It Is Easier To Vote Than to Get Hired Without a Proper I.D.
A national retail chain treats eligibility to work more seriously than the Federal Government treats eligibility to vote
The other day at work, I happened to be in the Personnel Office while a candidate was being interviewed for a cashier's position.
The candidate -- let's call him John -- had rather impressive credentials and interviewed well with two managers separately. When John was out of earshot, I overheard the two managers discussing what a wonderful candidate John was, and how John had the potential to be promoted to customer service manager quickly. He was so good, in fact, that they offered him the job on the spot.
The two managers then left the Personnel Office and let a Personnel staff member -- whom we'll call Jill -- handle the paperwork for hiring.
The first thing Jill asked John for was for his I.D. John produced an expired driver's license, and obviously knowing that that was not going to be good enough, John preemptively offered his Social Security card and his birth certificate. Jill would have use for the Social Security card later in the hiring process, but the expired driver's license was, unfortunately for John, not good enough for Jill, and she asked him to come back with a valid and current driver's license another day.
That is how seriously a national retail chain treats employees' eligibility to work in this country. (The Social Security card, which would be asked for in a later part of the hiring process, would state if the cardholder could only work with restrictions, as in the case of non-citizens.) Sadly, the need to prove eligibility to vote in elections in this country is not being treated with the same seriousness as the hiring of a mere cashier at a retail store.
President Obama is suing the state of Arizona to repeal a law which demands that voters prove their citizenship. At my store, expired driver's licenses would not even do for proper identification for hiring purposes.
Voting is a serious matter and is a right reserved only for citizens of the United States. The Federal Government takes it so seriously that non-citizen legal immigrants who vote face criminal charges and deportation. In Singapore, voters have to produce documents proving their identity (and thus, in practice, their citizenship) to poll officials. Why should Arizona not be allowed to make voters prove their citizenship when voter fraud is clearly a big problem in that state?
One may make the argument that making voters prove their citizenship may discourage underrepresented groups from voting. That is a good point, but any engaged citizen who cares enough to vote would not baulk at bringing his/her passport or birth certificate to the polling station.
Citizens who are not able to produce such documents, such as the homeless, have more important personal things to worry about. This is not to say that we should not care about the right of the homeless to vote, but that we should worry first about their welfare and not use them as a convenient excuse to argue against what is essentially a good piece of legislation.
Other citizens who, for whatever reason (such as being unable to afford to drive), cannot obtain a driver's license would have a non-driver's I.D., if not for voting, then at least for employment purposes.
Speaking of which, remember John? In the next part of the paperwork, he started asking Jill weird questions about the criminal background check, and claimed that he asked those questions "[because he doesn't] trust background checks."
That gave me (and possibly the Personnel staff member and the managers) a very good clue as to why he could not produce a valid and current driver's license in the first place, even though he was applying to work at a suburban store where public transport was unavailable. I looked out for him on the following Saturday, which was new employee orientation day. I did not see him.