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July 09, 2012

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PeterOrlowicz

It seems to me to be worth mentioning that the list of documents needed to get the required ID is basically the same list of documents that you might need to verify your employment eligibility on the I-9 form. So, if you don't have your Social Security card and you don't have your birth certificate, you would need to get copies anyway in order to find legal work, right? (I would suggest this means your estimated time costs of obtaining these documents likely wouldn't be displacing paid labor...) That somewhat undercuts your assumption that you "don't need those documents right now" and therefore the entire cost of obtaining these documents is due to the voter ID law.

The time and cost estimates for travel to the DMV seem high to me, as well. I'm not that familiar with Philadelphia, but it seems likely to me if the DMV was 45 minutes away (on average), most individuals might combine the DMV with other errands or tasks that also take them to the same part of town, rather than making a separate trip; in that case, the cost of time and travel wouldn't be exclusively due to the voter ID law either. It's possible that DMV facilities in Philadelphia are so inconveniently located as to make this kind of multitasking impossible, but that seems unlikely to me.

Time estimate for getting the new Social security card... hmm. According to the Paperwork Reduction Act information on the Social Security application form, SSA estimates "about 8.5 to 9.5 minutes to read the instructions, gather the facts, and answer the questions." Maybe you don't agree with that estimate, but I would submit it's a better number to use than a number you admit you arbitrarily picked. Let's assume for a moment that the paperwork requirement for the PA birth certificate is roughly equivalent. That gives a total cost of 20 minutes of labor, rather than two hours, for the documents. When you consider that $36 of your total $48 cost of voting is value of the person's time, the time estimates you're using look a lot more problematic, I think.

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I send a follow-up that typically ends with a line something like this ~ Should I check back with you in a few weeks or have you decided to go another route?

It lets the prospect off the hook easily. Some simply have a hard time saying, no thanks. I'd rather know something and with the way I framed the question, I always get a response - sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised to hear they are still interested, but life has taken over.

good grief

The subpopulation that lives without government IDs is not asked to "subsidize" our anti-fraud efforts; they are asked to do exactly what everyone else has already done. Those of us who obtained government IDs have already contributed our time and effort to fraud prevention, and our time normally costs a lot more than the time of individuals who manage to go through life without an ID. So, the rest of us already paid more than our fair share to reduce voter fraud. It's now up to the undocumented "subpopulation" to do their small part. They aren't asked to do anything that the rest of us haven't already done.

Next thing you know, you'll suggest we compensate the protected "subpopulation" for the trouble of going to the voting place and for the opportunity cost of time they spent waiting in line to vote. And our failure to pay them for this feat no doubt constitutes an illegal poll tax too. Good grief.

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ernment IDs is not asked to "subsidize" our anti-fraud efforts; they are asked to do exactly what everyone else has already done. Those of us who obtained government IDs have already contributed our time and effort to fraud prevention, and our time normally costs a lot more than the time of individuals who manage to go through life without an ID. So, the rest of us already paid more than our fair share to reduce voter fraud. It's now up to the undocumented "subpopulation" to do their small part. They aren't asked to do anything that the rest of u

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