New Jersey is officially behind the eight ball on this one with inarguably the most important federal cycle in many moons bearing down upon us. We here at Save Jersey are always ahead of the curve and have made it a point to debunk every silly anti-voter ID law myth out there. It just makes far too much sense to require basic, cheap and easily-obtainable personal identification on Election Day to protect the legitimacy of our electoral process.
And your Blogger-in-Chief has yet to hear or read a single suspiciously virulent argument against voter ID laws that contains more substance than emotion. Break it down… New Jersey citizens already need an ID to buy booze, obtain public assistance, enter certain government buildings, borrow library books, board overseas flights and, interestingly enough, register to vote in New Jersey. What possible, logical reason is there to stop short of the ballot box?
Unless you’re TRYING to facilitate fraud?
That’s why I’m proposing a law similar to our neighbor Pennsylvania’s own recently-enacted bill. Here’s a few basic, overarching principles to get the discussion going…
- General Rule: All Garden State voters must show a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo ID to poll workers in order to cast a regular machine ballot on Election Day.
- Acceptable IDs: Any photo ID issued by the federal or state governments that is both (1) valid and (2) unexpired. Possible examples include a state-issued driver’s license (commercial or regular), a military personnel photo ID, a valid U.S. passport, student or faculty ID cards issued by accredited public or private New Jersey institutions of higher learning, and photo ID cards issued by a properly-credentialed assisted living facility.
- Means-Tested: Voters who cannot afford a valid photo ID (defined as earning below a TBD poverty threshold) need not worry about being disenfranchised; they can obtain a FREE ID card up to thirty (30) days before Election Day from their local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). All that would be required is a Social Security card along with either (1) a birth certificate with raised seal or (2) a certificate of U.S. citizenship/naturalization in conjunction with three proofs of residency (e.g. a utility bill, a cable bill and an apartment lease agreement).
- Absentee Ballots: Applicants must supply either (1) their driver’s license number, (2) the last four digits of their Social Security number or (3) a photocopy of a valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID.
- Forget Your ID? Sorry; voters without valid photo ID will not be allowed to cast a regular machine ballot. They may, however, fill out a provisional ballot which will be counted if, and only if, (1) the amount of provisional ballots exceeds the margin of victory between the top and secondary vote getter, and (2) the provisional voter subsequently provides valid, unexpired voter ID to their county board of elections within seven (7) days after Election Day.
I absolutely welcome suggestions/amendments to this mini-outline, Save Jerseyans, but I challenge any anti-voter ID law reader in our audience to identify anything discriminatory, unconstitutional, racist, insensitive, homophobic, etc. and so on in my proposal. Go for it… make my day! You’ll come up empty.
Now to be fair, some New Jersey legislators have already tried (and failed) to win passage for voter ID laws. One legislative proposal was stillborn in 2011. Currently, Assemblymen Rumpf and Gove’s A674 (pdf) and its companion bill, Senator Connor’s S200 (pdf), are waiting for committee approval.
Unfortunately there’s no time to waste. Sure, the odds of ultimate passage are daunting since both legislative chambers are controlled by hack Machine Democrats. But when have the odds ever stopped us before? Every Save Jerseyan should contact their legislators at lunch today (click here) and DEMAND (nicely, but firmly) that they support floor debate on A674 and S200 respectively.
No less than the fundamental democratic principle of “one person, one vote” is on the line!