Government shouldn’t ID for anything

Kent McManigal

Kent McManigal

By Kent McManigal

Local columnist

The arguments in favor of requiring a photo ID to vote — specifically, I assume, a photo ID issued from some governmental authority — center around the assertion that you don’t want people voting who aren’t entitled to vote.

However, if voting is to have any legitimacy, which is highly debatable, it must be available to anyone and everyone who would be affected by the results.

An ID showing the citizenship status of the pictured individual has no bearing on whether a person will be affected by a law or the election-winning politician’s actions.

You might justify a “your papers, please” law by pointing out in the current society a person is expected to produce government-issue photo ID to do business with a bank, buy alcoholic beverages, buy a gun, or drive a car. Some enforcers even seem to be under the impression ID is required before you are allowed to walk or merely take up space in the USA in the year 2014.

Sure, that is the case, but government shouldn’t be allowed to require ID for any of those things.

If a bank wants a photo ID before letting you open an account or cash a check, without any prodding by, or data sharing with, any branch of government, that’s fine.

If an alcohol retailer or bar wants to see your ID before selling you what you wish to buy, all on their own without any laws forcing them to ask, that’s their business.

If a gun store clerk insists on seeing your ID before selling you a gun, as long as it’s the owner’s idea alone, and he isn’t being pressured to collect any data on his customers, and isn’t informing anyone of who bought what, the burden is on him alone.

Until roads are privately owned there is absolutely no excuse for photo IDs being required for driving. This is a blatant violation of the fundamental human right to travel unmolested, and violates the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution.

On the other hand, elections are strictly a government dog and pony show, so I suppose they can make up whatever restrictive rules they want to. Those rules might include picture IDs, poll taxes, or a loyalty test before being allowed to vote.

I’m not in favor of voting in any case. Liberty can never be subject to a vote. Numbers or majorities can’t make wrong right. Nor can common good, social contracts, safety, or overwhelming need.

Do I want enemies of liberty electing their politicians who’ll impose anti-liberty laws? No, but it’s been happening that way since long before I was born. I don’t expect photo ID requirements to change anything there.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: