Thursday, September 27, 2012
Hawaii Office of Elections website doesn’t mention new voter ID requirements
by Larry Geller
I learned at an ACLU press briefing this morning that the voter ID law in Hawaii is changing this year (actually, and more accurately, Hawaii is going to conform to the federal law).
It’s nothing drastic compared with the often draconian requirements imposed by several states that have the effect of suppressing the ability of certain population groups (i.e., Democrats) to vote.
For the first time, anyone who registers to vote or votes for the first time, as confirmed just now by a phone call to our Office of elections, must supply a valid government ID or some proof of address such as utility bills.
Not too bad. But search the Office of Elections website for the information. It doesn’t appear to be there.
Even clicking on the “Voter Registration” link fails to mention the new requirement. Instead, it refers to filling out an “affidavit” asserting residency.
The chances are that few people will be negatively affected. But a senior citizen living in a care facility might not have either state ID or a utility bill to show. That’s just one example I thought of. Perhaps there are more.
At least, the state should alert potential voters to the correct requirement via their website and by other means.
"At least, the state should alert potential voters to the correct requirement via their website and by other means."
I would say so. And soon. To start getting people familiar with and so they donʻt forget when the time comes to vote.
I wonder if weʻll ever know the consequences or true numbers of people that will turned away due to this.
I think it covers two categories of voters: vote cheaters(voting more than once, out of state, etc.
The next group is people that have become houseless and are in transition due to economics or just plain down on their luck and donʻt even have a utility bill let alone a steady place to reside. These are the people I worry will be affected negatively.
Everyone...everyone...of legal age should have a government-issued picture ID. Either driver's license or State ID or passport, renewable at intervals. Getting that ID should require proof-positive that the person is a citizen.
They should make this a law.
Funny how it's the same folks who rail against a government which tries to "keep track" of innocent citizens by Social Security Numbers, or ID chips.....are the same folks who NOW insist that we all must have a govt-issued picture ID.
Seems like they want Big Brother govt when it suits their purposes...
Your comment is spot on. When the Federal government was first proposing all states adopt what were being called "REAL ID" standards, conservatives protested loudly against Big Government wanting to track their every move. But most of these same people are supporting the current Republican efforts to force all citizens to provide photo IDs as a condition of voting. And the Federal standards for REAL ID are now governing the issuance of driver's licenses, so these rightwingers are now CALLING FOR the same REAL ID standards they earlier had vehemently opposed.
Because of the REAL ID safeguards against identity fraud, it is now difficult for some people to renew their driver licenses. They must present strong documentation when they apply for the renewal, such as a current passport or a newly notarized copy of their birth certificate. If they no longer live in their state of birth, this adds expense and time delays. They have the additional hurdle of convincing the birth registry of their home state that they are who they say they are and are entitled to get a notarized copy of their birth certificate. It can be a vicious circle. How do you prove you are who you claim to be if you do not already possess a difficult to forge form of ID? A fingerprint might prove you are the same individual who received a driver's license 5 years ago, but how does the government know THAT person was truly the infant born so many decades ago?
But I guess the urge to suppress the vote of the "47%", minorities and immigrants is now more powerful than the Tea Partier's fear of the UN black helicopters hovering over their homes.