Right-wing voter suppression is with us. Thirty states now have voter ID laws. There is no reason why anyone should be asked for identification on Election Day. There is no reason to hold up the line. Why not simply sign next to your name on the list of registered voters like we used to? Has there ever been a case in Utah of a voter using an assumed name?
Voter picture ID laws are designed to cause voter disenfranchisement. About 10 percent of eligible voters do not have any photo ID, and these are disproportionately low income and people who don’t own cars. That’s why Utah’s right-wing politicians made it a requirement for registered voters to produce ID before being allowed to cast a ballot.
In Utah, you must present a current valid Utah driver’s license, or current valid identification issued by the state or federal government (or a Utah concealed weapon permit). Some forms of non-photo ID are allowed, but you have to know the rules. If you can’t produce acceptable ID on the spot, you may cast a “provisional ballot” that will not count unless you provide valid voter identification to the election official within five days after the election (it takes three weeks to obtain a Utah ID card).
Those who say it’s no big deal to obtain a driver’s license or an official ID card might not have been to the DMV lately:
As a new resident of Utah, I have been attempting to acquire a Utah driver license. The Utah Driver License Division website lists the identification requirements: (1) legal status (birth certificate); (2) Social Security card; (3) residency verification (two statements proving your Utah address, such as a bank statement, utility or property tax bill); and (4) driving experience (valid driver license from another state).
First attempt: I was rejected because both my bank statement and utility bill had been printed from the Internet (only one Internet document is allowed). I then had my nearby bank print out a statement, and it was rejected because it had not been mailed to me.
Second attempt: I brought my property tax bill instead. It was rejected because it was older than 60 days, even though the website says property tax bills have to be dated “within one year.”
Third attempt: They took all of the above, but rejected me again because I did not have my 40-year-old marriage certificate. Is every married Utah woman required to show her marriage certificate?
Why doesn’t Utah simply accept two government-issued identifications (California driver license and Social Security card) as proof of citizenship and identity?
All this is of course unconstitutional because it’s a poll tax. The fee for a Utah ID Card is $18.00. A driver’s license costs $25.00. Forcing an American citizen to pay in order to vote is a clear violation of the Constitution’s 24th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or the other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”
Of course,Republicans claim that voter ID laws are designed to prevent voter fraud. This claim is easy to debunk. Brad Friedman:
[I]f “voter fraud” was truly a concern of the Republican Party, surely they would require that Iowa caucus goers present a photo ID before casting their vote. But, because such laws have never been about “voter fraud,” once again this year, the Party will not bother to require Iowa Republicans to present any such ID before voting in the all-important caucuses next week.
Wikipedia: Voter ID laws (United States)
Tennessee Agency Charges 86-Year Old Veteran An Unconstitutional Poll Tax To Obtain Voter ID
93-Year-Old Tennessee Woman Who Cleaned State Capitol For 30 Years Denied Voter ID
Republicans Require No Photo ID To Vote In Republican Iowa Caucus
Related One Utah Post:
ID-ocracy in Utah?