Sunday, August 18, 2013

Burdensome Youth

The Governor's office made the following statement about H589, more commonly known as the voter ID law:
"This law will also remove the bureaucratic burden of having to re-certify the address and other identifying information for under-age voters by doing away with pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds. North Carolina was one of only eight states with the practice of “registering” teenagers too young to vote."

Do you hear that youth of NC? We're a bureaucratic burden now.

Things not a bureaucratic burden include:
Spending up to 3.6 million dollars according to one of the original Republican chief sponsors of the voter ID legislation (others say this will cost much much more)

Replacing 6 million dollars worth of voting machines in one county alone

What this nice lady is going to have to go through to get all her ID straightened out:

Let's all hop in the TARDIS and go back in time. We don't have to go back very far, only to to 2010. Back then, the legislation that allowed 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote in NC passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was cited by FairVote as an "excellent example of how to engage young voters."

North Carolina never had a practice of registering any teenagers too young to vote. What NC did was allow 16-17 year olds to pre-register, meaning they would fill out their registration forms and those forms would be held until it was time for the verification process. When was the time for that verification process? The time for verifying the applications of teens who had pre-registered was not when they pre-registered but when they reached legal voting age. When the pre-registered teens turned 18, the information would then be verified just like the information of any other voter of any age that was newly registering.

At the time this legislation was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, the State Board of Elections said it would be able to develop software to handle pre-registrations without going over their budget. They also said that this legislation allowing teens to pre-register would make the voter rolls more accurate. According to the DMV, 16 and 17 year olds don't change addresses as often as 18 and 19 year olds.

Bureaucratic burden? Allowing teens to pre-register and adding them to the voter rolls when they turn 18 is no more burdensome than registering anyone else. Besides, wasn't the whole point of requiring ID to make sure people's information matched up when they went to vote?

The only bureaucratic burden I see here is that certain elected representatives in North Carolina want to continue to blow off NC's youth with answers that don't make sense in regard to eliminating the ability of 16-17 year olds to pre-register to vote.

As some of you know, I want to meet with my Governor to discuss this issue. What some of you might not know is that if he chooses not to meet with me, I'm not giving up. I'm fed up, fired up, and getting ready to organize.

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