Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How voter ID laws are used to fix elections: one person's experience

You may have heard of attempts to require stricter identification to vote, which is really just an attempt to disenfranchise large swathes of the electorate. Here is one person's experience testing just what these kinds of laws mean.
My son and I were given several chances to leave by the police. To go back home and just forget about voting. I will give the officers that much. They really did not want to arrest us. On the other hand, between the officers and the six election judges, none were willing to even ask what should be done. Even as my son had succeeded in getting hold of someone at the Election Board, who had authority (Brad lastnameunknown), the police officers refused to speak to the Election Board when "Brad" made that request.

My son was told to turn off his phone and get out of the parking lot, or he would be taken to jail along with me. I told him to get in the car, drive home, and be prepared for my phone calls.

One officer then turned to me and said, "This is your last chance. Leave and never come back here."

I said, "You're kidding, surely. Never? And where do I vote in November?"

"Are you going?" he asked again.

I asked, "You mean leave without even having an answer as to why I am not allowed to cast my ballot?"

His answer was nonverbal; but he leaned in close, and I knew he was waiting for an answer.

"Uhhh... with all due respect, officer... I feel that if I did so, I would be betraying my own conscience, and setting a bad precedent for all those citizens who share my right to vote."

About two nano-seconds after finishing my sentence, an officer behind me grabbed my wrists, handcuffed me, pulled me by the arm and pushed me into the back seat of a caged police car.

...The ticket states that I, on 11PM of this date "did knowingly cause a disturbance/disorderly conduct to wit: acts in a violent or tumultuous manner foward another, placing such person(s)in fear of safety by (and this is the part I find fascinating) refusing to show proper I.D. when voting".
Learn more about voter protection at the Election Incident Reporting System.


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