Do You Really Want Your Right to Vote Determined by the DMV? Part 2

Posted in Daily Kos on 12/14/2012.

Welcome to VoteRiders’ second installment of Do You Really Want Your Right to Vote Determined by the DMV?

This week we introduce you to Laura. She reached out to VoteRiders for help to obtain identification she needed to vote. Laura recently moved to Indiana from California. She is divorced and kept her married name as her legal name. She has a birth certificate, social security card, a United States Department of Veterans Affairs ID, a divorce decree and a California photo ID. When Laura sought her Indiana state ID, she was refused because the last name on her birth certificate doesn’t match the last name on her other documents. The state is requiring Laura to produce a marriage certificate to follow the thread from her maiden name to the name she legally and currently uses. 

In Laura’s words: “I had assumed any intelligent individual (or agency) would make the connection that if I had divorce papers, I was obviously married and hence the name change.”

Yes, you would think! 

Laura had to sign, notarize and mail her marriage certificate request to California.  THEN the waiting period began. VoteRiders connected Laura with an attorney to see how the process could be expedited.

Unfortunately, Laura didn’t receive the form in time and was unable to vote on November 6th. This United States military veteran has voted in every election since she turned 18.

Many other Americans were disenfranchised just like Laura on Election Day.  An eligible citizen’s right to vote is often being determined by policies and regulations that don’t make sense and seem counter-intuitive. For example, many birth certificate applications require the applicant to submit a photo ID. There are plenty of people who are seeking their birth certificate because they need a photo ID!

Stay tuned for our next installment of Do You Really Want Your Right to Vote Determined by the DMV? and for information on what VoteRiders has planned to address the issue.