, had been lost in a fire. <sigh>

I had my SS card. But, because the 'document' from NYS wasn't a vaild birth certificate, the DMV shooed me away with the wave of a pudgy hand. I had to jump through a LOT of hoops, and pay some pretty numbers in cash, to get my 'real' birth certificate (which, though lost when I called for it was miraculously found when an agency I hired asked about it). Mind you, this is how bureaucracy works: the day I tried to get the DMV to issue me a license, with the 'wrong' documents, I was told to go get a passport and then return to the DVM, and then they would give me a license. Because my documents were good enough for a passport!

Anybody see anything wrong with that!?!

What does this new 'you must have photo ID' mean? In part, it means we take our voting rights seriously. We expect those who vote have proper identification - which could be a SS card, a license, a library card, I don't know. In this day and age when we can forge anything... it's hard to know what to trust. But, if someone can show a series of ID - a SS card, a bill to their home address, a credit card in their name, and... a real live person with them to vouch for who they are, why isn't that good enough? Picture ID is all very good, if the picture is all very good and we know... government ID pics are anything but good. Hey, just take a gander at your passport photo...really, if it wasn't taken yesterday, does that really look like you?

The biggest worry is that too many people will be denied the right to vote because they don't have picture ID. People such as the elderly - or the poor among us (who don't drive or have a passport). did I say the elderly? 

I do not know how bad voter fraud is. I do read about it and so far, no one has gone so far as to say it's rampant across the country. Because, after all, if you want a certain politician to win, you need to get fake ID for a whole lotta people...so they can vote. 

Yes, that's sarcasm. 

In the Ms. article, Lopez notes:

A 2006 report by the Brennan Center concurs, noting that laws requiring documents such as a birth certificate or proof of naturalization before registering to vote create an impenetrable barrier for millions of Americans. The center found that 7 percent of Americans did not have access to citizenship documents. If that figure holds true today, it amounts to 15 million adult citizens who can’t readily produce proof of citizenship.

Strict photo-ID requirements and proof-of-citizenship laws also particularly affect women who change their name after getting married or divorced. Because updating documentation takes time and money, these laws create an additional barrier for low-income women. According to the Brennan Center, only 66 percent of voting-age women had ready access to proof-of-citizenship documentation with their current legal name. The transgender community could also be greatly affected, since many of those who have transitioned to another gender haven’t updated their IDs. According to a recent national survey, only 59 percent [PDF] of trans people have updated photo IDs.

So, I rest my case. What if you don't look like your picture? Should you be denied the right to vote? 

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