Rhode Island’s voter ID law goes into effect this year, and there’s good news, if you don’t have an ID, just pop on over to the Secretary of State’s office to get one.
The Valley Breeze says:
According to Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, voters will be allowed to use both photo IDs and non-photo IDs this year and next, but starting in 2014, only photo IDs will be accepted.
Visit the Secretary of State’s office at 148 West River St. in Providence, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, to obtain a new ID.
So that’s all well and good if you have a car… Oh, if you have a car you have a licence and don’t need an ID. What if you don’t have a car and live in say, West Warwick?
If you want to be at the Secretary of State’s Office by 8:30am to get your ID, you have to leave West Warwick at 7:00am, ride the 13 bus to Kennedy Plaza, switch to a North Main Street or Charles Street bus at Kennedy Plaza, and then walk a half mile from North Main Street or a third of a mile from Charles Street to the Office on West River Street. That is an hour and a half one way trip. Then, you have to get your ID, however long that takes, and spend an hour and a half going back. This all assumes you’re able to get time away from your job between 8:30am and 4:30pm weekdays.
Or maybe you’re elderly, live in Dominica Manor on Federal Hill, use a walker to get around, and have no ID. The polling place is in the lobby of the building, the poll workers probably live in the building and see you daily, too bad, you need a voter ID.
Drag your ass and your walker onto the Green Line trolley, head into KP, switch to a Charles Street bus, shuffle along behind your walker the third of a mile from the bus stop on Charles Street to the Secretary of States Office. Then, flip that and go home, careful not to get hit by any of the high speed traffic in the 4 lanes of Charles Street as you cross with your walker to get the inbound bus.
Yes, it is wicked easy to get an ID if you have a car and don’t actually need an ID, if you don’t have an ID, well then it is not so easy. How many people living all over the state need IDs and won’t be able to make it to West River Street during the super convenient hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm weekdays when people are trying to work? People who voted just fine before but now have to expend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and money, to get to an out of the way section of Providence to exercise their right to vote.