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darkskywatcher

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MN registration ranting [Nov. 7th, 2006|02:05 am]
darkskywatcher
[mood |pissed offpissed off]


So according to what I can find online, the State of Minnesota is willing to take the word of a registered voter in my district as proof positive that I am a resident of the district. Such a statement is in fact all the proof I need to vote. However, without a Minnesota Driver's license (or a US Passport), they are unwilling to accept such things as, say, a residential lease or utility bill as proof that I live where I do.

So, apparently, if you have a Minnesota resident who's willing to be a little crooked, it is entirely plausible that someone like, say, an illegal immigrat could be allowed to vote. However, should you be a new resident who has not bothered to get unnecessary state documents, but who can prove both residency and their identity, it's a no go. That'sa good message to send.

This is infuriating. Without access to a fax machine, or my own passport, I have to go get a goddamn driver's license if I want to vote. This not only is going to take time, and possibly quite a bit of time at that, this going to take money. It feels like a poll tax.

I guess the other option is to ask my building manager when he's going to vote, since he's about the only person who could really vouch for me.

I generally am in favor of bureaucracy, but this is ridiculous. This is a hindrance to the democratic process, when an eligable voter who has even taken effort to understand the political issues and candidates is prevented from voting for no good reason at all.

Grrrrrrrrrr...

EDIT: I attempted, in vain, to obtain a valid state driver's license for the purpose of voting. There's a station within walking distance of my apartment, and since it's still early the line was very short. I took the test, pulled out my old ID, etc. However, I was to be undone yet again because of my lack of a passport or birth certificate. Apparently, the states do not trust one another to have checked for these things, and therefor possession of an old ID somehow doesn't validate your identity.


Final Edit, and synopsis: I was ultimately unsuccessful in my voting endeavor. As it turned out, I really would have only had the opportunity to vote in one close election anyway (Governor's race, which as of 4 AM Wednesday isn't technically finished yet, although the Republican incumbent has a commanding lead). However, through my participation in the political process, I learned n awful lot about Minnesota politics, which has been something that I have consciously wanted to know more about. So It was by no means a total loss.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: darkskywatcher
2006-11-07 01:28 pm (UTC)
I assume it's for identity verification, since you also have to present a current utility bill. But I'd think between a social security card and an out of state id that would count as sufficient verification.
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[User Picture]From: chuzhuzhe
2006-11-07 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well, at least you have the option. In NJ you have to register three weeks in advance, and I was one day too late, so I don't get to vote at all.

Best advice for changing your drivers license is to go early in the morning and bring a book. :)
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[User Picture]From: darkskywatcher
2006-11-07 01:26 pm (UTC)
I know there are some absolutely insane residency requirements in some states, such as Illinois. I checked months ago to make sure that Minnesota didn't have that, but I didn't check what the actual requirements are.

I'm very sorry to hear that you got screwed. Residency requirements are teh suck.
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[User Picture]From: chuzhuzhe
2006-11-07 01:35 pm (UTC)
No, I wasn't screwed by residency requirements. I've lived in NJ more than long enough. I just didn't go register in time, 'cause I was getting everything else together and didn't realize the deadline was so soon.
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From: padrecsj
2006-11-07 03:06 pm (UTC)
I am running the Driver's Licenses and utility bill game and showing up the polls. Now I have a MN licenses with a different district, so we shall see what happens, but I think stopping at the polls is probably the way to go
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[User Picture]From: lerite
2006-11-07 06:12 pm (UTC)
No state trusts any other state to issue driver's licenses. Really. I think it's because licenses aren't standardized so it would be easier to fake one the worker hadn't seen before--but dude. It's like we're still 50 little countries in some ways.
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[User Picture]From: nathan_lounge
2006-11-08 08:21 am (UTC)
You're right. We should get rid of states.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Well...

Maybe right after that whole American Idol thing.
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