The Voter ID Controversy

The voter ID controversy has sparked a voter bill from the Democratic congressional representatives that include Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who was in the thick of the 60’s civil rights movement. Read more about that here, where there is a link to the actual bill. Those against the new voter ID laws argue that it keeps the younger folks from voting, because of having trouble in obtaining documents such as a birth certificate due to costs. I do understand getting birth certificate when you no longer live in the state of your birth can cost up to $50.00. Yes, I agree the cost can be an issue.

My birth certificate was lost and I had to obtain one for a job a few years ago. Fortunately I live in the state of my birth. I ordered mine online and receive it in two days. It cost $14.00 due to shipping and handling. So the argument gets somewhat deflated in my example, because these young people will have to supply a birth certificate for significant employment among other things.  I hope the parents of those just starting out to vote know where they kept their children’s birth certificates.

The other argument is that there are elderly who voted for years and will not be allowed to vote from now on because they cannot secure a birth certificate to get a photo ID due to loss and/or being born at a time when recordings of births missed a lot of people, especially if you were not born in a hospital. I know many of you do not see this as a problem, but I do.

For example, 93 years old Viviette Applewhite who voted for decades will no longer be able to vote because of the new PA ID voter law. I have read some online comments challenging how Mrs. Applewhite is able to get prescription drugs without an ID.  There are a few (such as my 90 years old cousin) but really,  how many people do you see out and about in their 90s getting what they need on their own? It is usually someone younger getting their medicine. I take turns with my sister getting our mother’s prescriptions and we do not get asked for her ‘s or our IDs.

When I first went out in the work force in the early 70s, I was not required to provide a birth certificate. That changed for me some years later. Photo ID is far more a requirement these days than it was even when I was in my 20s. I do feel some provision should be made for registered elderly voting citizens like Mrs Applewhite who cannot obtain a birth certificate so they can continue to vote.

Now I do feel the voter ID laws are necessary to combat voter fraud, because there is evidence of it among Democrats and Republicans. I just feel the requirement of a birth certificate for a photo ID is easier to secure if you were not born in the earlier part of the 1900s.  This is hurting those among the voting elderly, but not so much the young voters.


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