Rock the Vote

It was mere days past when outrage about the new voting laws in relation to required photo identification, and how the people seen as more likely to vote for Obama would be the same people most adversely affected by such laws.

I decided to assemble a list of each state’s website pages that a prospective voter would encounter in order to obtain a valid, state-issued, photo ID.  As I went through the websites, I noticed a striking disparity between sites that had clear labeling, logical site mapping, and adequate search functionality, versus sites that placed a strong enough emphasis on driver’s licenses as to eclipse any information on non-driver photo identification cards.  I made a star-based ranking system, as follows:

* very poor: links are broken, and/or non-driver ID information was hidden

** poor: hard to find information, not especially well-designed

*** serviceable: information was found, but it took four or more “clicks” to find everything

**** very good: information was clear, fees fair, and it took three or fewer “clicks” to find everything

***** Excellent! These sites blew me away with user-friendly functionality and/or phenomenally low fees

Only 12 states achieved my (incredibly prestigious?) five star ranking, and far too many –being, any— got a three or below.  No one should have difficulty getting valid photo identification.  And states that require it for voting need to either repeal that stipulation, or at very least make it so that their citizens can acquire photo ID for FREE.  The only states that do this explicitly is WISCONSIN and INDIANA, while Kansas has a fee waiver (meaning extra paperwork) for free voter photo ID .  On the other end of the spectrum, Oregon charges the highest fee, at $44.50!

The following is a list of state website pages for obtaining valid photo identification cards in every state and the District of Columbia.  Provided are fees and notes correct at date of publication†.

[Use CTRL+F to find things quickly!]

†I have researched fees and notes to the best of my ability, and beyond that have tried to provide links to state websites that will be correct/ed regardless of my errors.