This can’t be right, because conservative lawmakers and judges keep telling us that everyone has a driver’s license, because you need one to “cash a check” or “board an airplane” :
According to a study released this month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, only 54 percent of Americans have a driver’s license before their 18th birthday. Auto companies are in a panic over teens’ declining interest in their product. The AAA report cites a precipitous “downward trend” in licensing rates among high school seniors, with 85 percent reporting that they had a license in 1996, but only 73 percent reporting that in 2010.
The decline increasingly has implications for voting behavior, as well. At least 22 states have introduced Voter ID laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. North Carolina just enacted a whirlwind of vote-suppression tactics that, as Rick Hasen writes here, has already made a mockery of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling, which claimed it could curtail the Voting Rights Act without significant impact.
A valid driver’s ID, the standard photo identification issued by states, is accepted for purposes of voting. But as fewer young people obtain driver’s licenses, the routine connection between adulthood and a photo ID is increasingly broken.
The partisan implications are clear: In 2012, President Barack Obama captured 60 percent of votes cast by Americans ages 18 to 29. And when it comes to driver’s licenses, there is a wide disparity between poor and minority teens, who are even more likely to vote Democratic, and wealthy and white teens.
Low-income and minority teens are the least likely to obtain a driver’s license before age 18. Only 25 percent of teens living in households with incomes less than $20,000 obtained their license before they turned 18, while 79 percent of teens were licensed by their eighteenth birthday in households with incomes of $100,000 or more. The findings for licensure by age 18 differed significantly by race and ethnicity, with 67 percent for non-Hispanic white teens, 37 percent for non-Hispanic black teens, and 29 percent for Hispanic teens.
More pesky facts that get in the way of preventing imaginary voter impersonation fraud. Having a license should never have been made a precondition for voting. It’s more ridiculous now, with this trend, but it was always stupid and clueless and blatantly unfair.
Many schools axed driver’s end to focus time for test prep. Hard to get license if not able to pay for private class
When I go to vote, I must sign my name and the person on the other side of the table compares my current signature with the one on record when I registered to vote. If s/he is satisfied (s/he always has been satisfied) that I am who I say I am, I am given a ballot.
So simple. So easy.
Gopers are killing two birds with this attitude; you must drive and use oil/gas in order to vote. If you are green/ Dem get your bikes off the road and don’t vote. Such great logic.
Yeah, the income divide is really stark. I knew there was a divide on income (although apparently the US Supreme Court didn’t ) but I didn’t know it was that big. Oh, well. If they wanted to vote they should have picked wealthier parents.
@Chief: I’ve literally never even seen anyone try to explain why this isn’t satisfactory evidence that the voter is who she says she is. If you bring it up, they just pretend you don’t exist.
My 17 year-old son has only the vaguest interest in getting his license (and only then because he wants a motorcycle), and reasons that it may be well into his college years before he gets around to it. With the schools he is looking at for college, he might be able to postpone the need for a license for some time. He is planning on voting next year, so he is checking into the various states’ voting guidelines for those without a driver’s license.
I just have to throw this in there for the Privatization threads – something I choked on Sunday.
Let’s say you’re the Metro editor of the liberal Dallas Morning News. Which headline would you use:
“80% of charter schools meet state education standards”
“Over twice* as many Charter schools fail to meet state education standards than public schools”
*(97 schools, 20% versus 9%. Buried halfway in article)
When I go to vote, the person checking the signature lives in the same building I do and recognizes me by sight. I guess this is an advantage well off people have of living in the same place for long enough that the people at the precinct can recognize you.
Villago Delenda Est
Feature, not bug, when your goal is to take steps to prevent the “wrong” people from voting for the “wrong” candidates (those without an R behind their names)>
Villago Delenda Est
This seems to be the standard line of thought for a great many things. Just borrow the money for school, or a business startup, or whatever, from your parents. Or, in the alternative, cash out some of your stock portfolio. Simple!
My 16 year old has no interest in driving, though he did take drivers’ ed, and plans on living somewhere where owning a car is not a necessity. This is good, because putting him on our insurance would force us to make sacrifices elsewhere.
It’s all of them. This is Bob Somerby on Keller in the NYTimes:
The nations biggest media companies flat-out lie about public schools, constantly. In a way, it’s a kind of libel. One would think they would at least want to give the children who are taking the tests credit. No! The narrative must be obeyed!
Kevin Drum tells the truth about test scores too. I don’t know why he hasn’t been fired.
pseudonymous in nc
Let’s step back and think about what “ID” actually is. In living memory, across large parts of the US, you identified yourself through having people who knew you and could vouch for you. Formal identity documents are a kind of vouching that happens when you can’t say “ask the lady who manages the post office, she’s known me since I was a child.”
