id card voter law in trouble in another state

Just recently we wrote about Democrats in South Carolina appealing from the new election law. Now it’s Wisconsin turn. Reasoning is pretty much the same, while state photo ID card can be obtained free for voting purposes many citizens complain that documents required to get state identification card are expensive to reproduce when missing. The lawsuit againt new election legislation was filed in Dane County Court by The League for Women voters yesterday. Organization’s director Andrea Kaminski argues that state Constitutions clearly states who is blocked from voting and people without photo ID are not among convicted felons or mentally incompetent. The election law in this case creates another class of people which is not mentioned in the Constitution.
As of now 30 states require identification for voting, 14 of them require ID card to have photograph. Attempts to appeal the new law resulted in no change of the legislation so far.

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voter ID card law, Dems strike back

Tennessee Democrats have filed an appeal against the state voter ID law. State legislators have provided some features that made getting state photo ID card easier like no charge and free transportation to local DMV which seem to be insufficient. There are estimated 675 thousand residents in Tennessee who are eligible for voting but have no state issued identification card or driver’s license. 53 counties do not have driver’s services centers which issue state identification documents, that means longer travel for those who need to get an ID for voting. Moreover many senior citizens are missing necessary documentation required in order to obtain state ID cards. Reproducing these documents often carries significant cost charged by law offices. We recently wrote about 93 years old lady who’s been living normal life without photo ID and was unable to get state ID card due to missing marriage certificate. Senate Democratic Chairman Lowe Finney said “We have a duty as lawmakers to protect the ballot box, but we also have a duty to protect Tennessee citizens’ ability to vote, (…) “This new requirement will put hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans in danger of losing their right to vote. It’s our job to defend that right.”

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Nashville High Schools new ID card

Nashville school district is introducing new ID cards for High School stundents of the metro area. The idea is to integrate various ID cards into a single document that can also be worn as photo identification badge during school hours. This way different cards used for buses, library, cafeteria and other purposes will be replaced by a single card. Morover the plans of system future development include features like parents ability to track kids way to and from school, meal ordered for lunch details and loading funds for cafeteria spending so the badge becomes debit card in the school cafeteria.
The document will contain student photo, name, school name and grade. It will also be color coded by school and grade for quicker identification. Systems would read the cards in 2 ways; bus readers would use magnetic stip while cafeteria and library would use scannable bar codes.
Contract for ID card printers and supplies was won by Lamination Service Inc.
Metro Nashville Public Schools initiative seems to be a great idea that reduces complexity, iproves security, adds functionality and potential for further improvements. By reducing number of cards that need to be issued per student it also saves money at the end.

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custom ID badges for kids based on test results

Do you think tagging kids with different colors based on state standarized test results is a good idea? Administration of Kennedy High School in La Palma, California did. Students who performed at advanced and proficient level got black and gold cards while kids who performed under these levels got just plain white cards; notebooks cover colors followed the ID badge scheme. Upper scorers were getting discounts at school events and special treatment in cafeteria.
Nothing wrong with motivation and achievement recognition, right? But it’s very wrong to tag students as low performing, or shall we say stigmatize in this case. There is a long history of well documented psychological experiments and research proving that taging students affects performance, and both ways. If you randomly divide a class of students into 2 groups and keep telling one group that they’re smart and special while telling the other group you’re just average their performance will follow. I refuse to believe that not a single teacher from this school has not heard about the experiments and resarch mentioned above. Or maybe they haven’t, maybe the teaching school same as mid and high schools focus most on test taking strategies. This bridges us to national debate on education. Teachers openly admit that it’s not unusual to spend 50% or more time on test taking strategies. Truth is that knowledge with out test taking strategy can’t do well on a test but how much worth test taking strategies are when it comes to job interview, knowing how to do things or learning new stuff? Isn’t it the areas where we as a nation lag behind not only developed countries?
Custom ID badges are bad idea for motivating kids, psychological experiments including the one in Kennedy High show that this practice leads kids to act their roles as smart and dumb. Local School district is looking into the case.

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Tennessee: no ID card for 96 year old voter

Dorothy Cooper, 96 year old resident of Chattanooga was denied the state photo ID card due to missing documentation. She needed the identification for election according the new law so she brought birth certificate, utility bill, lease copy and voter registration card but was denied the ID card as her birth certificate shows her maiden name and she is missing the marriage certificate. This caused a mismatch between voter’s card and birth certificate, mismatch would have to be resolved with a document stating name change which is marriage certificate in this case.
Simple story, right? The rule say you’d need XYZ documents in order to obtain the free ID card for voting, you’re missing one paper you don’t get ID card. Simple. Why is the story important then? Well, Dorothy Cooper remembers time when women were not allowed to vote in some states she’s been participating in elections since her 20ies. All these years she’s been living normal life without any form of state or federal photo identification. How was that possible? It’s not that hard, especially in small communities. Would you actually as a bank clerk ask a person who you know well, sometimes for 3 generations back for photo ID to cash a check? Dorothy says she was asked for photo ID card ocassionaly but showing Social Security Card instead was always enough.
Legislators in many states, including Tennessee allowed for issuing free state IDs for those who need it for voting but when it comes to supporting documents the matter gets complicated. Hiring a lawyer to get birth certificate or marriage certificate reproduced might go as high as a thousand dollars and there is no way the state would fund it. Democrats in some states actually brought up the issue when the bills where in the debating stage. Maybe additionally to free ID card we needed a diferrent set of rules for issuing identification cards for people born over 70 or 80 years ago. Dorothy Cooper was suggested by Hamilton County Administrator of Elections to cast absentee ballot that doesn’t require photo ID which in this case is more exploiting a loophole that solving the problem.

