No. of Recommendations: 1
It is the minimum requirement to have a true *identity* card. How does anyone know the card presented is actually the person it says it is? Swapping pictures has long been known as one way to create fake photo ID.

Forgery of ID cards won't be stopped by introduction of a new ID card. People have probably been trying to forge IDs for as long as IDs have existed.

Thus, a system to prevent such fraud is necessary. A system that stores the photo and displays it for verification eliminates that problem for the most part.

Hmmmm . . . Ever notice that people change their hair style, grow or remove facial hair, dye their hair, straighten (or lose, or whiten) their teeth, get scars, get plastic surgery, age, . . . Take a job checking IDs at the entrance of an event and look at drivers licence photos for a few hours, then get back to me on how photos eliminate this problem.

Address info is required--because there is no other way to contact the person and know where they are. Multiple people do have the same names--so address is one way to differentiate the individuals as well. So name, current address, and photo are in the national database by default.

This is very problematic. People move. Some people move a lot. It has always been a problem for voter registration and voting. I have spent many hours as a poll worker and polling inspector. When people move, they often have a large number of things they have to take care of - utility switch-overs, newspapers, mail delivery, etc. Switching their voter registration is not typically at the top of their priority list. And if they don't happen to vote in an election for a year or two, they might not think of it until voting day, after it's too late.

With the current system of voter lists being sent to each precinct, that voter who has moved but forgot to change address is forced to deal with the problem when they try to vote in the wrong place. If you allow them to simply use an out-of-date ID card and vote the wrong ballot from any precinct, you might end up increasing voter fraud.

The rest is just moving the existing paper-based bureaucracy to use that database. Knowing how many ballots are needed means a major savings to the govt (at all levels). People can be directed to the correct polling place based on their residence.

Just because you can conceive of a technical solution does not mean you can easily or cost-effectively implement it on a large scale. What you propose here is a massive undertaking. It involves much, much more than computers and database software.

- "just moving the database" is not trivial nor inexpensive. Today that database looks different in every state in the union. Because of various state laws, it is often part of another database the state uses for other applications. Also, remember that many elections are not national. How much of the billions of dollars required to convert these databases is going to be born by the states and how much by the feds? Notice that this is not a static database. It is very dynamic, involving constant maintenance. Will the states get as much access to the database as they want without paying additional maintenance, update and use charges? Or will large states with mobile populations and a lot of local elections have to pay more than smaller states with more static populations etc.

- "Knowing how many ballots are needed ???" How does a National ID accomplish this? Today, every precinct starts with a list of registered voters living in that precinct. We know how many people are registered. We also know how many requested an early ballot or an absentee ballot. What we don't know is how many are going to show up. We also don't know how many are going to claim that the registered voting list is incorrect and demand to vote a provisional ballot. So, we print up numbers of ballots based on voting behavior statistics from similar elections in the past and add some margin for surprises. I don't see how a National ID changes that.

- "People can be directed to the correct polling place based on their residence." We do that today. Every polling place has maps of the precincts and precinct boundaries of the polling place as well as locations of all of the other precinct boundaries and polling places. Even if people show up from outside the city, a state hotline number can be used to locate the proper precinct for anyone in the state and provide directions. The inputs for these maps and precinct locations would have to come from the state for each election and then be input into the National database. The only thing that changes here is that you have added one more opportunity to make errors.

- Again, what you are proposing is not a National ID. The National ID is a relatively unimportant aspect of the database project you are describing. If you could get all the states to agree to cooperate with the other aspects of the required database, getting them to provide some sort of standardized requirements for a citizen photo ID would be no problem. Many states would already meet those requirements.

- Maybe you have never worked the polls, but the next time you go vote, take a look at all of the poll workers. Think about how many of them might actually be able to learn how to use and interact with a national computer database system. Polling stations across the country are manned by hundreds of thousands of workers who spend a few hours in training and then a day at the polling place for a very small sum of money. They are not, in general, young or technically inclined or even computer literate. Also, polling locations do not, in general, provide access to the internet nor any kind of transmission capability that could link to the national database. In fact, the only computers inside most polling facilities are the specialized microprocessors inside the actual voting apparatus. At least in states I am familiar with, linking to the internet from inside the polling station is illegal.
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