The US has a set of kludges instead of ID: it has the SSN, which is not an identification number but used as a UUID; it has the state drivers license, which demonstrates your competence to drive, but is used as an ID document.
If you’re truly serious about ID, especially for elections, then it needs to be federal, free, paid by taxes, and attached to a database that gets updated whenever you move. That database is freely offered to the states for its use. This is what Canada does (although Canada doesn’t have a federal ID, or a voter ID requirement).
It also needs to come with a huge investment in cleaning up all the crappy vital records data going back to the days when people didn’t get birth certificates because they were born at home and/or were black, or those records got lost at the county courthouse, or got mis-transcribed when the state moved its records from county seats to a central registry.
If you think that states can run their own ID systems and track free movement across state lines, then you’re not a serious person, and your motivations are suspect.
David in NY
Neither of my sons (ages 28 and 25) drives. One lives in Minneapolis and had bicycle until it was stolen recently. The other lives in Brooklyn and takes the subway or rides a bike-share bike.
Look at it this way: people who don’t have drivers’ licenses probably either live in cities or are hippie types who ride bicycles, or both. Either way, they’re un-American and shouldn’t be voting anyway. Real Americans ™ drive, damn it!
Villago Delenda Est
Kevin Drum does not work for either of the Pravdas…on the Hudson or on the Potomac.
Otherwise, he would have been fired.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
What exactly makes a state DL sacrosanct? When I went to get my driver’s license renewed a few years ago, I couldn’t find my birth certificate so I drove to the state capital, stood in line for an hour and showed them my expired driver’s license as proof of who I am whereupon they printed a birth certificate that allowed me to renew my driver’s license at DMV. Anyone notice anything circular about this?
@Roger Moore: When I go to vote I raise the red flag on my mailbox so the letter carrier knows to pick it up.
@gian: IOW, “education reform” falls neatly under the “no voter fraud” umbrella. Very convenient.
@Villago Delenda Est:
You will never, ever read this in the NYTimes or WaPo:
I love that they’re supposedly “data-driven.” Except, no comparing year over year or between cities!
Why aren’t there more Democrats all over the country introducing bills to make obtaining identification for voters easy, convenient and free, and daring the Republicans to oppose them? This should be a huge part of the pushback and I don’t understand why there isn’t an ongoing, unrelenting effort to put the Republicans on the defensive for a change.
@pseudonymous in nc:
Number of the beast! Antichrist 666!
Quaker in a Basement
More pesky facts that get in the way of preventing imaginary voter impersonation fraud.
Just because conservatives pretend this is their aim doesn’t mean we have to play along. Preventing young minority citizens from voting is plainly not a flaw in their plan.
1) Inner city kids are the ones least likely to get a license, so them losing the ability to vote is an absolute feature to the GOP.
2) While test scores have been climbing, the ability to do open-ended problem solving is clearly declining. Turns out that teaching kids to cram doesn’t necessarily teach them to think. So both statements can be true, but they can’t be from someone who pimped NCLB as both the measure of the problem and the remedy to it. Anyone outside of the school reform movement knows that test scores and actual learning are only loosely correlated – that the former is something of a prerequisite for the latter, but in no way a measure of it, and certainly not a substitute for it.
They are. And the GOP are killing them in committee because they control the state legislatures. As a result, you don’t hear about the bills and the GOP doesn’t get punished for opposing it
We only own one car. We paid it off last year, and really aren’t thrilled with either the thought of taking on a new car payment (neither my wife nor I have received a raise in four years), or the ugliness of car insurance rates with a 17 year-old male on the policy. So, a one car family we remain. We carpool, even though in South Texas that is not the easiest of things to do (thankfully, our places of employment aren’t that far away from each other), and we have rather learned that adding another car would rob us of another opportunity to hang out together as a family (which we all love to do – we are the kind of family that sits and gabs for an hour or more after supper each night).
I teach Study Abroad classes during the summer, and our travels to Europe have also diminished my son’s enthusiasm for driving – he would rather use public transportation. I sometimes think that he is narrowing down his choice of colleges based on how good the public transportation is in a given city.
@stratplayer: because, most likely, they can propose, but if it never gets out of committee and then it never reaches the floor, it’s as if it never existed. I’m sure that they’re trying, but when you have the majority, it doesn’t mean that you have to give the other side a voice unless you sway one of the corporate minions or teahadist tools…. and to that I say, good luck with that.
