Sunday, September 25, 2011
Vote early, vote often in Massachusetts
Every time I walk into the Statehouse, I have to show my I.D.
Get on a plane? Keep your I.D. out and available.
Go the polls? Pick an address. Any address. Identification? Not necessary.
Quite literally, I could go to a town where they don’t know me and vote at every polling place. But no one would do that, would they?
Thirty states require voters to show identification to pull a ballot. A group of citizens believes that Massachusetts should be thirty-one, but their petition was found to be invalid by the attorney general because forcing people to show I.D.’s at the polls would make it harder to vote and, because an I.D. card from the RMV costs $25, the law would be a de facto poll tax.
Somebody please make the case for me that showing an I.D. would complicate the ballot checkout system because I can’t figure out why.
Regarding a poll tax, the attorney general’s argument is inconsistent. To register to vote, one must show identification. So the AG is saying 1) that we’re violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with our registration laws, or 2) well, I don’t what she’s saying. Help me out here.
A simple solution would be to provide free I.D. cards to people who are registered voters if they have no other valid voter identification.
Despite the AG's ruling, which has been appealed, the petitions will be ready for signature collection starting this week. If the court rules with the AG, the issue will be dead. At least for awhile.
This is an issue, like term limits, that will not be taken up by the legislature as long as the Democrats have a 5 to 1 advantage. The good news is that they had a 10 to 1 advantage just a year ago.