Once again we are being subjected to a litany of complaints about the North Carolina voter laws. It is designed, so they say, to keep minorities from voting. It was designed to prevent vote fraud. In true, insane North Carolina fashion, they managed to just turn a good idea into something incredibly insane. In the Nation, this past week is a harrowing article about Claire Quick, who took two years to get her 85-year-old aunt’s photo ID for a voter registration. Because no links are provided and no screen shot is provided of the complaint filed in federal court, I have my doubts about it.
It took her two years to do something which could have been done in a month. But, the problem was not that it took the woman so long, but that the big, bad laws are evil, and created to discriminate against little old ladies who are my mother’s age and should, for gosh sake’s have a photo ID. The tale is insane. There is no way the woman could have a bank account without a photo ID. All social security checks are direct deposit, now. If they weren’t going into her account, created with a photo ID, then where? Getting a copy of a birth certificate takes just a few weeks. Something in this tale reeks to high heaven.
“…In September 2012, Douglas’s niece, Clara Quick, took her to the DMV in Laurinburg, North Carolina, to get a state photo ID. Douglas was told she needed a copy of her birth certificate to get an ID. So they traveled across the state line to Dillon, South Carolina, where Douglas was born, to find her birth certificate. But the government office there said she needed a photo ID to get a birth certificate, and Douglas was caught in a seemingly unresolvable catch-22. (This account comes from an affidavit Quick filed in federal court.)
Her niece called the South Carolina’s Vital Records office, paid $17 for an expedited birth certificate, but still couldn’t get one. Instead, she was told to find her aunt’s marriage certificate, which was in Bennettsville, South Carolina. After getting that, they made a second trip to the North Carolina DMV, but were once again told Douglas couldn’t get a photo ID because she didn’t have a birth certificate.
They were so frustrated that they gave up trying for a time. In the fall of 2013, after North Carolina passed the voter ID law, they made a third trip to the DMV. An employee told Quick to get a census report to confirm her aunt’s identify, which she purchased for $69. Quick brought her aunt’s census report, marriage certificate, Social Security card, and utility bill during a fourth trip to the DMV in September 2014 and was finally able to get her the photo ID needed to vote.
It took two years, four trips to the DMV, two trips to South Carolina, and $86 in government documents for an 85-year-old woman to continue to vote. Quick called it “an absolute nightmare. There are other voters out there that do not have the money, time, access to transportation, and family assistance to obtain a NCDMV photo ID. It should not be this difficult to obtain an ID for voting.”..”
It is now more difficult to obtain copies of birth certificates, primarily to an over-reaction of identity theft and privacy laws. If you read the directions, all Ethelene Douglas’ niece needed to do was to provide proof that she was related and she could get a copy of the birth certificate. If she needed a copy of a census record, all she needed to do was Ancestry.com and do a print-out. This is not difficult and it is not rocket science.
If they had used Vitalcheck, something I’ve used many timed in doing genealogy, and used it to obtain copies of my parents’ birth certificates, they did not even need a photo ID.
No, this is not about denying a person’s right to vote. It is about the overwhelming need to protect people from identity theft, gone bad. The same thing holds true for registering to vote.
This was making a mountain out of a molehill. Having spent so much time dealing with senior citizens, genealogy, public records, and people, I know for a fact it doesn’t even take 2 years to have your DAR Patriot Ancestor records approved. Someone blew it here. It is much easier to blame racism than the possibility that we’re dealing with a niece who could have accomplished something in about two weeks. Instead it took her two years. Either she was abjectly ignorant, or she never really bothered to do much about anything, just ignoring her aunt.
There is no way the elderly woman could have done anything with her medicare card without a photo ID. This is where the story falls apart. She is 85-years-old and would have been on social security and medicare for twenty years. She could not have gone to a doctor, an ER, or even picked up certain medications without a photo ID.
Don’t blame this one on voter laws. Blame it on someone in a family not keeping up with what they should have kept up with, for a senior citizen.