I have been in this country for more than six years and I just learned
something really disturbing about the American voting process : you don’t
need to show any id when you vote. This is so baffling that I had to
confirm this information with several friends (I’m not a citizen yet so I’ve
never voted here). And they all confirmed it. All you need to do is
show up, give your name and address, sign, and you can cast your ballot.
This is mind-boggling.
I can understand that it’s hard to compile a nation-wide list of registered
voters (although this obviously needs to happen at some point, especially for
something as important as voting), but not even requiring voters to carry an id
when they vote is just beyond anything imaginable.
But it gets worse.
It appears that the Constitution allows the various parties in place to send
"challengers" to voting places: people who sit there, watch voters go by
and who can arbitrarily challenge any person’s right to vote.
It’s not hard to imagine what these decisions will be based on: skin
color, accent, mannerism, you name it. And this is part of the
Recently, this section has been challenged by various civil right activists
and it appears that at least in Ohio, one of the major swing states, challengers
would not be allowed. However, I just heard this morning that this
decision had been overturned and that challengers would indeed be let in at the
What a mess.
So we have one wrong (you don’t need to show up id at the polling place) that
it tentatively fixed by another wrong (people can randomly challenge your right
to vote). Add to this the recent fiasco of electronic voting machines and
the very questionable Electoral College system (which has arguably been shown as
very valid three centuries ago but a dangerous anachronism today) and it makes
you wonder how come the greatest democracy of all times reached such a point of
despair in its very roots.