Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Voter ID: Texas vs. Canada

Thankfully Texas' Voter ID law was rejected by the DOJ.  Now the state wants to argue that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.

The LA Times gets it correct with Texas' Voter ID law: Texas' Solution in Search of a Problem

One of the Republican talking points on voter id is to ensure against fraud.  Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn I heard some Republicans making the point that voters in other countries must present an id at the polls.  So let's take a look at our neighbors to the north: Canada.

From Elections Canada: To vote, you must prove your identity and address.

Okay.  How? 

According to Elections Canada, there are 3 options:
Option 1: Show original piece of identification with your photo, name and address.  It must be issued by a government agency.

Option 2: Show two original pieces of authorized identification.  Both pieces must have your name and one must also have your address.

Option 3: Take an oath and have an elector who knows you vouch for you.  This person must have authorized identification and be from the same polling division as you.  This person can only vouch for one person.
What falls under Option 1?  Examples:
  • Driver's Licence
  • Ontario Health Card
  • Provincial/Territorial identification Card for the provinces/territories of
    • Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Nova Scotia
    • New Brunswick
    • Manitoba
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • Northwest Territories
    • Nunavut
So what if you can't make it under Option 1?  Let's turn to Option 2.  The 2 pieces of authorized identification fall under 2 categories: Identity Cards and Original Documents (with name and address).  First the identity cards:
  • Driver's Licence
  • Health Card
  • Canadian Passport
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Social Insurance Number Card
  • Old Age Security Card
  • Student ID Card
  • Provincial/Territorial Identification Card
  • Liquor Identification Card
  • Hospital/Medical Clinic Card
  • Cred/Debit Card
  • Employee Card
  • Public Transportation Card
  • Library Card
  • Canadian Forces Identity Card
  • Veteran Affairs Canada Health Card
  • Canadian Blood Services/Hema-Quebec Card
  • CNIB ID Card
  • Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence or Possession Only Licence
  • Fishing, Trapping or Hunting Licence
  • Outdoors or Wildlife Card/Licence
  • Hospital bracelet worn by residents of long-term care facilities
  • Parolee Identification Card
 Original documents (with name and address):
  • Utility Bill (telephone, TV, public utilities commission, hydro, gas or water)
  • Bank/Credit Card Statement
  • Vehicle Ownership/Insurance
  • Correspondence issued by a school, or college or university
  • Statement of Government Benefits (employment insurance, old age security, social assistance, disability support or child tax benefit)
  • Attestation of Residence issued by the responsible authority of a First Nations band or reserve
  • Government Cheque or Cheque Stub
  • Pension Plan Statement of Benefits, Contributions or Participation
  • Residential Lease/Mortgage Statement
  • Income/Property Tax Assessment Notice
  • Insurance Policy
  • Letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee
  • One of the following issued by the responsible authority of a shelter, soup kitchen, student/senior residence, or long-term care facility: Attestation of Residence, Letter of Stay, Admission Form or Statement of Benefits.
 And what if you don't fall under Option 1 or Option 2?  Well, you have Option 3:
Take an oath and have an elector who knows you vouch for you (both of you will be required to make a sworn statement).  This person must have authorized identification and their name must appear on the list of electors in the same polling division as you.  This person can only vouch for one person and the person who vouched for cannot vouch for another elector.

Examples: a neighbor, your roommate.
So what forms of ID are okay by Texas standards?
  • Texas Driver's License issued by the Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas Concealed Handgun License issued by DPS
  • United States Military Identification Card containing the person's photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person's photograph
  • United States Passport
A total of 7 acceptable forms of id.  Canada gives you 3 Options.  Under Option 1 you have at least 3 choices.  Under Option 2 you have a choice of 25 various identity cards and at least 13 original documents.  Under Option 3 you have 1 choice.

Texas vs. Canada.  Which one actually wants people to vote?

No comments:

Post a Comment