Monday, January 06, 2014

Voter ID

The NC Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, has created yet another totally unnecessary problem.  This time it's voter ID.

The new law, which is scheduled to go into effect beginning in 2016, will require all potential voters to present an acceptable photo ID.  Therein lies the problem.  The new law requires that photo ID must contain the "Full" name, and it must match the name on the voter registration books.

What is the "Full" name?  Normally we would define this as first name, middle name and last name. But, what about a married woman? What is her "Full" name?

Here is a hypothetical situation.  Mary Ann Jones registers to vote as soon as she is eligible.  Then she marries Joe Smith.  Now what is her "Full" name?  Is it Mary Ann Smith or Mary Jones Smith. More important, in order to vote she must present a photo ID, such as a driver's license.  What name is on the photo ID? She registered to vote as Mary Ann Jones.  When she renewed her driver's license after she married, she changed the name to Mary Ann Smith.  It no longer matches the registration books, so, by the law, she is not eligible to vote.   Does she know this?

Even more fun would occur if she decided to hyphenate her name, and become Mary Ann Jones-Smith.  If she changes her photo ID  then the names will not match.

My wife and I discovered this problem, when she realized the name on her military ID card was different from that on her driver's license and what was on the registration books.  To be sure, she had to change the name on the registration book to match her ID.  But, how many other people will think to do this?

The voter ID act is supposedly to eliminate voter fraud which is minuscule in NC. So, the legislature has concocted a stupid solution to a problem that really doesn't exist.  But, that's our legislature!

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