This came into my email from the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance
Outrageous behavior on the part of the state, this letter spells out the journey of one man who tries to register to vote.
I am retired, seventy-seven years old, have enjoyed continuous driving privileges of 'drivers license' since age sixteen, white, and therefore have had no previous reason to be familiar with the process of getting a 'State ID'. I was appalled today by circumstances to have learned how suppressing the process is and wonder if it may be due to political design to make it difficult for less fortunate of our citizens to obtain required identification to vote in this state.
It all stated about three weeks ago. A friend who had just moved from another state told me that an employer had promised to hire him for a better-paying job if he had an Oklahoma Drivers License. So, I furnished him a ride to Department of Public Safety to get the license. I recall wondering at the time how difficult and time-consuming it would have been to get to DPS by himself without a vehicle or bus service. Nevertheless, once there and after presenting his official home state identification card, he was told Oklahoma does not recognize his North Carolina ID and that he would need an official Oklahoma Identification Card instead. He was told that to obtain such Oklahoma ID he would need his Social Security card (which had been lost with his wallet).
The next destination therefore was to the Social Security office and a long wait get a copy of his card. Instead, that office furnished him an officially stamped letter and told him that it should serve for all purposes until he received his card in the mail in about ten days. So back to the Department of Public Safety with it we went.
But once there, DPS would not accept the officially stamped Social Security office letter and my friend was told that he would have to have the actual card instead as well as a certified copy of his birth certificate.
I do not hesitate to admit that I was already beginning to become somewhat embarrassed with my home state in witnessing how my black friend was being given the 'run-around' treatment. Plus, I had not only already expended quite a lot of my own time but also my own gasoline money during the ridiculous process. But, that was not the least.
After spending an additional eighty of my own dollars to fund an expedited request to North Carolina Vital Statistics, receive his certified Birth Certificate by Fedex, and return with it to DPS, my friend was told by DPS that it was still not enough and recommenced the circular process all over again by refusing again to accept the only picture ID he has (his official North Carolina ID), i.e., to obtain an Oklahoma ID one must possess another Picture ID (such as one from another state) which Oklahoma will not accept.
If anyone can make sense of this process please let me know. But after having personally experienced being allowed to vote only by Provisional Ballot just last year at the same polling place where I have voted for the previous twenty-two years, I must continue to believe that is is designed simply to prevent minorities from voting in the state of Oklahoma. I don't really want to believe that mine is the same country that I and others have fought and risked our lives for still wants to suppress its citizens.
Potential 'terrorists'; non-existent 'voter fraud': subterfuge, not reasons. "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IT PLEASE TELL ME IT ISN'T SO !
I don't want to believe this either.
This behavior violates Article Four of the US Constitution.
"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."
As far as I understand it, a State-issued ID is an official record.
Now, how to get this stopped? This type of story is below the radar, I think, it is certainly the first time I've heard of this type of harassment.
Have you spoken to the Social Security offices about OK not accepting their stamped copy etc?
Perhaps it is time to get some feds involved or even have a lawyer or local tv camera crew go with.
I haven't lived there for 33 years, but my activist cousins keep me abreast of politics there. I thought DU might have some interesting suggestions on how to get this stopped. Thank you very much for suggesting a course of action.
Don't know that they would or could help, but making sure they're aware of the problem couldn't hurt.
Ditto re- any and all Dem politicians in the state. And the Dem party in your state, for that matter.
to find this out at the last minute. Getting the necessary voter ID should be a top priority.
My wife moved to Oklahoma in 1989. She has had an Oklahoma drivers license since then. She let it expire by more ths 6 months and OK DPS would not accept her expired Oklahoma driver license as ID. We had to apply to Massachusetts to get a state stamped birth certificate so she could renew the license she has had for 23 years. Very stupid and very difficult to get state ID.