Government-issued photo ID requirements for voters have passed in some states and are being debated in several others (SC, TX, and WI in today's articles). The debate centers on ensuring that only eligible voters can vote (pro), vs. concerns about disenfranchising eligible voters (con). But today's two featured articles, when taken together, suggest that other important questions need to be asked. The first article tells of the breach of the UC Berkley computers and the possible loss of identity information for 16,000 students and alumni. The second tells of a proposal in the Philippine legislature to require fingerprint data (AFIX biometric information) for every voter to be stored in the voter registration database.
Is it far-fetched to speculate whether voter biometrics is the logical outcome of a drive for "strict voter ID"?
Other unasked questions in the U.S. Voter-ID debate are: What kind of identity information is or will be collected and stored as part of the election process? For how long? Under what safe guards? With the move to create centralized, computerized government-issued identities for people and require that identity be presented in order to vote, access to that identity and impersonating that identity are only going to grow problematic over time....
"To encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy." The Creekside Declaration. March 22, 2008
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