…or, more accurately, the issue of voter registration fraud so comprehensively. Not that he meant to, of course. While whining about voter ID laws in Texas (and other states), Dionne wrote this sentence:
In Texas, for example, the law allows concealed handgun licenses to work as identification, but not student IDs.
Here, real quick: go find your old student ID. Is there an address on it? The answer is probably “no:” colleges don’t like to put anything on those things that would require them to be reissued every year. College students – particularly ones that live on-campus – simply move around too much over the course of their time in school; and keeping track of a student’s current address is frankly not the school’s problem*. So you can expect name, picture, signature, and a bar code; some schools include date of birth, and other schools care more about cutting down on students drinking. And that level of ‘identification’ is useless for verifying identity and establishing residency. So, until there’s an established standard for student IDs that is actually useful for Voter ID purposes, get used to student IDs not being accepted.
The Texas C[HL] license, on the other hand, gives name, picture, physical description, date of birth, current address, and unique identification number; to get one you need (among other things) a Social Security number, a driver’s license, employment and residential history, a working email, and a major credit card. In other words, it’s a great way to establish somebody’s identity and residency. Which is why it was included in the final version of the Texas Voter ID bill.
Interestingly, Dionne didn’t really go into that – or what you can use to establish identity and residency in Texas in order to vote. Here’s the list:
- Driver’s license
- State ID card**
- Military ID
- Concealed handgun license
- Citizenship ID
But that’s a much less scary list than the ‘evil gun-owners versus disenfranchised students’ one that Dionne was peddling, which is probably why he didn’t use it.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: By the way, EJ Dionne… if you’re going to
rip off draw from Dave Weigel’s work, the least that you can do is link back to it.
*If colleges started providing the student’s address-of-record – which would almost certainly be his or her parents’ address – well, that would make student IDs viable for identification purposes. Of course, that would also be a dagger through the political heart of every Democratic politician who depends on the student population in college towns to keep them in office. Which is probably the real reason why the Democrats hate Voter ID: it threatens to destroy the white liberal version of majority-minority districts.
**Dionne, later in the piece, made some rather risible claims about how card registration fees were functionally and ethically equivalent to poll taxes. Please note that this form of ID is available, free of charge, from the Texas state government.