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Ireland: new welfare ID card to prevent fraud

As a part of austerity plan Ireland Public Services are looking to close loopholes inside its welfare system. Brand new photo ID card is a part of a pilot program to run in Tullamore, Sligo and Dublin. New ID cards that supposed to roll out next week will contain person’s biometric photograph, name, signature, public services subscriber number (PPS) and expiration date; all data will be also encrypted in contact chip; additionaly the microchip will hold extra data not printed on the card such as date of brith, gender, maiden and formerly used names and mother maiden name. The back of the card will also have magnetic strip to make it compatible with more readers. The strip will be eventually eliminated when more chip scanners replace magnetic strip readers.
All these features are expected to prevent card forgery and using cards by other people. Around 4000 cards are expected to be issued by the end of the year. Public Services department is aiming at 625 milion Euros a year saving with the new program.
Ireland is among European Union countries under heavy financial pressure due to large public debt and struggling economy. EU financial help is dependent on applying austerity measures and therefore government is under stress to find cuts, Statistically amounts spent on welfare and lost to welfare fraud is rising during weaker economy periods.

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CT: Gold Star DL and ID cards are out

Department of Motor Vehicles in Connecticut has started issuing new identification cards and driver’s licenses which comply with REAL ID Act of 2005. Long story short SelectCT ID program documents are based on more restrict identity and address verification. The benefit of the documents is access to federally controlled premises such government offices or airports after REAL ID Act goes fully into force which is expected in 2017.
The new documents are not mandatory and applicants can still get ordinary state ID card and driver’s license. There is no rush to get the new documents and actually only ID cards and DLs within 60 days from expiration are eligible for renewal. All current documents remain valid till expiration date.
Like in many other states document graphic design remains mosty the same and only star has been added to the upper right corner.
More information about new documents can be found at:

http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=4078&q=477742

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Alabama joins STAR ID program

Yesterday governor Robert Bentley shown new Alabama driver’s license and state identification card to the public. There are no graphic design changes except for a gold star in the top left corner of the ID card and driver’s license. With the new documents Alabama joins STAR program which stands for Secure Trusted and Reliable, the program complies with the United States Congress passed REAL ID Act of 2005. It sets more rigorous standards for ID documents verification and integrity. New documents will be available only in local DMV offices which offer driver’s license exams.
Current ID cards will be valid till December 1 2014 for those born after Dec 1 1964 and till Dec 1 2017 for those born prior Dec 1964. This regulation applies for entering airports and other federally regulated facilities.
In order to obtain new document one need to bring Social Security card, utility bill with address no older than 90 days, Birth certificate or US Passport and if not a citizen permanent resident card or other Department of Homeland Security document showing legal presence in the US.
Applicants can still get old school documents but will not able to access federal premises after the deadlines

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UAE: national ID card center new link

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) announced it links another medical care facility to its ID card system infrastructure. Begining on Sunday Khalifa Medical City will double as local EIDA center where citizens and residents looking for medical care can also apply for new, renew or update data on their national identification documents. Khalifa is the 16th health care facility participating in EIDA program; 9 more centers are expected to be linked by the end of 2011.
By linking local ID centers with preventive medicine facilities EIDA tries to make access to the system easier for the country residents. Many people who live in UAE often complain on internet forums on lack of card integration with other goverment agencies like motor vehicles department or public transportation systems. EIDA recently amended penalty schedule for not having current identification card.

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will ID bagde functionality save Blackberry?

HID, a leader in security access card technology, announced yesterday that Blackberries will be the first devices supported by iClass digital access systems. Recently released Blackberry series came with NFC chips built in however all major US carriers disabled it. NFC – near field communication is a technolgy which allows data communication at high frequency (13.56 MHz on ISO/IEC 18000-3 standard) over short range, usually within few inches. Max data transfer is 424 kbs which is significantly less than latest Bluetooth but sufficient for custom access card implementations.
Using Blackberry as an access badge might be a great idea but it’s hard to believe that companies would upgrade their access card readers just to accomodate this feature. Blackberries and it’s maker Research in Motion haven’t been doing well for a while. sliding phone sales, Playbook tablet failing to impress the market and losing current market share are the major concerns for Waterloo, Canada based smartphone maker which in the middle of past decade seemed to dominate the corporate mobile communication market. As of today Blackberry prospects are grim, Appworld is no match for Android and Apple app stores, Blackberry 7 OS based devices sale is lower than expected and companies research on BB alternatives are at its peak. Company hopes are in QNC based devices, a previously acquired mobile programming platform and building Blackberry Enterprise Server capable of handling non-Blackberry devices such iPhone and Android smartphones. Problems with first QNC device Playbook integration with Blackberry servers show the company internal issues with developing new platform.
I think Blackberry needs an extreme makover at this point and access ID badge functionality might be a nice addition to it.
For the record RIMM shares are down 18% today after publishing dissapoing earnings.

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