|Letter: Photo IDs required for other things, why not voting?|
|Friday, February 10, 2012|
To the Editor:
When I enrolled in the first grade, 65 years ago, I had to present a birth certificate. My parents used my hospital birth certificate which contained my name, birth date, feet prints, the names of my parents and their place of birth, my mother’s finger print and the place of my birth. It also had a large, embossed gold seal and several signatures.
I used that same birth certificate when registering for my Social Security number, applied for a driver license, registered for the draft, registered for college admission, bought life insurance, applied for a marriage license, registered to vote and for everything else that needed proof of birth and citizenship.A few years ago the laws changed. When I applied for a passport, I was told I had to provide a “state certified birth certificate” and a picture. The U.S. and state government would no longer accept my voter’s registration card. They would not take my hospital birth certificate. I had to pay $10 to the state where I was born to get a “certified copy.” When my wife and I applied for Social Security and Medicate benefits, we had to present photo ID and “state certified birth certificates.” In second grade, I opened my first bank account through an in-school savings bank program. No ID was required. I began to save my pennies and nickels to take to school and deposit each banking day. I also went to the bank from time to time to deposit money or make a withdrawal. No ID was requested. But time and laws change. For several years now, when I open a bank account I am required to prove my citizenship. The bankers, through their computers, check my Social Security number and also look to see if I am a citizen. They ask for and scan my photo ID. When I moved to Tennessee I was required to show proof of citizenship and to have a new photo ID driver license.
Before moving to Mt. Juliet, I served as a Judge of Elections in the town and state where I lived. New voters were required to show their driver license the first time they voted. All voters were required to sign a card and I was required to match their signature with the signature on their application to vote. Also, I was required to verify the address, picture, etc. on their driver license or government issued ID. I never encountered a problem. No one complained.
In a recent speech, United States Attorney General Eric Holder spoke against the states that have passed new voter registration laws. He said, “After a thorough and fair review, we concluded that the state (of South Carolina) had failed to meet its burden of proving that the voting change would not have a racially discriminatory affect.” (i.e. “Photo Voter ID) He went on to say that he would do everything in his power to over rule the photo ID laws that several states have recently passed. (I am sure he would include Tennessee.)
My questions to Holder and to those who oppose the Photo Voter ID Law are: 1) How do people with no photo ID cash checks? How do they open bank accounts? How do children enroll in school, college or get jobs with no birth certificates? How do 18-year-old young men apply for Selective Service Registration Cards? 2) How do those with colds or allergies purchase over-the-counter drugs that contain ingredients used to manufacture crystal methamphetamine get medicine (a law that the most law officers lobbied for)? 3) Why are those against the new photo ID law stating that the poor, the minorities and we senior citizens are being discriminated against? 4) After almost every national election I have read news articles reporting about voter fraud. Why would anyone not want to take away every chance of voter fraud? I am puzzled. Could it be that some politicians, down deep inside, think their candidate cannot be elected unless many non-citizen voters are allowed to vote for their candidate? ID cards are free, and they make sense.
Ronald J. “Ron” Keller