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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Great Radio Station Controversy

Although Julia didn't start work until 9 o'clock, she always set her alarm for 7 AM. At that time, the morning crew at WNII Radio (N93, Playing the Best of the 80's, 90's and Today) would announce which N-Fan would win the Morning Moolah prize. "And that was Kelly Clarkson, with Breakaway. Now, N-Fans, listen up!" the DJ shouted. Cowbells rang in the background. "Who's going to win today's Morning Moooooo-lah?" The DJ synched his voice with the sound of a mooing cow. "Today's winner is... Julia Wilson, N-Fan number 104568! As always, you need to show up at our studios downtown by 9 AM to claim your $100 prize."

Julia gasped... she actually won! She had never won a prize on the radio before. She had tried to be the ninth caller, or the 93rd caller for the big prizes, but never was the lucky caller. In fact, she rarely got anything other than a busy signal when she tried.

Julia took a quick shower, dressed, and hopped in her car. She knew she could make it downtown in plenty of time, but she wanted to be able to get to the office without being too late. She parked in the parking structure across the street, locked her car, and entered the building. The security guard directed her to the WNII offices on the 10th floor. Her heart was pounding as the elevator ascended. So silly, she thought, to be so excited over this prize.

The elevator doors opened, and Julia walked to the receptionist. "Hi, I'm Julia Wilson, and I won the Morning Moolah contest today!"

The receptionist looked at her. "No, we already gave out the prize to Julia Wilson."

Julia looked at the receptionist in shock. "Wha... no, there's got to be some mistake. Look, I'm Julia Wilson." She pulled her driver's license and N-Fan card out of her purse. "See?"

The receptionist scrutinized the IDs. "Okay, you appear to be Julia Wilson, but Julia Wilson already claimed the prize."

Julia felt exasperated. She leaned forward, brandishing the N-Fan card again. "But I'm the Julia Wilson with the right N-Fan card number. What did this other person show you?"

The receptionist replied calmly, "Nothing. But she affirmed that she was Julia Wilson, and that was good enough for us."

* * * * *

Pity poor Julia. She'd probably have a case if she took the radio station to small claims court. Of course, the scenario just presented isn't realistic. The person claiming the prize would have to show some ID.

* * * * *

"What do you mean, she said she was me? Why didn't you ask for ID?"

"We at WNII don't believe it's appropriate for us to ask for ID. We believe it would convince listeners, especially black and poor listeners, that hassles could accompany their trip to the station. Asking them to go through an extra step in order to claim their prize is just asking for people not to claim their prize. Especially people who feel disenfranchised by the system--that feel their voices are not being heard."

* * * * *

How ridiculous is that? Yet these same arguments were voiced in opposition to requiring IDs for something a lot more important than a $100 prize, one's vote. This vote controls multiple jobs that pay a lot more than $100, many of which affect laws that can cost you a lot more than $100. One person went so far to claim the following:

The 28-year-old single woman suspects Republican lawmakers who back the bill are trying to keep people who probably would vote for Democrats away from the polls.

No, Republican lawmakes are trying to keep people who would illegally vote for Democrats away from the polls, where they belong.

ID is required for so much in today's society, including most monetary transactions. The Indiana law includes provisions to ensure people can get IDs before voting. As such, I can see no legitimate objection.

If you don't want to have ID required for voting, I would demand extremely strict provisions for people who can't prove their identity. Include all of the following: a statement in front of a camera (linked to a secure Internet site) asserting one's identity and address; a signature; a thumbprint in indelible ink. Make this information public, so that if you're reviewing the results of a very close election, you have multiple methods of verifying these provisional ballots.

It's not intimidation, it's fairness. I for one will be cheering each and every person for voting.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger Dave Justus said...

An illegal vote allowed to be counted is just as bad as a legal vote not being counted. The effect is identical.

We should be very concerned about both.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Agreed there. Everyone should agree that every legitimate vote should count.


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