Well its not really a forum I guess but it was the Polling Place I was the Inspector for and it was amazing to me! So, here’s what happened on June 4th. I was working an election polling place in California which was basically a solidly middle class, Republican dominated registration area. Most of the voters …View full post
So, here’s what happened on June 4th. I was working an election polling place in California which was basically a solidly middle class, Republican dominated registration area. Most of the voters in the precinct were registered as Vote By Mail which is not surprising for this sort of area. What was surprising was how many voters came to the poll to turn in their vote by mail ballot! Over 70!
The second surprising thing to me was the number of voters who automatically offered their drivers license as identification. Now, in case you vote by mail or – GASP – don’t vote, then you might be excused for not knowing that NO PICTURE ID is required in California in order to vote. Your signature and printed address on the voter roll is identification enough.
The only identification requirement of a voter is that upon approaching the election officers table you much state your name and address out loud for the clerk so that they can locate you on the voter roll and the clerk must restate it back to you. This method has worked OK since the first federal election which began on December 15th, 1788 and ended with the election of George Washington as President Elect on January 10th, 1789, just over 225 years ago.
In fact there have been no real election photo identification laws until the Republican Governors started pushing them in 1999. The reason was fairly simple: unless they could find a way to suppress the Democratic vote, they were going to lose power in the State Legislatures and the US Congress. Some of the photo ID laws which were passed had the desired effects and the right wing tea party managed to capture numerous State Houses as well as State Legislatures. Of course what happened next is a matter of history as they steered conservative legislation to the far right with union hostile laws, voter suppression laws and anti healthcare reform laws. Today they are even trying to suppress solar and wind energy solutions to our polluting coal, gas and nuclear power generation facilities.
Elections have consequences as the voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Ohio have found out the hard way but the average American seems to be quit willing to sit in their chairs and watch our society destroyed by the wealthy 1%.
My response to the folks presenting their drivers license was a pleasant “That is not required in California” to which I got several comments like “Well, it should be”. I would then pleasantly explain that “Your stated name and address which is located on the voter roll proves your identification. A simple check by the elections board will match your signature which you gave when you registered. Anything else is just propaganda” I would then usually get that creeping knowing look that they realized that they were being bamboozled by the photo ID requirement.
Truth and education is such a wonderful thing to see in action!
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