The challenges to restrictive government-issued photo ID requirements are underway. However, the only people who seem to be paying attention to the new barriers to the ballot box are lawyers, activists, advocates and TV talking heads.
As John McWhorter writes, many voters without an official photo ID don't have a clue what's going on:
Without a doubt, Republicans' studious interest in state-issued photo ID cards is a sham. It's the elderly and minorities—brown ones, to be specific—who are least likely to have such identification, least likely to hear that they need it, and least likely to be able to obtain it quickly upon finding out.
So I'm answering Attorney General Eric Holder's call for citizens to "speak out. Raise awareness about what’s at stake." Over the next few months, I will conduct person-in-the-street interviews and ask folks to show me their government-issued photo ID as a way to start the conversation.
At the African Diaspora Marketplace in Philadelphia, I chatted about photo ID requirements with Sean Banks. Sean showed me his U.S. Passport Card, which is valid for 10 years. For first-time applicants, it costs $55.
The event was held at the Enterprise Center, the original home of American Bandstand.
The Cost of Freedom Project is developing a location-based web app for voters who don't have a passport card, passport, driver's license, non-driver's license or any other government-issued photo ID. And they may not have "a pot or a window." But they have the right to vote.
So we will speak out and make some noise.