Poll Tax, Revisited

The radical right extremists and the tea party redneck brigade boldly claim to be defenders & protectors of the Constitution. Perhaps, these self proclaimed patriots should read it.

“Imagine that you are finally old enough to vote in your first election. But, do you have enough money to vote? What if you had to pay to vote? Not too many years ago, citizens in some states had to pay a fee to vote in a national election. This fee was called a poll tax. On January 23, 1964, the United States ratified the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting any poll tax in elections for federal officials.”

When Texas voters are asked to show a photo ID at the polls in January, they will join voters in 29 other states that have adopted voter identification requirements — but only six of which require photo identification. The new requirement reeks of Voter Suppression. Texas Democrats have expressed concern with the new requirement” You can too.

Studies have shown that 11 percent of eligible voters, more than 20 million Americans, do not have a government-issued ID. This percentage is even higher for seniors, racial minorities, low-income voters and students. The record is clear that restrictive photo identification laws, such as the one just passed in Texas, serve no legitimate purpose. While proponents cite the need to guard against voter fraud, numerous recent investigations and studies have found zero evidence of substantial voter fraud of the kind voter ID laws would protect against — voter impersonation.

The procedure to obtain a Texas ID or Driver’s License requires you to show “Lawful Presence” by producing one of the following:

  1. Certificate of Birth issued by appropriate U.S. State, Territory, or District of Columbia;
  2. Department of State Certification of birth issued to U.S. Citizens born abroad
  3. Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  4. U.S. Dept. of Justice – INS U.S. Citizenship Identification Card
  5. U.S. Dept. of Justice – INS Identification Card for Resident Citizen of the U.S.
  6. U.S. Passport
  7. Valid Permanent Resident Card
  8. Passport or I-94 stamped “Approved I-551”;
  9. Passport or I-94 stamped “Processed for I-551” or
  10. Permit to Re-enter (Form I-327).

Most, if not all, require a certified copy of your birth certificate to obtain.

A Texas ID costs about $ 25.

And, to obtain a copy of your birth certificate (in Texas) you must provide:

  1. State-issued driver’s license
  2. State/city/county ID card
  3. Student ID
  4. Government employment badge or card
  5. Prison ID
  6. Military ID.

Certified copy of birth certificate costs about $22.

Combined cost (birth certificate/license): $47

Disturbing Fact: let’s say you make minimum wage (which makes up the majority of the so called jobs that Perry is claiming to have created), $7.25 an hour. You would need to work 6.48 hours in order to make enough money to pay your Poll Tax.

References: Embedded Links