Monday, May 12, 2008

Proof of Citizenship for Voting

I think I'm against this, despite its obvious reasonableness from a constitutional standpoint:
Measures requiring proof of citizenship raise the bar higher because they offer fewer options for documentation. In most cases, aspiring voters would have to produce an original birth certificate, naturalization papers or a passport. Arizona and Missouri, along with some other states, now show whether a driver is a citizen on the face of a driver’s license, and within a few years all states will be required by the federal government to restrict licenses to legal residents.

Critics say that when this level of documentation is applied to voting, it becomes more difficult for the poor, disabled, elderly and minorities to participate in the political process. . . .

Supporters of the measures cite growing concerns that illegal immigrants will try to vote. They say proof of citizenship measures are an important way to improve the accuracy of registration rolls and the overall voter confidence in the process. . .
Hate to say it, but the solution to this and a host of other problems is a secure nation ID, coupled to a secure permission system. Yes, this has Big Brother issues but so do a whole raft of things to which we've already acceded. If you separate the authentication from the permissions, you dramatically reduce (but not eliminate) the privacy problems. See here for more ranting on this topic.

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