Voting Rights... a sane approach to an insane problem...
As we say in Spanish… Ya! Basta!
Enough is enough!
I am talking about all this blathering about voter registration, curtailment of rights, political gain, and disenfranchisement of folks, primarily those who are older or poor.
As I understand it, conservatives are saying there are potentially thousands of people voting in elections who have no right to vote because they are here illegally.
Liberals on the other hand are saying that requiring people to have a government issued ID will be a financial or logistical hardship on elderly and poor people and potentially college students as well.
Can we all agree that maybe, just maybe, both sides are a little bit right here? And then look for a sane middle ground solution?
Libs, get over it! What can possibly be wrong with requiring everyone in our country to show proof of legal residence as a prerequisite to voting? The idea that requiring people to show ID to vote is not some rogue plot to disenfranchise enough voters to steal an election.
And you conservatives, is it too much to ask that you acknowledge that there are in fact some people who have lived here legally for years, who just don’t have any form of ID that you would accept? I am thinking 87 year old Aunt Clara who doesn’t drive and has lost her birth certificate and has been voting since the Eisenhower Admin.
So, what should we do? Here is where I would start.
First, for the integrity of our election system, we should set a goal that every registered voter must show proof of legal residency. In Mexico, where I work, every single person of voting age must have a valid federal election identification card. If Mexico can pull this off, so can we.
Second, let’s understand that for some people, this really will be a hardship and come up with a system that both gets us towards our stated goals, but takes into account some very real world issues.
We should not be denying Aunt Clara her right to vote.
Let’s pick an arbitrary age, perhaps 55, and say everyone below that age better get on board. If you are older than 55, there will be no change in your status. In just a few short years, we will get to 100% compliance without denying anyone their right to vote.
Then we make getting a state ID free if you do not have a driver’s license. The system is already in place for doing this, so the cost would be negligible.
For little Johnny who is in college, he should be able to show his drivers license or hs free state issued ID and his college ID card.
By grandfathering in the people who are over 55, we take the issue of senior citizens who might have lived under a more lax system off the complaint board. By providing free state issued ID’s if you do not drive, we eliminate a potential problem for the extremely poor. By accepting a combination of both state and college issued ID, we are making it easier for non-resident students to vote.
By designing a system that allows all legal residents the opportunity to vote, and prevents those who are not registered from tampering with our voting system, we will be insuring that our elections will not be subject to manipulation by people with no right to vote.
Finally, and this is huge, these provisions should be enshrined in federal law so that we have one standard across this great country.
A fifty state country with fifty different electoral laws is election fraud in the making. Only with a single policy, with broad agreement across party and state lines will we solve this issue equitably.
Your thoughts are welcomed…