Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indiana Court strikres down the Voter ID Law

An Indiana Court struck down the Voter ID Law even after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled it was constitutional. The problem that I tried to identify years ago when this was being proposed was that it violated some people’s individual rights. I know personally two people who are denied Indiana Driver’s licenses and State ID’s because they do not have a social security number. I also identified to the state of Indiana that the Voter Registration law does not require a Social Security Number and that it could not require it under Federal Statute.

The state attempted to circumvent Federal Statutes concerning the SSN by requiring a State issued ID. A U.S. Passport is a valid photo ID for voting, but it costs over $100 to obtain. The U.S. State Department cannot require the person have a SSN to obtain a U.S. Passport. If the state were to require a SSN they would be imposing a hardship on people who do not have a SSN.

A year later I was told that absentee ballots could be sent without the photo ID to the voter’s address under certain circumstances; health reason, out of the state at the time of the election and military. When I said this did not cover all circumstances I was told the county does not verify the request is valid, but simply sends the absentee ballot out. In other words lie to get an absentee ballot.

William Sherman Smith used valid names and SSN’s to obtain 149 different Indiana Driver’s licenses. The Social Security Online Verification System verified the name and SSN matched, but cannot identify if a driver’s license had already been issued and Indiana’s BMV could only verify if a driver’s license had been issued using that SSN. As long as you had someone’s SSN and name who had not obtained an Indiana ID or driver’s license (use out of state ID’s), the Indiana BMV issued these types of identifications without question.

Indiana began using photo recognition programs and found numerous people like William Sherman Smith who had obtained multiple ID’s. So how well did asking for a SSN work? It did diddly squat for fighting Identity Theft, while infringing on the RIGHTS of U.S. Citizens.

What is the answer? How many times will a person performing a repetitious task make an error? From my experience and what others have found, people will make an error 5% of the time. Therefore, requiring a SSN and utilizing this one ID, that has no method of being traced to the particular person presenting it as ID, will result in errors of 5%. Now what happens when you ask for more than one ID that must be verified? With each subsequent person looking at the information, there is less chance the error will go unnoticed. We know that photo recognition worked better than using the SSN. However, photo recognition is not fool proof and can be manipulated fairly easily. When you fill out the voter registration card, they should take a photo of you and issue a voter ID card. Every time you move, you need to obtain a new card. Voter registration already assigns a unique number to the individual. How hard is it to track the replacement, issue and movement of a person if a unique secure number is used?

We are chasing a ghost. With each advance in technology, the identity thieves or voter fraudsters will use future technology to continue to steal and violate laws. Criminals have been around since day one. We are treating everyone now as a potential criminal instead of a citizen.

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