Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-06-2020, 08:15 PM
Springtime for Spacers is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,059
One large group of those without ID in the USA are the homeless. Perhaps they left home as teenagers leaving all their papers behind. Perhaps they lost them on the road or perhaps they were indeed destroyed in a fire. Dennis Rickett, partner of writer Chip Delany was in the position for most of his life and had given up in frustration after finding himself in a nightmare of bureaucratic Catch 22s. I was following along with his story on Delany's Facebook. It looked for a long time as though he would never again be a legal entity but eventually the hive mind came up with a lawyer who could help and he now has his ID, his benefits, his vote and his own Facebook page.

Apologies for the link being to a podcast, it's all I could find.
Old 05-06-2020, 08:33 PM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 24,685
Originally Posted by Loggins View Post
The reason for registering as a worker, is to get all the workers benefits like pension and work insurance and other things..

Yeah. America doesn't work that way, sadly. What people are worried about is getting a job in the first place, and keeping that job in the second place. Paid time off to not be at work? Hah! That is not something American employers embrace. A national day off so workers can vote? Again, hah! The employers would have coniption fits you'd hear all the way to Saturn. Those employers aren't always thrilled with the other things you mention.

Originally Posted by The Chao Goes Mu View Post
Another hurdle is the cost of getting a copy of your birth certificate. Depending on which state you live in it can cost anywhere from $7-$30. To some, that's cost prohibitive when you have to add on the cost of getting an I.D. after that.

You can also add in the fun those of us who were born overseas have in getting a certfied copy of our Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Oh, and that's especially entertaining during times of federal government shut-down. In normal times, the fee is $50 and the processing time is eight weeks. Now, the processing time is anybody's guess. And don't forget to add in the cost of the notary public and the other identification one needs to get the damn CRBA in order to get the damn identification. Want to make it even more entertaining? Sometimes I am required to have an apostille attached to my CRBA. Ah, fun, fun, fun! That's even more money.

Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
I prefer to look at it the other way around: in the past, the racist scum were Democrats.

You, friend, are an absolute genius. That is the perfect description of the situation.

Originally Posted by OttoDaFe View Post
There is a quasi-universal "personal ID" which has been alluded to above: the Social Security Number (SSN). As D_Odds said, it's normally applied for shortly after birth, and usually remains with the individual for life. And in theory it could be used as a national ID, including verifying eligibility to vote. But it's not for a number of reasons, some legitimate (since it's used widely in finance, having a person's SSN is an open door into his/her credit history, as well as an opportunity to open fraudulent accounts in his/her name), and some whackadoodle (Number of the Beast conspiracy theories come to mind). Also, the card contains a warning in large unfriendly letters that it should never be carried in one's wallet or purse, making it more difficult to provide it to the person verifying eligibility.

Today parents apply for a Social Security Number for their children when the child is born. In the past, that was not the case. I did not get a SSAN until I got my first paying job, around the age of 11. Getting a copy of a lost or damaged Social Security card is no walk in the park either.

Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
It's harder than you think in the US. It can cost a lot of time and money and can amount to a poll tax which is illegal but, in theory, you can do this for free. The effort for that though is no small task.

- Getting a photo ID so you can vote is easy. Unless you’re poor, black, Latino or elderly.
- Why Millions of Americans Have No Government ID
- Without ID, Homeless Trapped in Vicious Cycle
- Op-Ed: Real ID will divide us all into documented and undocumented

In January this year I had to appear in person in Georgia to renew my Georgia Driver's License. Why could I not renew online? Simple, friend, simple. The license which had just expired in November of 2019 was not Real ID compliant. To get the Real ID compliant version I now have, I had to present another form of identification, itself which passes Real ID muster. Ah, that is, as Mork put it, a Catch-44. So, what ID did I use to get my spanking new spiffy ultra-modern driver's license? I actually had to use two and provide something with my name, my social security number, AND a physical address in Georga. Note that the "something" had to have all three things on the thing. I showed my military retiree ID card, my passport, and a bank statement. Go ahead, have some fun with this. Take a wild guess what I had to show to get the license that was not Real ID compliant. Go ahead. I dare you.

No. It is not a simple thing in the United States of America to get identification cards. Add into it what appears to me to be a very widely held mistaken belief about what is and is not a birth certificate (the cute form the hospital gives the parents with the footprints is not a valid birth certificate), and the equation is even more of an inequaltiy.

I referred upthread to disparate impact. That is a fellow traveler of disparate intent. Disparate/Discriminatory Intent is when the law explicitly is designed to disenfranchise or otherwise deny a certain group their rights. Disparate Impact is when the law lacks such an intent (I mean the intent is not obviously there), but the impact adversely affects a certain group. To this non-lawyer requiring government-issued photo identification to exercise one's constitutional rights and then closing down those offices which issue said government issued photo identification, while removing protections from dismissal is way the Hell into the intent neighborhood of that disparity map.

Last edited by Monty; 05-06-2020 at 08:37 PM.
Old 05-06-2020, 11:56 PM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the Land of Smiles
Posts: 21,529
Originally Posted by Loggins View Post
Well i didnt expect so much hatred and vitriol in this thread. I thought anyone would easily be able to get themselves an ID.
And now you've been informed that that is incorrect. Win yourself a brownie-point by admitting that you're now less ignorant.

... Or double-down by insisting that you understand American better than Americans do. You decide.
Originally Posted by Loggins View Post
I cant imagine why anyone would want anyone to be able to vote, without demnading they be identifying that they are elegiable to vote, nd to cross them off the list after they voted.
Guess what!? That's how it works in the U.S.A. also! One difference now is that Granny Jones who's well known to the poll workers and has been voting for decades is now not allowed to register because Republican cheaters have decided the particular ID she uses is unacceptable.

One vote seldom makes a difference to an election's outcome, but it is a serious federal crime to vote fraudulently. Do you think that non-citizen aliens voting in elections, or citizens voting more than once is really a serious problem, given the risk-reward ratio?
Old 05-07-2020, 07:55 PM
DMC is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,819
Originally Posted by Calavera View Post
So if your house burns down with all your ID you are doomed to forever have no ID because you need ID to get ID? Yeah right, pull the other one.
Did I say you were "doomed to forever have no ID" or did I say something like:
Originally Posted by DMC
It's probably somehow possible to eventually get through this hell, possibly with the help of a lawyer, but it sure isn't easy.
So again, fuck off, asshole.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017