{Empty title} | The Nation

Do you really think that requiring a photo ID in order to register to vote is no big deal? I recently moved to Montana from Georgia.

I went to the courthouse to get a driver’s license. I thought it was like the old days, or like the last time I got a new state license, where you trade in one valid state license and get another in return. Oh, no! That would be too easy and sensible. Now the federal government has stepped into the arena and screwed everything up for the private citizen. One has to produce proof of residence, a Social Security card and either a passport or a birth certificate. Al Qaeda bombed the United States, and now United States citizens are all suspects. It matters not that I served my country in the armed forces during a time of war. What a stinking pile of horse pucky! Is there nothing the feds can’t make a mess of?

I discovered that there are more hoops to jump through to get a driver’s license these days. The local licensing bureau advised me to go to the online website vitalchek.com to obtain a birth certificate. After filling out two or three pages of info and agreeing to pay $29 by credit card, I was only then warned that I must still submit a signed hard copy application along with a photo ID to the Florida State Office of Vital Statistics--which charges only $14! The website obligingly gave me an address to use in Tennesee. One can download the .pdf file from Florida’s website, but I don’t have a printer at present. So I had to drive twenty-four miles to town, join the local Carnegie Library (not a bad thing) and use their computer, and then mail in the application with a check. Now it will take snail mail time both ways and ten days for processing. It’s a good thing I used the Internet, huh?