Keep ’em coming, Kay.
I was never one of those folks who was dying to learn how to drive.
I didn’t learn until I finished college
I’m an urban dweller who didn’t need a car until the first job.
@Roger Moore: You guys are talking like ACORN doesn’t have an army of ten million skilled forgets all across the country, just waiting to exploit that loophole.
@? Martin: This.
If there is a clearer-cut case of looking for your dropped keys under the lamppost than standardized testing, I don’t know what it is.
“data driven” is only meaningful if the variables you want to measure are observable from the variables you are measuring. Nobody in Ed reform seems o care about that part.
Villago Delenda Est
They’re “data driven” in a buffet sort of way. “I”ll have some of the tiger shrimp, and some of the cocktail weenies, but none of those clams over there, that look bad”.
@Chief: My voting process:
1) Get ballot in mail.
2) Fill out ballot.
3) Drop ballot in mail or at drop-off centre.
And it works.
Would like to add about the kids these days is the horrific drop in the crime rates.
You figure in our tough economic times they could take to some petty looting and general hooliganism, instead of spending all their time sending pics on Instagram or Pintrest or Tumblr for their friends to see.
In the good old days, if you wanted to be cool you had to egg someone’s house and not just send the latest LOLcats photo to your friends.
Villago Delenda Est
Neither was I. I didn’t need to drive (even though I took driver’s ed and had a learners permit as soon as I could) so I never bothered to get licensed until after college. I didn’t see a reason to jack up my parent’s auto insurance premiums. My sister and brother, OTOH, could not WAIT to do that. My sister even went nuts and devoted every dime of her part time job to buying a car. Just to avoid having to walk some places, or ride a bike.
Villago Delenda Est
Once again, feature, not bug.
It’s time to create a movement for a true national ID card. We can use the voting rights debacle as a motivating purpose. The real reason to support a national ID card, though, is that it flushes out the crazy fundamentalists who associate national ID cards with the mark of the anti-Christ.
So, you concede that the headline is factually accurate. The basis for your beef is that it’s not spun to your liking.
Short of buying the company, I’d say you’re probably SOL.
And for the record, Jesus did not weep.
So if GM, Ford and Chrysler sponsor a “Discover the Joy of Driving” campaign and sponsor driver’s ed for high school juniors across the US, will the GOP accuse them of encouraging voter fraud?
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Only if you’re arguing that Jesus didn’t exist.
If so, then proceed.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Drum works for the Izvestia of the Old Left, Mother Jones. He would have to deviate from the party line in the other direction in order to face the axe. But if he did so, he would surely face the axe. At the end of the day, the Izvestia of the Old Left is a commercial enterprise, and if enough of its readers were to start bitching about Drum, it would take whatever action it deemed necessary to protect its brand and franchise.
@danimal: A national ID card makes so much sense. The problem is that every last quasi-libertarian will join the frothing right-wing crowd to shout down such an evident scheme to formalize totalitarianism. You think they all scream about King Obama now? Yeesh.
“Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling, which claimed it could curtail the Voting Rights Act without significant impact.”
According to the current supreme court, this statement is still true. There has been no voting yet, and when there is they would dispute that the changes they have allowed “significantly” impacted the results.
@pseudonymous in nc:
Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Huge investments in anything that aren’t obvious sources of grift just aren’t going to happen. Not to mention that the black helicopter crowd isn’t going to go for any kind of national ID database. They want Those People to have to produce ID on demand, but not to have ID readily available. It gives them one more reason to harass people.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Not my argument at all. If you wish to make that argument, knock yourself out. Your attempt to suppress the opinions of people of faith are duly noted.
I think it’s more along the line of accountability being for little people. I guess facts and data are for little people, too.
@? Martin: Then they need to take their case to the public. Democrats have got to force Republican hands on this issue or it’s lost.
Shelby County was wrongly decided, to be sure, but it’s premature to say that effective enforcement of the Voting Rights Act is a thing of the past. Why don’t we wait and see how the pending litigation in Texas and North Carolina pans out before we make that call.
@TooManyJens: In Texas a student ID cannot be used as identification to vote but…a concealed carry permit is just okey dokey.
My suggestion is for all the disenfranchised students, democrats, and ethnic minorities apply for CC permits to use as ID. A person would not have to actually even own a weapon to get the permit. I have to wonder how freaked out the republicans, tea baggers, elected officials and other ignorant people would react to millions of liberals, democrats and other minorities applying for that permit.
“New International Version:Jesus wept.
New Living Translation:Then Jesus wept.
English Standard Version:Jesus wept.
