Let's not forget other disenfranchised voters who don't know how to buy postage stamps.
// Read the previous post in the voter disenfranchisement series. //
For the curious, here is the actual North Dakota constitution regarding elective franchise:
Section 1. The general election of the state shall be held biennially as provided by law. Every citizen of the United States, who has attained the age of eighteen years and who is a North Dakota resident, shall be a qualified elector. When an elector moves within the state, he shall be entitled to vote in the precinct from which he moves until he establishes voting residence in another precinct. The legislative assembly shall provide by law for the determination of residence for voting eligibility, other than physical presence. No elector shall lose his residency for voting eligibility solely by reason of his absence from the state. The legislative assembly shall provide by law for secrecy in voting, for absentee voting, for administration of elections and for the nomination of candidates.
Section 2. No person who has been declared mentally incompetent by order of a court or other authority having jurisdiction, which order has not been rescinded, shall be qualified to vote. No person convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote until his or her civil rights are restored.
I've seen some folks claiming that since the new voter ID law isn't in the constitution, it is unconstitutional and invalid. Please read the above and see that the constitution is simply establishing what qualifies a person as a valid voter. The current law, and any other laws, are simply part of verifying that a person meets the constitutional requirements. Having an ID that shows you are a resident of the state is not an additional requirement; it is proof that you meet the constitutional requirement of residency. Is it so much to ask for proof that a person is a North Dakota resident? This is 2018. How out of line is it to ask for simple proof that you have an address in this state and are, indeed, a resident?
I've also seen some folks claiming the timing of the ruling was vindictive, but that was based on the timing of the appeals and the process that followed (an appeal, I believe, that was done by Democrats, but I could be wrong). Back in the 2016 election, when we had 5,000+ non-residents camping on Army Corps property near Standing Rock because of the Dakota Access pipeline, some of them suggested they would try to vote since we have no voter registration in North Dakota and the Voter ID law that has now been ruled acceptable was, at the time, struck down. It may have just been idle threats on social media, but who knows? This was a concern, that protesters who were not residents and not qualified to vote here would vote and throw off the state elections. All of those folks now hollering about this unfair law and bad timing certainly weren't doing so then. Some were gleeful with the thought of 5,000+ liberal out-of-state people messing up our elections.
I've seen some saying North Dakota bastards love to disenfranchise voters because college kids can't vote, either. Well, they can, even if they go to school out of state. Now, if they permanently moved to the state in which they go to college, no problem. They can vote there. My college years were in Minnesota. I've never missed an election. Some were at polling places, others were absentee ballots. Do the math.
Speaking of absentee ballots and college kids...
I read a story a few weeks ago about how young voters were able to figure out how to fill out their absentee ballots, but didn't send them in because they didn't know where to purchase postage stamps.
Something about the root word of "postage" would give it away, you'd think, so I figured that had to be a bogus story. It seemed completely ludicrous. Surely no one was so stupid that they didn't know where to get a postage stamp. I asked a young man in my acquaintance, out of curiosity.
"Do you write or mail letters?" I asked.
"If you did, do you know where to get a stamp?"
Pause. "Um...well, my parents have stamps."
"No, where would you personally get them, that's what I want to know."
"I guess the grocery store?"
Close enough. The nearby grocery store had a mailing counter. But seriously.
So in this continuing series, apparently, of barriers to voting, here we have another group of the disenfranchised: the college-educated $80,000 student loan social justice warrior who can't vote for want of a stamp.
The war was lost for the want of a nail.
They have a $1000 MacBook and can code and post selfies and harass politicians and click "like" on every Alyssa Milano tweet and they can't figure out how to mail a damn letter. Do the absentee ballots just pile up on their desk? Do the Bernie and Heidi ballots get pushed aside when they need room to knit another new pink pussy hat for their screech on Washington?
I still question the validity of the story detailing this insurmountable barrier to voting, but I have seen a 20-something completely lose it trying to figure out how to use a road map, so who knows.
So we have folks who don't know their address, and apparently some who don't know where to get a stamp.
I'm not interested in polling tests for voters. I've seen some of the "tests" used on African Americans back in the day, and they had brutal essay questions like "a train leaves Baltimore at 5 and a bird crows at midnight. What color is the dress of the woman in the fourth row? Please explain your answer, using the quadratic equation."
But is it too much to expect a voter who is helping to decide the fate of the state and country if they know the address of where they live and if they know where to buy a postage stamp?
I can't wait for the time when we're all required to have Real IDs. I realized I would have challenges to meet one of the requirements based on my rental situation, and so, even though they aren't required now, I did this crazy thing called "planning ahead" and set about to make some banking adjustments so that I can now get my Real ID. If you thought getting a location address on an ID was difficult, get ready for fun!
I'll end with a bastardized poem, because frankly, I don't know how else to close this out:
so much depends
eyes glazed with
UPDATE: Other reasons young people don't vote? Lack of intrinsic motivation due to ADHD, mailing anxiety, and more. Unreal.