Thursday, 29 December 2011

The ID Saga

Around the US....almost every week, there's this arguement going on....over voter ID. The Republicans want a standard ID check at the door as you come in.  The Democrats don't want any ID involved, because most poor American lack the ability to get a standard ID....so they'd be unlikely to vote (or this is often used as the best argument).

A hundred years ago....some guy with a funny accent could show up at the county office....simply swear he was a local resident and citizen.....and they'd let him vote.  To be honest....nobody in America ever had a standard ID until driver's licenses came along.  GI's had this paper type ID with their serial number (not their social security number) and that didn't really flip into a picture ID until the 1970s (thanks to those kindly Kodak Instamatic guys).

I found it fascinating that after I joined up with the Air Force.....they issued out a second card to me....the meal card.  With this fine piece of cardboard ID....you got a free meal at the chow-hall.  Without it.....you paid.  Later, the Air Force introduced me to the line-badge....which meant I could drive out on the runway.  Then they introduced me to the Air Force driver's license.  Later, there was a security badge to enter secure areas.

Today, the only way I can operate a US military computer....is with a nice chip-like card which I insert into the keyboard.  Without that card, I don't get access.  If I forgot my billfold?  Well.....I might as well turn around and go home.

I've been conditioned in various ways to accept ID cards for just about any and all reasons.  The more you associate yourself with any act of public trust.....you end up having to accept an ID.

So I come back to voting.  Any idiot could register in five different states today and vote five different times.  My humble guess is that well over 100k Americans vote in multiple elections.  As for illegal voters?  I'd be guessing well over 200k illegals vote throughout the US.  We've accepted this as normal.  Some folks would like to dismiss the problem without fixing it.....but it just wouldn't be fair (so the Democrats would say).

The comical side of this is that you ought to be showing some kind of ID to enter a hospital or to get a narcotic, but you never hear that argument much.  Same for opening up a bank account or cashing a check.  The same ought to be clear for getting a credit card via someone.

Europeans?  Well.....if you show up at any election building.....you have to show your national ID card, period.  No exceptions.  The cost?  Typically around $20 and it usually lasts for ten years.  If you were pretty poor off....you'd get a certificate from the welfare folks and you get a free card (typically).

It's mostly all a game.  A bunch of illegal voters vote, and it's best that we just all accept that.  Eventually, the illegal voters will tend to vote Republican, and then you can bet that we hear some big words on the necessity of fixing the issue.  But you have to wait on this.....patience is the key.