Saturday, December 15, 2007

My voter ID proposal.

Last year the Missouri Legislator passed a voter ID law. Unfortunately the law was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Missouri Weinschenk v. Missouri. I'm writing this blog to explain the difference between my proposal and the legislators'. The following is my proposal:
  1. All Missouri voter are required to show a picture ID. A picture ID includes a state ID, a school ID, a work ID, or a U. S. passport. The idea is to put the face with the name. 
  2. If the voter fails to show up with a picture ID, the vote could vote by affidavit. To vote by affidavit, a voter could use, a voter ID card or mail sent by the local election board, a utility bill or a financial statement, library card, or any information from school with the voter's name and address on it. Before the voter votes, the voter would be given a carbon-copy of the affidavit to take to the local board of election to get a free ID. This carbon-copy of the affidavit is all the voter would need to get a free ID. As long as the voter is registered, there is no need for a birth certificate. This would only apply to registered voters.
  3. Require identification to register to vote. I remember when this law passed, I was asking, "should we make sure the voter is eligible before showing up at the polls?" When I registered to vote at my local library when I turned 18, I had to show my library card, my insurance card, and raise my right hand and take an oath. Soliciting registration on the street should be banned. While there are a lot of well meaning people doing it, there are a lot of uninformed people doing it  as well. In 2004, American Coming Together turned in thousand of fraudulent voter registration cards. This happened because they were paying people to register and the people they employed needed money. Since the commission was per voter, some were willing to open a phone book and put a name down. 
  4. Another way I think we should allow registration is through checking a box. Just like one could check a box when you apply for your driver license, Missourians should be allowed to check a box on a high school graduation or GED application, or any documents you sign relation to College, apartment and housing, healthcare, or any dealing with the state agencies. For example, you apply for an apartment, you check that box so you new landlord will turn in you information to the local board of election. This provision would allow a high school student to check a box on the graduation application to register to vote. 
The legislation the Missouri legislators passed did not have provision 3 nor 4. Another differences are the solution if a voter does not have an ID. The legislation allowed people to vote provisionally. I believed voters should vote by affidavit to allow the vote to count on Election Day, not 2 weeks later. I believe if the Missouri Assembly pass my proposal, it would be upheld on appeal.  

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Win for Putin, Loss for Chavez

To day, Vladimir Putin's Party the United Russia won a victory in the parliamentary election (AP Barry). As I printed earlier, Putin is term limited. While he can run for two consecutive terms, he can be prime minister until he can run for president again. This election makes Putin as prime minister possible. 
In other news, Venezuelan voters voted down a referendum to do away with term limits (AP James). Chavez is term limited as well and had the referendum pass, he could remain president for life. Hopefully civil liberties and the freedom of the press can return when Chavez leaves.