While the voter ID debate has been raging for the last several years, I have said little about it. Personally, I don’t think we even need voter registration but should instead throw open the polls and allow the people to vote.
But, the voter ID debate has been a shoulder shrug for the most part. Until…. I just realized that I have messed up my sweet Dad’s ability to vote.
Most of the debate and testimony centers around minority voting rights and the fact that many minorities and the poor may not have a valid driver’s license. Hey, it’s expensive in both dollars and time to get a driver’s license. If you don’t drive, do you really need one?
But I have heard little about the debate involving and effecting the elderly. Thus, I was a little shocked when I realized that I had not taken care of my Dad’s issue.
In the last year, my sweet Dad has taken a significant turn for the worse in his health care. He has moved into a nursing home. I have taken over all of the paperwork and brought his car to my house.
Through much of the changes this year, I did not realize that his driver’s license had expired and that he had no formal identification other than his VA card. Uh oh.
I also forgot to move his voter registration and just truly messed up, admittedly. Now I am in deep trouble. My Dad, who has rarely missed an election in his entire life, is not going to be able to vote this year. I couldn’t get a mail ballot for him due to the move and change of address.
No problem, I thought, we’ll just go in person to the address he last voted. Well, he doesn’t have any identification. Thinking I could still fix it, we went to the DPS office to try and get an ID. HAH!!!! What an experience that turned out to be for us. As my Dad doesn’t pay any utilities or any bills in his name, we couldn’t get the card. We had no identifying papers with us to confirm his residence though we did have his expired driver’s license.
We were told that we could have the nursing home prepare a notarized letter that he is a resident and bring that back for review and consideration. Really?
So, one of your biggest advocates for voting and participating in a democracy, has truly made a mess of things.
The saddest part is that it might be his last opportunity to vote and I have dropped the ball.
I am humbled. And to all of you voter ID bashers out there, remember to include the elderly in your discussions. And when someone responds that “they can always vote by mail”, remind them that it doesn’t always address the issues that arise with rapid health decline and changing addresses that occur with our elderly.
When you make it difficult for our most seasoned and experienced citiznes to vote, the democracy is truly in trouble.
By the way Republicans, my Dad is a solid Repbulican and a Fox news watcher so this one cost you a vote……..