New American Standard Bible:Jesus wept.
King James Bible:Jesus wept.
Holman Christian Standard Bible:Jesus wept.
International Standard Version:Jesus burst into tears.
NET Bible:Jesus wept.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English:And the tears of Yeshua were coming.
GOD’S WORD® Translation:Jesus cried.
King James 2000 Bible:Jesus wept.
American King James Version:Jesus wept.
American Standard Version:Jesus wept.
Douay-Rheims Bible:And Jesus wept.
Darby Bible Translation:Jesus wept.
English Revised Version:Jesus wept.
Webster’s Bible Translation:Jesus wept.
Weymouth New Testament:Jesus wept.
World English Bible:Jesus wept.
Young’s Literal Translation:Jesus wept.
Villago Delenda Est
this from the guy who collaborates with those who cover up for child molestors.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@burnspbesq: Actually, I was pointing out a failure of logic on your part.
If we grant the assumption that Jesus existed, then, by the testimony of the only documents we have concerning Him, He did indeed weep.
To suggest that He didn’t weep is to suggest that that document is in doubt, and therefore His existence is in doubt.
pseudonymous in nc
You’ll grant that African-Americans old enough to remember a time when they weren’t guaranteed the right to vote might sentimentally prefer casting their votes in person, right? Of course, in the modern era, there’s still a degree of trust that what goes into the voting machine shows up on the results, but it’s considered less problematic than a postal vote.
Because it’s playing into the Republicans’ hands by accepting the idea that voter ID is a valid solution to a real problem. You can’t support providing everyone with a voter ID and then turn around and oppose requiring one when it comes time to vote. But the Republicans’ capability for strategic incompetence is not to be underestimated. Once you make the bargain of free ID for everyone in exchange for requiring ID to vote, the Republicans will screw up the free ID part while vigorously enforcing the ID required to vote part. They’ll use every imaginable dirty trick to prevent the wrong people from getting IDs, and they have a remarkable imagination for dirty tricks.
pseudonymous in nc
$140 in Texas. And you need a valid DL or ID to apply. Though I’m sure you could come up with a “Packing The Vote” non-profit that covers the cost.
The argument about CC permits is that they are issued by the gubmint and require a valid ID to receive one. Now, you can say the same about student IDs from state colleges, but the abstract point is that certain identity documents are considered “foundational” and anything that proceeds from them carries the same validity. That’s fine enough until you consider that plenty of Americans don’t have those foundational documents and many more don’t have easy access to them.
Once again, though, it comes down to the fact that large sections of the US have no tradition of free and fair elections, and have no intention of establishing one.
@burnspbesq: I don’t wish to suppress them.—in this instance. Only to mock them with mockery they deserve. What kind plantlife would make an issue out of whether a historical Jesus did or did not weep?
Jeez Louise, what a maroon.
“You need a DL to cash a check” say the Repubs.
And the kids lolol, with their direct deposit & smart phone apps that do the picture-deposit & Paypal, etc.
Checks. As if they trot down to the bank in person.
My state at least (Washington) offers ID cards for non-drivers like me. Still have to pay for it, but it’s much cheaper than a license. Though we also have all mail-in voting, so I only need it in the store and bank.
@pseudonymous in nc: it isn’t even a state-to-state problem. Mum was born in a place where, several years later, the county courthouse (and sole records repository) burned, taking all its documents with it. The state issues replacement documents along with an official state document explaining the variance between the date of issuance and the date described in the replacement document. Correct, valid and verifiable – but insufficient for State Dept to issue a passport.
BTW I jumped through the Real ID hoops a few years ago – and lo and behold the state I moved to doesn’t recognize that (even though they’re supposed to according to the provisions of Real ID).
There are a lot of stupid hacks in the Republican party, but there are enough evil geniuses to still make them dangerous, which is what happened in 2010, where local rich guys could put money into down ticket races that no one ever paid attention to and flip state legislatures.
It helps Republicans a whole lot that the SCOTUS seems to be willing to work hand-in-glove to advance the right-wing agenda, though Roberts, for whatever reason, dropped the ball for Team GOP with his Obamacare vote.
Just tying this back to younger voters.
Younger voters may not identify with Republicans much, but the gridlock and lack of any discernible progress on issues that matter to them – jobs, affordable education, etc. – makes the ones I’ve met either suspicious of Democratic intentions or not really supporting Democrats and tuning out of politics.
The damage from 2010 (and the Jan 20, 2009 decision by Republicans to obstruct all things done by Democrats) does not just revolve around policy; it infects the political spirit of Americans. We may well run into the sort of malaise and distrust of government that gripped American political thought for more than a generation after Watergate.
