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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Picture perfect.

So, let's see. You have to possess photo identification to check out a book at most public libraries. Likewise for purchasing alcohol and tobacco products. Yes, and opening a bank account; applying for food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security; making application for employment or unemployment; purchasing a home with a mortgage; purchasing, leasing, or renting an automobile; airline travel; getting married; purchasing a weapon; adopting a pet; renting a motel room; obtaining a hunting or fishing license; owning a mobile phone; visiting a casino; filling medical prescriptions; donating blood; renting or purchasing "M" rated movies or other recorded programs; purchasing certain medicines or medical supplies; and, according to one account, buying finger nail polish at several pharmacies. But, not to vote. Give me a break. Maybe that's why so many dead people get to cast their ballot at election time. Even more, maybe that's why we're all so disoriented by our value system these days. Voting is evidently not that important. .

Earlier this year the people in the research department determined that 34 states have voter identification laws, 15 of them requiring photo identification. The rest are just come as you are and cast your vote. Yes, registration is required and if your name isn't on the list you can't vote. Other than that, it's free-for-all in many states. Conservatives whine about the potential voter fraud in non-identification states, more so in those not requiring photo-identification. Moderates and liberals cite voter-identification as a type of poll tax discriminating against eligible minority, elderly, and special needs voters. Recent studies reveal a wash in both categories. There's little evidence that voter i.d. affects election fraud in any direction. The same research provides little proof that photo-i.d. would improve voter turnout. Some of that depends on who you ask.

My personal support of voter identification, and photo i.d. for that matter, derives from what most people will classify as an oddball direction. You see, there are these two adorable grandchildren in our family, one thirteen years of age and one aged nine. Mimi and Ganga, and their parents of course, genuinely desire that they understand American history, what differentiates us from other nations, and what is significant in our value system. So, are we teaching them that checking a book out of the library, or picking up a pack of smokes, or taking a flight to Miami is of greater significance than voting.? Of course not. A fishing license is not more important than electing a President or members of Congress. Lord help us! It's takes more to buy a bottle of finger nail polish that to vote our convictions.

It's the urgent/important conflict again, the eternal struggle of differentiating between what is significant and what is not. Call me a quibbler, but it is just difficult to explain to these younger ones, future American voters all, why ordering a school yearbook is more important than voting. And, this thing touches more in life that getting into the voting booth. It happens in government, industry, families, and even local churches, the error of dedicating precious resources to activities, events, and circumstances with little consequence in the greater scheme of things. How often our values are twisted when we adopt policies and procedures that make watching a movie more significant that casting our vote. Holy moly!

The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 illustrates this confusion.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha

welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's

feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And

she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve

alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are

anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen

the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.

Luke 10: 38-42, ESV

You know the story. Jesus arrived. Mary sat at the Lord's feet and absorbed his teaching, the important element. Martha was obsessed with providing a luscious meal, distracted with much serving, the momentary urgency. Pay attention to the Lord's commendation. It is a lesson from which we cold learn a thing or two about voting, among many others.

Voter identification? Photo Identification? The perfect picture would be to place such a value on voting, that we'd insure every eligible voter could get to the polls and cast their vote, and have the i.d. to do so.

Picture perfect. Rant over.

Copyright: <a href=''>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Copyright: <a href=''>urfingus / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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