Monday, January 30, 2012

Background on Photo ID Laws

NPR has an excellent background article on the photo id laws, "Why new photo id laws mean some won't vote," by Corey Dade (1/28/2012) who they impact, and why.  While it is true you need a state issued id to drive and do other things that are fairly common activities for many of us, there is a sizable percentage of the population that does not drive or do any of the other things that require a photo id.

I don't need one to buy SEPTA tickets or access my bank accounts or get and use a credit card.  The id I use at my job would not be considered a state issued id.  If I didn't travel by air or drive I could probably get along very easily without one.  I do have a copy of my birth certificate but I don't think it is a raised seal copy -- I'd have to send off for that and since the hospital is on the other side of the country it could take a while to get one.  People born at home with midwives attending, especially before birth certificates were more widely required could have trouble getting an accurate certificate.  A paper trail may be especially difficult for women who would also need to provide proof of name changes due to marriage, or people who have been using a stepfather's name without having been legally adopted.  It's a sticky wicket.

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