Monday, October 8, 2007

Against a national ID

The Los Angeles Times correctly editorializes in opposition to a National ID card - in particular the idea that one should have to provide such a card to vote. The last thing our country needs is a modernized "poll tax".

The editorial reads:

If anything, advancements in electronic data storage argue against an all-purpose Social Security or other identification card because an identity thief would need to steal only one document to gain access to a universe of personal information. That is why both federal and state agencies discourage -- and, in the case of California, forbid -- businesses from displaying Social Security numbers on documents, badges or correspondence unless required by law.But in trying to arrest the drift toward an intrusive ID-card society, privacy advocates must choose their battles carefully. One worth fighting is over photo ID requirements for voters.

Constitutional or not, they are too sweeping a solution to too small a problem. In the absence of evidence of significant fraud at polling places, a photo ID requirement is at best a distraction and at worse an obstacle to the exercise of the franchise.


This page has supported proposals in California to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, provided that they submit a birth certificate, an ID from their country of origin and proof of California residency, and undergo a background check. But under the Real ID Act, such licenses wouldn't pass muster for federal purposes. As a result, travelers from a state that issued licenses to illegal immigrants might have to carry a passport even for domestic travel, bringing a national ID card that much closer to reality.

Read the entire editorial here...

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