Sal Bommarito's recent PolicyMic article on raising voter integrity by requiring a photo ID caused me to question a factoid stated by the ACLU in its campaign to support "voting rights."
According to the ACLU, "one in four African Americans of voting age don’t have government-issued photo identification." The information comes from a 2006 survey of "967 randomly-selected voting age American citizens" conducted by the Independent Opinion Research Corporation. Of the 967 people randomly phoned in 2006, 7% said they did not have documentation that met the following four criteria:
1) A current, unexpired government-issued ID with your picture on it, like a driver’s license or a military ID.
2) A photo ID with both your current address AND your current name.
3) Citizenship documents (U.S. birth certificate/U.S. passport/U.S. naturalization papers) in a place where you can quickly find it if you had to show it tomorrow.
4) If yes, does [that document] have your current name on it (as opposed to a maiden name)?
In November 2006, 68 people out of 967 said they didn't have all four things readily at-hand. Clear proof that "1 in 4 African Americans doesn't have photo ID." Isn't it?
Being a white Republican woman, I'm the exact voter that the ACLU indicates has no trouble voting.
In 2002, I moved to Los Angeles County from a nearby county where I had successfully voted in every election for two decades. I sent in my voter registration card at the local post office. When election time rolled around and I had received no sample ballot, I called the Registrar and was informed they had no record of my registration. I missed that election and sent a new card in. Six months later, the card was lost again. Upon submission of my third voter registration card, I was getting a little irritated, and I told the Registrar's clerk, "I can't help but wonder if your department is failing to process new Republican registrations." She laughed uncomfortably, but I was registered and able to vote.
Later, I moved to a new area in the county and took great pains to ensure I continued to be registered to vote. This also did not "take" and I returned to my prior polling place and voted in several elections before finally being "authorized" to vote at my new address.
I eventually requested permanent absentee ballot status. In the November 2010 elections, I made the grave error of choosing to vote in-person rather than returning my absentee ballot. I wanted to make sure my vote as counted.
My polling place was mis-identified on my sample ballot. After visiting three different locations, I finally found the right polling place. After I voted, the polling volunteers put my ballot in a cardboard box. I received a pink slip of paper that stated "Your vote will not be counted unless an election is so close we need to count absentee ballots submitted at the polls on election day." It said I could call a number to see if it had been counted after 30 days.
Oddly enough, my birth certificate bears my maiden name, so it's good to know the ACLU is always there to help me to vote.
Photo Credit: hjl