An ID is required to get on a Plane but not to Vote?

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I was shocked to hear that I did not have to show my ID when I went to go vote in the 2012 election.

In this year’s election, I was happy to take advantage of early voting and head to one of the voting centers here in Houston. Fantastic, did not have to wait in line and had my drivers license and voters registration card in my hand ready to show. When I offered both documents to the lady behind the desk she said, “I don’t need to see your ID, the voters registration card will do”. What??

How does this lady know that I am the person listed on the registration card? What if I had dropped this card in my building and some stranger picked it up? What if it got lost in the mail and some person who may not even be a US citizen received it? Who is to say that I really am the person listed on the voters registration card?!

What kind of bizarre country do we live in where no identification is required to vote, yet we must have ID in order to:

  • Get on a plane
  • Cash a check
  • Get back in the country
  • Get utility service

It’s not like the Government is asking to show proof that you paid taxes and are a law abiding citizen along with an ID card (though that wouldn’t be a bad idea). So obviously I was intrigued to do a bit of research to find out why an ID is not required, at least not here in Texas. It turns out, a Federal Court blocked a Texas law that would require photo identification on the grounds that such a law would impose a “financial¬† burden” on poor minority voters. Excuse me? The only people who buy this excuse are those that have their head in the sand.

2 thoughts on “An ID is required to get on a Plane but not to Vote?

  1. I don’t think it is unreasonable to try to protect the public faith in the fairness of voting results by “guarding the gate” with an ID check. Eric flagged four other instances where an ID is required, situations where your physical or financial life are at risk and most people want the additional layer of protection. I suggest the current stopgap situations are really pointing out the high priority need for a fast, cheap, and definite identity check database. Does anyone else see the answer as junking all the photo and paper ID checks and going to a purely biologic check? For example, collect fingerprints when folks register to vote and when they go to the polls. You have to register anyway, it costs nothing to provide a print, we already have integrated national databases to hold print data, and you can never forget to take your fingerprints with you.

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