The Mystery of the Disenfranchised Voter

This past week, MSNBC has repeatedly advanced the claim that this year as many as 5 million voters will be disenfranchised by unjust state laws requiring them to produce government-issued photo IDs when voting. MSNBC's newest 'star,' Al Sharpton, even hosted a special program devoted to this outrage.


On Friday, I changed the title on a car, and needed photo ID. I bought something at OfficeMax with a credit card and needed photo ID.


Neither you or I can travel by air, rent a car, check into a motel, cash a check or money-order, rent a post office box, win over $600 at bingo, casino or racetrack without a photo ID. We can't get a job with a reputable employer, rent an apartment or home from a reputable landlord, enroll a child in public school, get a public library card, and certainly can't buy a gun without a photo ID. We can't rent a walker or wheelchair from a medical supply company, get care at any doctor's office or hospital I know of without it. We can't get married, make bail, make funeral arrangements, obtain inheritance left us by will or insurance policy. We can't even get certain over-the-counter cold medicines or have a prescription filled at a pharmacy without showing a government-issued photo ID.


Betcha a bunch of these folks buy lottery tickets every week - how do they plan on cashing a winner with no photo ID?


Though I have no first-hand knowledge in this area, I would assume - hope - that you can't get unemployment compensation, food stamps or any other government hand-outs without proving you are who you purport to be, which presumably requires photo ID. If you can get the goodies without it, there's an outrage. So far, every pitiful person to be deprived of their vote I've seen trotted out on TV looks like they might very well be getting some government benefits. A lot of them look like they just might be on prescription medicine. If they're getting drugs at pharmacies without photo ID, there's an outrage.


Because I am, among many things, involved with the sport and business of harness racing in the mid-west, I have some dealings with the Amish. To own a racehorse, get a pass to enter the racetrack grounds to conduct business, or sell a horse via an auction, they need government issued photo ID. The Amish. Who drive horses-and-buggies, not cars.


Who are these 5 million people who don't own or rent homes or apartments, aren't gainfully and legally employed but aren't collecting government benefits, don't have bank accounts and don't cash checks, who don't get prescriptions filled, or ever travel but by hoof or bus? How, I wonder, are these 5 million cave dwellers functioning in the modern world without a photo ID? I rarely go three days in a row without somebody demanding to see mine or, sometimes, make a copy of it.


Is it really an outrageous imposition that someone who has the opportunity to determine who gets to reside in the White House for four or eight years? Voters elect presidents who issue society-altering lifetime Supreme Court appointments, create new agencies and appoint czars with vast powers, put us into trillions of dollars of debt, wage undeclared or declared war. Why shouldn't those voters be asked to evidence they are who they clam to be, and - also, I'd suggest - are a U.S. citizen with the legal right to wield that power? If we refuse to enforce our borders, the least we might do is safeguard our electoral process.


I realize we were a little loosey-goosey about this president's own proof of citizenship, but that's an exception. Typically we require those elected to prove identity and citizenship; we don't just take their word for it, or settle for a Xerox copy of a Justin Bieber Fan Club Card with their name on it. Shouldn't everybody electing the guy at least meet the lowest minimum standard too?