I await the day that Republican locals all over the country spread out in a door-to-door outreach to register new voters.
Was it Ohio or PA that workers were instructed not to tell people the IDs were free unless they asked? Otherwise, they were to collect a fee.
In the short term, they have in their favor that cynical would-be voters will just opt out of the political process altogether. Will any viable candidate ever represent my best interests, ever? I don’t want wars, or drones, or Big Brother, and I will be freakin’ lucky if all the next President supports is Total Information Awareness, or whatnot.
Not that the GOP would allow it but a simple patch up would be to have everyone who graduates high school and does not want to drive be given the paperwork for a state ID.
I know their are big flaws in this idea such as there isn’t an impetus to renew and most dropouts fall into the low income and minority groups but it would be a start.
When I went to school, driver’s ed was offered as part of the high school curriculum. Now, you take it outside of normal school hours and pay extra. In many states, driver’s ed is required to get your license before you’re 18.
And for some reason, only 25% of poor kids have a license now. Gee, go figure.
When I was a kid, drivers ed was offered in the local schools, but you had to pay an extra fee to take it. Then the schools had a huge funding crisis, and they simultaneously stopped offering drivers ed at all and gave up on offering school bus service to juniors and seniors, who were all assumed to be licensed drivers and capable of driving themselves to school. No discrimination against poor people there, no siree.
Ahh says fywp
@hildebrand: They scream because they will get busted for voting in every state they own a house.
Checks. How quaint.
Early voting for NC primary races starts Thursday.
If you want the NeoConfederates out of the statehouse, now’s the time to start.
Just shows how out-of-touch the Teahad is. Their
ownersbig banks have been pushing this “more automation equals fewer expensive branches and tellersmore customer convenience” direction for over three decades, to the point of penalizing customers for walking into a branch and selling electronic-only accounts. Yet these quaint Teavolk think that there’s some need for it. It really puts them into the Luddite camp: all this newfangled technology is bad for employment because all those hardworking blacksmiths / scribes / secretaries / buggy-whip-makers / bank-tellers / whatever will now be without work. Yet they’re the same ones who shout at people-just-doing-their-jobs “Don’t-you-KNOW-who-I-am-and-I’m-going-to-get-you-SO-fired-for-this” anytime they get reminded of The Rules. I still say they’re all just pining for the 9th century if only they could take their iPads back with them.
People should be thrown into scorpion pits until they can explain the difference between boarding a plane and voting.
The Other Chuck
When cashing a check becomes a CONSTITUTIONAL FUCKING RIGHT, then it becomes incumbent on the government or the banks to provide me an ID free of charge, on demand, immediately, without delay, obstacle, or error.
Really, second amendment remedies start looking very tempting.
Cars cost money. Insurance costs money. Car repairs and maintenance costs money. Driver’s ed costs money (now, used to be free). Gas is, here at least, $4/gallon– it was under $1/gal when I got my license, and even then I just barely had enough change in my piggybank to fill the damn thing up. Kids today face a much tougher economic climate.
This is the new normal. Kids, especially poor kids, don’t see driving as a viable economic model. They have to make do with the bus, walking, biking, and of course online interaction replacing much of the kind of in-person interaction that requires travel.
Back in the day, motor voter was great way for getting more people to vote, but not so much anymore. Now it’s a way to disenfranchise poor people, especially poor young people.
Since you need a photo ID to board an airplane, any American who can afford to travel by air on a regular basis should have no trouble voting! And they’re the ones who matter, right?
Maryland has changed the young driver requirements so that the earliest most kids can get their driver’s license is at 17.5 years old, so most of the high school students in our area wait until they turn 18 to get their licenses. Original Daughter has no interest in getting her license – she has too much other stuff going on in her life, she says.
Maryland is awesome in that there is an online voter registration system. No matter how you apply to register, the state requires one of the following three things to register to vote:
1. Valid Maryland driver’s license; or
2. Valid MVA ID Card; or
3. Social Security number.
If you supply the SSN, you have to affirm that you do not posses either (1) or (2). What’s interesting is, in order to get an MVA ID Card, you have to present proof of identity, proof of SSN, and proof of Maryland residency, which list includes a voter registration card, so it seems a little circular to me.
So I guess next spring we’ll just trundle over to the MVA to get an ID Card for the kid.
Who cashes a check these days? I doubt my local supermarket would cash a check for me, even though they know me and I have a DL.
I haven’t cashed a check in decades. Don’t most people use their ATM cards?
The GOP as usual seems to be living in the 1950s.