(The following is a transcript of a video located here!)
We’re seeing a push by the GOP to put voter I.D. laws in place.
I could talk about how the claims of voter fraud by the GOP are for the most part purely fictional, 1 but no, we’re not going to do that today. Today I’m going to bring something new to the table.
I’m going to not just talk about how voter ID laws are designed to be discriminatory against minorities, the poor and the poorly educated and prevent them from voting, I’m going to provide personal testimony as to how these laws can potentially be discriminatory, will be discriminatory if they’re put in place.
I suffered from a series of unfortunate circumstances at the turn of the millennia that left me entirely broke and without any documentation to prove who I am; a mix of a job loss due to injury, exorbitant medical bills and an apartment fire (I’m betting you can guess which of those wiped out my identity paperwork).
This was right after 9/11 and NYC was responding to the anti-terrorism hysteria by jumping right in along with quite a bit of the rest of the country by passing laws, rules and regulations that created stricter requirements for acquiring identity papers.
In the past to get your birth certificate you just wrote off for it and requested it but all of the sudden you needed a state ID or a passport to get your birth certificate. Social security which used to accept a high school transcript or diploma now required your birth certificate or passport while you needed your social security card, birth certificate and proof of address to get your driver’s license or passport, that’s not including all the other proof you were required to pony up so you can see; I was in a classic catch-22 situation.
I needed to get one of the IDs to obtain the other IDs which were required to get the first ID.
I was told I could hire a lawyer to do an affidavit to prove who I am but like the many others in my then income bracket that was outside of my budget. That sort of service was for people with money (you know; people like wealthy GOP supporters or terrorists backed by wealthy Islamic organizations).
Curiously, while I hate this sort of big government restrictive paperwork that the GOP loves, the libertarians who support the GOP say that they’re the party with the small government ideology and not liberals and social libertarians like me.
Well needless to say;
I was stuck.
I spent the better part of a month faxing and mailing off documents, waiting in lines in state and federal buildings all for nothing. Not one could help me out.
But then; a brainstorm hit me.
uring the course of a casual conversation I discovered that if you applied for emergency Food Stamps they gave you an ID card in your name. This ID card was provided by the same offices that provided Medicaid recipients their ID card. The Medicaid ID card was considered a recognized state ID card usable for the ID procuring process; the Food Stamp card wasn’t.
You didn’t need any proof of identity to get an emergency Food Stamp card but I wasn’t eligible for Food Stamps. Yet while I was eligible for Medicaid, I lacked the necessary ID to get a Medicaid card (to get a Medicaid card you needed things like a birth certificate, driver’s license, proof of residence; see a pattern?) and thus I couldn’t enroll in the Medicaid program which would give me the required state ID needed to start the domino effect that led to me replacing all my other identity papers.
Now here’s the catch;
I realized that because the Food Stamp program and the Medicaid program used the same offices to generate their identification cards that I could take the Food Stamp card to the Medicaid office and have it converted to a Medicaid card because the government was interested in cutting costs connected to these programs and one way they did that is to simply give you one card which was used for both Food Stamps and Medicaid instead of two separate cards.
Half the cards, half the cost.
And since these two separate government programs shared data in the system via the card creation offices, I deduced that the information from the Food Stamp database might matriculate over to the Medicaid database even if I wasn’t a Medicaid member thus possibly bypassing the identity paper requirements Medicaid had listed making it possible for me to walk into the Medicaid offices and get enrolled.
Turns out I was right.
I applied for emergency Food Stamps, got my Food Stamp card, cheerfully acknowledged the; “you aren’t eligible for Food Stamps” letter but didn’t let that stop me from taking the Food Stamp card down to Medicaid to be registered.
And so six weeks later and about sixty to one hundred and sixty dollars poorer I had obtained my birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license and all that other stuff that you needed to prove you are “you” and finally I could go down to various government institutes and places of business and say; “recognize me and interact with me!” Which they wouldn’t do before but they now would.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. There is one circumstance where they will interact with you if you have no I.D., Because as everyone knows, the only thing you can officially do in America without identity papers is get arrested and go to jail.
You can’t get a driver’s license, you can’t get a credit card, you can’t get a loan, you can’t financial aid, you can’t get a library card but the American government is always willing to overlook your lack of I.D. and put you in prison.
At no time will you ever be arrested and the judge will say;
“You don’t have I.D.? Oh well shoot in that case we can’t prosecute you because we don’t know who you are, we’ll just have to let you go.”
It only took me a total of three months from start to finish, 4-6 hours hanging on the phone and about thirteen days spent waiting in bureaucratic lines to get all my ID back. Some of you may be amazed at how little time it took me to accomplish all this but I’m told I’m unusually fast when it comes to cutting through red tape.
Now if anyone thinks that requiring that citizens need to provide evidence to vote, of which possession of said evidence is dependent on discovering weaknesses in established security protocols in order to obtain identity papers, so that you can take part in the fundamental right which consists of voting on who decides your fate as an American citizen is not an unreasonable burden?
Then you’ve got an unrealistic understanding of what; “an unreasonable burden is.”
Or you just don’t give a shit.
Or you do, and making it as difficult as possible for people to vote who lack the money, the education and the understanding of how the system works is the entire purpose of why you want those laws in the first place. Because I’m guessing most people won’t be as clever and creative as I was when it comes to playing the system that’s trying to play you.
In fact I was so concerned about the ability of the average person being able to fight their way through the red tape that makes up our hyper-vigilante system to establish (or reestablish as the case may be) who they are on paper that I took part in an experimental program that was dedicated to helping people acquire their identity papers once again so they can do things like, oh, vote against the party that was continually fucking them over.
I’m sure even though they never heard of it the Republican Party is grateful that program didn’t work out, considering they’re always willing to go out of their way to take down any program that helps poor people and minorities to vote.
So there you have it.
A compelling story about why voter ID laws are not about preventing voter fraud but only about preventing poor, minority fucks like I was from voting.
This is thetruepooka coming to you from the United States of America and whether or not you’ve got your papers in order always remember to pet the cat.