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Response to azurnoir (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:27 PM

12. But you don't have to pay for the ID.

Some--perhaps most, possibly all--states have a free state ID that's not good for driving but does say who you are. So it's not a poll tax, at least not at that level.

The Real ID Act made things a bit harder. To comply, the ID has to be based on some sort of birth document or as secure as a birth document. It's to make it harder to have fraudulent forms of ID--either bad forgeries or state-issued IDs based on insufficient evidence.

You usually have to pay for your birth certificate, so the "poll tax" (even allowing for the misunderstanding most Americans have of the word 'poll' in 'poll tax'). In a small number of cases people won't have a birth certificate. This is esp. true, the media have it, for older minorities. Most voter ID acts also include some other way of establishing ID but they can be a pain.

Nope, SCOTUS did not make head taxes legal. Well, not really. There is the lack-of-insurance tax that kicks in for many next year, imposed per person, but it's a means-tested kind of poll tax that comes with subsidies. (As a penalty, it's something completely different, of course.)

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