Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Why yes, yes it is.

Unless the ID card is free, it is too much to ask. After a quick search, I found non-driver ID card fees ranging from $3 (FL, but $10 to renew) to $20 (a number of jurisdictions, including DC). In some states, citizens can purchase an ID card that's good for 10 years for $35. Now really. Is $35 too much to pay to exercise your constitutional right to vote?

From Black's: poll tax. A fixed tax levied on each person within a jurisdiction. • The 24th Amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from imposing poll taxes as a condition for voting.

The term "Poll Tax" has some ugly connotations. I doubt anyone proposing that voters be required to show ID intends to prevent minorities from voting. Yet, is there any doubt that minorities would be disproportionately
effected by the proposed change?

The goal -- preventing voter fraud -- is a good one. I doubt the wisdom, however, of doing something that may be unconstitutional and, even if it isn't, can only harm race relations in this country to achieve it.