Posts Tagged ‘#VOTE’

No matter what you think should or could be the priority for our government – public health initiatives that include vaccines and guns for instance, or the economy or human rights – if you can’t vote, your opinions are moot.

When we moved to Nashville, one of the first things I did was register to vote. I remember registering to vote at Monticello in Charlottesville on a very hot Fourth of July. I can’t abide by people who say it doesn’t matter if they vote or not, and I’ve tried talking with them. The Flapper used to say that, “All politicians are crooks.” And maybe that’s why I’d like to see money banished from politics, to end Citizens United and get rid of the politician/lobbyist network.

But my foster parents always had hope for a more democratic society. They would get dressed up every four years and go out to vote at night, after Daddy Jim got home from work at Picatinny Arsenal. He would dry the dinner dishes while Nell put on some powder and lipstick. They never told me who they voted for, but somehow I knew; he was a Union man after al.

This new Republican party, the one trying to erode our right to vote, trying to make it harder to vote, trying to make it a privilege, all the while gerrymandering their way into office, is vexing. Did you know that in Australia people don’t register to vote? They just show up and VOTE!

The one thing I think every American, every blue and red state, can agree on is that every person who is eligible to vote, should have the opportunity to vote. But…

“Studies over the years have found that as many as one in 10 citizens lacks the documentation they need to vote, and they are disproportionately Black, Hispanic, poor, or over the age of 65. The Atlantic poll suggests that the gap remains: 9 percent of respondents said they lacked a government-issued ID, although a much smaller share (2 percent) said that was the reason they did not vote in 2020. Because the overwhelming majority of Americans do have IDs, “we don’t realize there’s this whole other side of the country that’s facing this massive crisis,” says Kat Calvin, who launched the nonprofit Spread the Vote, which helps people obtain IDs.”


And there’s the rub. Both parties hate the idea of a national Voter ID law.

In Rumson, we used to check in at the private day school to vote and have our signatures verified by a clerk behind a desk. We would pull out our driver’s license, and then we’d have to sign our name in a box in a huge ledger right next to our original signature. and the poll official would verify that indeed we are one and the same person!

France and Germany hand out voter ID cards to their citizens when they turn 16. Out of 200 countries around the world, at least 170 have some form of required ID to vote. I guess Americans must think that everybody drives a car, but in fact over 10% of adults do not have a driver’s license; and more and more young people are choosing not to drive for climate reasons.

When I was talking with Bob about this, because in my mind making voting easier IS the priority, he said, “We need to show our ID when we board a plane, when we buy alcohol,” and though he understands that there are very important privacy issues to be worked out, he wondered why it would seem like an imposition. Back when we used to go to the gym, we had a bar code on our cell phones to show that we were members of the YMCA. We used to joke that we were becoming the BORG, soon we’d have microchips behind our ears like dogs.

Also, we all have Social Security numbers – now we get them as soon as we are born! I didn’t get my Social Security card until I started working at a fancy women’s clothing store wrapping Christmas presents when I was 16. Nobody I know is complaining about that, in fact we’re all pretty happy about it as we age.

But back to Bob, who is a true futurist. He said the only reliable way to identify someone will be with “biometric markers!” What is that you might ask – “Biometric identifiers are any personal feature that is unique to an individual, including fingerprints, iris scans, DNA, facial features, voice and many other markers. In some cases, these identifiers are already making it into consumer technology.”


Come to think of it, I kinda like using my fingerprint to open my iPad.

I know, I know you’re probably worried about targeted ads and the loss of privacy. Well, get over it, we’ll work it out! “You don’t need to see his identification,” because the Evil Empire of Amazon already has all the information they need. Shouldn’t it be easier to vote than to place an Amazon Prime order for a Lego set?

ps The almost 7 year old Pumpkin is a huge Star Wars fan!

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