December 1, 2012

When an ID is lost, whole world comes to a halt

Letter to the Editor

"The New America" is what it is, but I don't have to like it as such.

This is my situation. It has to do with ID's. It's not that I am necessarily adverse to showing ID's for voting, transportation, job applications, benefits and myriad other purposes. (Though it is true; I don't like to.)

And it's not necessarily that I see bigotry and politics as a part of the changes in laws. (Though I do.) It is also not only because it has been "wicked hard" to obtain a copy of my birth certificate from N.Y. Vital Records. (Though it has, and, as of the time of writing, I still have not obtained a copy of afore mentioned document after a really long time of trying.)

There are certain points about my lack-of-ID trials that are more significant than my frustrations. (And I'm not saying that there's no culpability for losing identification in the first place. Yet, things get lost and things get stolen.)

It's true that jobs aren't given, driver's licenses (I just need one for myself) aren't issued, votes can't (sometimes) be cast, bank accounts remain unopened, cars can't be rented, deserved and needed benefits can't be received, taxes can't be prepared, buses and trains and airplanes can't be boarded, the USA can't be absented and housing can't be had, for the lack of proper ID.

Significant enough I'd say. More significant: These disenfranchisements smack of civil liberty violations. Big time.

If identification is required for multiple uses (I thought a driver's license was for driving a car), then it ought to be just as easy to obtain one as it is to require one to be shown.

I can't possibly be the only one in this conundrum.

Edda Briggs Thiele, Hallowell

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