Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Problem with Voter ID Requirements

This was in an email from Barbara Santee. Just read it. Please.

I am retired, seventy-seven years old, have enjoyed continuous driving privileges of 'drivers license' since age sixteen, white, and therefore have had no previous reason to be familiar with the process of getting a 'State ID'. I was appalled today by circumstances to have learned how suppressing the process is and wonder if it may be due to political design to make it difficult for less fortunate of our citizens to obtain required identification to vote in this state. 

It all stated about three weeks ago. A friend who had just moved from another state told me that an employer had promised to hire him for a better-paying job if he had an Oklahoma Drivers License. So, I furnished him a ride to Department of Public Safety to get the license. I recall wondering at the time how difficult and time-consuming it would have been to get to DPS by himself without a vehicle or bus service. Nevertheless, once there and after presenting his official home state identification card, he was told Oklahoma does not recognize his North Carolina ID and that he would need an official Oklahoma Identification Card instead. He was told that to obtain such Oklahoma ID he would need his Social Security card (which had been lost with his wallet). 

The next destination therefore was to the Social Security office and a long wait get a copy of his card. Instead, that office furnished him an officially stamped letter and told him that it should serve for all purposes until he received his card in the mail in about ten days. So back to the Department of Public Safety with it we went. 

But once there, DPS would not accept the officially stamped Social Security office letter and my friend was told that he would have to have the actual card instead as well as a certified copy of his birth certificate. 

I do not hesitate to admit that I was already beginning to become somewhat embarrassed with my home state in witnessing how my black friend was being given the 'run-around' treatment. Plus, I had not only already expended quite a lot of my own time but also my own gasoline money during the ridiculous process. But, that was not the least. 

After spending an additional eighty of my own dollars to fund an expedited request to North Carolina Vital Statistics, receive his certified Birth Certificate by Fedex, and return with it to DPS, my friend was told by DPS that it was still not enough and recommenced the circular process all over again by refusing again to accept the only picture ID he has (his official North Carolina ID), i.e., to obtain an Oklahoma ID one must possess another Picture ID (such as one from another state) which Oklahoma will not accept. 

If anyone can make sense of this process please let me know. But after having personally experienced being allowed to vote only by Provisional Ballot just last year at the same polling place where I have voted for the previous twenty-two years, I must continue to believe that is is designed simply to prevent minorities from voting in the state of Oklahoma. I don't really want to believe that mine is the same country that I and others have fought and risked our lives for still wants to suppress its citizens. 

Potential 'terrorists'; non-existent 'voter fraud': subterfuge, not reasons. "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IT…PLEASE TELL ME IT ISN'T SO ! 

-- Vernon L. Jones


  1. Anonymous6:46 AM

    Then contact the press. Get on the news with this. This will shame them into doing the right thing.

  2. This is reprehensible! If Oklahoma will not accept North Carolina's photo ID, what photo ID will they accept? A passport maybe? How about a bank-card with your photo on it?

    What a ridiculous run-around. I agree with Ms Holladay, contact the media -- and then contact the national media and the governor of Oklahoma and the White House and anyone else you can think of!

  3. Pat Travis2:13 PM

    I am so sorry! But I appreciate hearing this story! I certainly hope this system will be made more user-friendly...SOON!
    I hope this story reaches far and wide and reminds people to get started on the process of making sure they will be allowed to vote...there are only four+
    months left!!

  4. Anonymous3:53 PM

    This should be criminal it is so outrageous.

    annie c

  5. As someone who grew up in OK, and thus got my first state ID card in OK, I think either the process has changed dramatically or the article's author is correct in his conclusion that OK doesn't want minorities to obtain ID cards. I had to get one before I took the ACT in 7th grade, and while I don't remember the process exactly, I'm pretty sure all I had on me was my birth certificate. Filled out a form, got my photo taken, and a picture ID was acquired.

    The ONLY time I have heard of out-of-state IDs or licenses not being accepted is at bars/liquor stores, and that's generally only in college towns. But fake IDs for underage drinking are a valid concern. This refusal to accept an out-of-state photo ID as proof of identity to get an in-state photo ID is just pure B.S. that's unfortunately been passed into law.


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