Photo ID: Bad for Polls, but Good for Premieres

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana election law requiring that people show valid photo ID at a polling place before they receive a ballot. The decision was made over the outcry of critics who claim it will restrict access to the polls – particularly for the poor, elderly and minorities.

This Sunday, HBO debuted its new movie “Recount,” a star-studded drama about the 2000 post-election recount in Florida. The decision to certify the election in George W. Bush’s favor was made over the outcry of critics who claimed the voting process was too confusing and irregular — particularly for the poor, elderly and minorities.

Don’t think a Hollywood film about it won’t echo these beliefs. According to a review of “Recount” in Entertainment Weekly: “Speaking of Democrats, ‘Recount’ may not be downright blue, but it’s not as purply as it wants to appear. Despite its ‘equal time’ approach, ‘Recount’ is an underdog story, and thus a Democrat story.” On the Politico website, Laura Dern, who plays then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, says of the story: “As much as I consider myself a conspiracy theorist, it was much worse than I expected.”

I am a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly and sometimes receive its online giveaways. I won a pair of tickets to go to a premiere of “Recount” at a movie theater in downtown Washington. I’m busy, but I wanted to be able to give the tickets to a co-worker. No can do. In order to use the tickets, according to the personalized e-mail I received, “please have photo IDs for you and your guest available for inspection.”

So let me get this straight: I’m not supposed to be required to show a photo ID before doing something as important as voting, but I do need one to see a movie? A movie, by the way, that at that time was scheduled to be on television in just four days.

I’m figuring the people behind this movie were outraged when they heard about the Supreme Court’s decision.

This is just one of the many things I’ve dealt with lately that required photo ID. I needed photo ID last week to donate blood. I needed a photo ID to get a free burrito from Moe’s on my birthday. And I need to show a photo ID just to get past the lobby in my wife’s office building. Shouldn’t one also be required for voting?

But, based on prevailing liberal logic, the photo ID requirement at these places and at the “Recount” premiere is wrong — particularly for the poor, elderly and minorities.

David Almasi is executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. To contact David directly, write him at [email protected].

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.