In 2004 voters in Arizona passed a law that requires all citizens of the state to provide some form of ID in order to be able to cast a ballot. This law is turning out to be a problem for some of the older citizens who no longer have valid drivers licenses and who were born prior to the use of birth certificates. People like Shirley Preiss of Surprise, AZ:
“I’m a legal American,” Preiss said. “I’m born here. Born and raised in America.”
The Arizona law was approved by voters in 2004 as Proposition 200 on that year’s general election ballot. It requires voters to produce specified types of identification when casting ballots at polling places and to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote either for the first time or in a different county.
Preiss was born in 1910 in Clinton, Ky., before birth certificates were issued. She said she no longer has a driver’s license and never had a passport.
“You can see my mother’s not a national threat,” said her son Nathan Nemnich. “Been voting since 1932.” Nemnich produced the files documenting his attempts to get her registered.
“A delayed birth certificate,” he said. “You have to have witnesses. Everybody’s dead.”
When the family tried to get school records from Tennessee, they found out the school no longer exists.
“We’re talking about something that is so precious, that right to vote, “said Linda Brown of the Arizona Advocacy Network. “How many hurdles are OK to jump through? How many barriers are we going to accept?”
I tend to be opposed to overly stringent voter ID requirements because it seems to me that they’re generally a means for Republicans to weed out some of the folks who tend to vote for Democrats and there’s little reason to believe the requirements make voting any less susceptible to fraud. I’d rather risk too many people being able to vote than not enough as there are means to validate votes after the fact if there’s reason to question them.