Monday, December 3, 2007

Voting in Illinois

If you’ve never seen an application for voter registration you should take a look at this sample from Illinois (in Spanish or English, of course).

Now, let’s look at what you need, bare minimum to be a registered voter in the Land of Lincoln.

- A utility bill
- A name
- A mailing address
- A birth date
- A gender

Now, what is the optional information?
- An address. You can just use the handy grid, label the streets, and put a dot on the page.
- A phone number
- A photo ID
- A Social Security number
- The ability to sign your own name

If you are willing to sign that you are a citizen, that’s good enough. But you will have to show up in person at the county clerk’s office to apply, right? And they’ll check you out then, right?

Nope! Not in Illinois. You could be registered by a latino activist going door-to-door in your neighborhood or walking down the street. You could register at a rally for illegal alien rights. Or, you could just mail it in.

They won’t even check your pulse, a fine Chicago tradition.

The best part is that you don’t even need to register. My daughter has two voter cards in Illinois; one from when she went to the library and signed up and a second one from when the Secretary of State computer calculated that she had turned 18. Neat, huh?

There is a guy I met who bought a new car and used his middle initial instead of his middle name on the plate registration. Guess what? He got a new voter card in the mail. And he’d been an active registered voter in Illinois for 30 years!

They are passing them out like candy here.

Well, there was a Filipino woman in the Chicago Tribune today who got confused on some forms down at the DMV, got a voter card, voted last year, and got in trouble for it because she isn't a citizen. Poor victim.

The amazing thing in my mind is that they even enforced the law. With the whole process so loosy-goosy, who would even catch on? I mean really, how difficult would it be to commit voter fraud in this state? I say it would be simple.

And what upsets me are all the special accommodation for Hispanic voters. It was already a sore spot that we are printing ballots in Spanish. Now to make matters worse, Kane County is required to have bilingual interpreters in every polling place to answer questions.

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