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Voter ID: Not Disenfranchisement

September 3, 2012

I’m a Texan. Like all the other parts of this country, we have people here who aren’t eligible to vote in our elections for various reasons (too young; criminal convictions; not here legally; whatever). We also have people who are all too happy to stuff ballot boxes and do other, rotten things because "election integrity" means precisely jack to them.

I fully support my state’s attempt to make all voters show valid ID before casting our ballots. Why? Because voting is essential to liberty. I’m an eligible voter who goes out and casts ballots when the polling places are open. Fraudulent voting compromises this process; stuffing ballot boxes means that my vote doesn’t matter and will be overwhelmed not by citizens playing by the same rules and laws as I do, but by scum-sucking, cheating sons of bitches. Even if the cheaters are voting for the same candidates I am, fraudulently cast ballots erode an election’s integrity and, therefore, should not be tolerated at all.

I must provide valid identification of one sort or another (driver’s license, state-issued ID, birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) before I:

-Open a bank account
-Cash a check or money order (including government checks)
-Open accounts with places like the electric company
-Get a job (even for temporary work at an agency like Manpower)
-Join the military
-Rent a post-office box
-Get a library card
-Purchase a firearm
-Get my Concealed Handgun License
-Gamble (lotto tickets, a trip to Oklahoma or Vegas, whatever)
-Get on an airplane
-Drink (or buy the alcohol to take home)
-Buy tobacco
-Pay by check (mostly outdated these days, but it does still happen from time to time)
-Get my college ID card
-Purchase certain kinds of allergy medicine (in fact, that information is logged, along with how much I purchase)
-Do business with a rental yard, agency, whatever
-See the doctor (even when I’m paying all by myself, with cash, they want ID)

Other, miscellaneous things worth noting:

-Before I could play baseball as a child, my mother had to produce my birth certificate.
-Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are hardly the only controlled substances out there, whether by law or store policy. I must identify myself before I purchase spray paint, R-rated DVDs, Sharpie markers, and a bunch of other things. Why? Because the government and/or Walmart said so.
-I have to have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle on public roads (versus driving in the field on my property, which is how all the Mains kids started learning to drive).
-If I want to leave the U.S. for whatever reason (vacation, business trip, so forth and so on), I must have a valid passport.
-On military installations, no military or dependent ID means no sale. If I forgot my ID or didn’t have one (like when, as a teenager, I visited one of my cousins), cashiers could not, and would not, sell me so much as a pack of gum. When I forgot my ID during one PX visit, the cashier couldn’t do anything for me even though a) she recognized me and b) I was in uniform.

Why in the world shouldn’t I have to identify myself before I vote?

I’d be far more inclined to agree with objections to a voter-ID requirement here in Texas if there were evidence that eligible voters were being screwed by anybody but themselves. It isn’t the state’s fault, or my fault, or anybody else’s fault, that Voter X does not take care of business before the last-possible minute. Elections are scheduled well in advance, so there’s no excuse for a lack of personal responsibility. Yes, I’m sympathetic when unexpected problems happen, but most of the objections to voter ID would not be issues if individuals did what we, as adults, are supposed to do.

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