OT: Papers please. Can't vote without your papers

Folks probably laffed to themselves when I mentioned that I had obtained, not only a certified birth certificate for myself, but also certificates for both my parents.

HR8281 is being introduced in the House, and it’s companion bill S4292 in the Senate.

Anyone registering to vote in federal elections would need to provide an approved form of photo ID — including a U.S. passport, military ID, birth certificate, naturalization certificate or a government-issued photo ID card showing that the applicant’s place of birth was in the United States.

The bill also outlines that if someone registers to vote using the National Mail Voter Registration Form, they would have to go to an election official’s office to show proof of citizenship by a certain deadline. Alternatively, they can show proof of citizenship to an election official on the day they’re voting, whether that’s during an early voting period or on election day.

(no link, because the link names names and might veer the discussion off the topic, that being that folks need to get their papers in order)

The gold star on my Michigan driver’s license only shows that I am who I say I am. It does not verify I am a US citizen.

Glad I beat the rush.



This is politics.

Both sides are messing around. Trying to stir up the base.

This is not important. We are talking people who should not be voting. In fact they are not voting as is. Versus people who cheat the voting system endlessly and act like they are policing things. That last bit is important.

That is not the intent of the post.

The intent is to remind people to get their papers in order before the crush, as such policies may become law in the state where they live, or Federally.



To get the gold star, the first time, you had to show your passport or birth cert.

In most cases, you need:

  • A U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate.
  • A Social security card (if lost, you can request a replacement here)
  • Two pieces of mail from two different sources dated within 90 days to prove that you live in Connecticut.

At this point in CT to get a license you need this data. The gold star is no longer needed.

DO drive only above versus DL driver’s license in CT

edit I am wrong. It turns out the stars are more necessary than ever.

I don’t know Leap that doesn’t look like an American. Is Ct even a state?



Your family got lost somewhere when you left CT.

If you turn right you head to CA. If you turn left Mexico. Canada is less gas.

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I just want to know if they can vote in elections? How many Senators can they send to the Senate?


We send 26 Senators to the US Senate. Money does wonderful things.

iirc there are other documents that can serve, like a foreign passport or legal resident alien ID. The objective of the “real ID” is to verify who you are, not citizenship.

I have told the story before, of when I wanted to upgrade my driver’s license to a “real ID”. The clerk asked me for my birth certificate, and I proffered the certificate I have had all my life, with my parent’s names, the name of the hospital, and, iirc, the name of the doctor. The clerk said “That isn’t a birth certificate. It’s a souvenir from the hospital”. I instantly replied “it was good enough for the Navy”. But the US is orders of magnitude nuttier than it was decades ago. In Michigan, certified birth certificates are issued by the County Clerk. Fortunately, my life’s wanderings brought me back to the county of my birth. A quick drive to the nearest Wayne County Clerk’s office, and handing over payment, brought me a certified birth certificate that passed muster so I could have my license upgraded.

As both of my parents died before the US became Shiny-land, it was only by chance that I had the information I needed to obtain their certificates. When mom died in 09, I was looking over her personal papers, and found a state issued “certificate of birth registration”, from the 50s, giving her date and location of birth. Said to myself 'might want to hang on to that. might come in handy", so I could write to the Van Buren County Seat to obtain her certificate. My dad grew up in New Jersey, but I remembered him mentioning, in the 60s, that he was born in PA. PA has a central office that records all births in the state. That office posted a scan of an old dot-matrix printout of all births on record through something line 1916, in alphabetical order. I started scrolling down, and found dad, born in Yardley, in Bucks county. Filled out the form, and a check, and mailed them off. Received the certificate a few weeks later. So, now, I am set if some of the more extreme demands for proof of citizenship become law, like proving my family was “rooted” in the US, rather than my being an “anchor baby”, as I have proof going back to 1912.

Of course, requiring certified birth certificates might run afoul of laws against a “poll tax”, because I had to pay for the certificates I have obtained. But the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment was repeatedly ignored in the 1950s, so Shiny-land seems likely to be nutty enough now to ignore laws regarding poll taxes.


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Coincidentally, one of the local TV stations has a blurb on it’s web site now, about “Real ID”.

My folks had to do that with their Irish birth certs. In the old days the Irish never cared. Around the time my parents wanted to get married they suddenly cared.

We have two 1960s birth certs for parents born in 1939 and 1940.

My sisters and I have taken turns sending their paperwork back to Ireland to gain our individual passports. Then my sisters have sent their stuff back for their own kids. Two kids per sister.

Meanwhile, my last employer would not take a copy of my birth cert. I had to show up later with my original birth cert.

It really is not that hard. People make it work.

You are supposed to ask are all of them blue? No, unfortunately, we buy the red ones as well. We spend more on the red ones.

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I didn’t ask you that because when you said 26 Senators I knew it couldn’t be true because there can’t be 26 people in Connecticut.



I had a similar issue when applying for my passport about 40 years ago. Long story short, had a “photocopy” (the only copy I’ve had all my life to that point). Ironically, that was what was issued from the military base I was born on so I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue. More paperwork and more waiting to eventually get it straight to a point where the passport office would accept it. Still don’t have an “original” embossed certificate.

Passport renewed regularly to avoid any repeat.


A prominent Senator tried running for POTUS some years ago. Immediately, there was pushback contending he didn’t meet the “native born USian” standard. He was born in the Naval hospital in Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone, which was, undoubtedly, USian sovereign territory at the time.

Sounds like your certificate is as valuable as mine. Mine isn’t a photocopy, but it does not have the official, embossed, seal, that the one issued by the County Clerk has. I bet if you contacted whatever agency records births in the state that base hospital was in, you could get a certified certificate, assuming you weren’t born on a base outside of the US.

Keeping your passport active is not protection from a demand for more documentation. Some years ago, the State Department stopped renewing existing passports, as well as not granting new ones, from residents of Texas who were not born in a hospital. Even though the person had a state certified birth certificate, if their parents were poor, and they were delivered by a midwife, instead of in a hospital, they were required to come up with other proof that their parents had been in the US at the time of their birth, like rent receipts, utility bills, home mortgage or property tax records.


I can’t remember what I provided when I first registered to vote. Probably nothing more than signing an affidavit that I am a US citizen.

Saw a piece on the news, a few years ago, about one of the shinier states that had stepped up it’s ID requirements for voting. People who had been registered for years/decades suddenly had to come up with a certified birth certificate, or their registration would be revoked.


Try being an Indian when they ask for a birth certificate and you were born at home. I wonder if the Indian tribes will start producing passports? Seems like it would be as good a business as selling tax free cigarettes and casino’s. Then everyone could pay to get a passport. I always wanted to be part of the Blackfoot tribe.



This is the 21st century version of the poll tax.


Every western country (and almost all modern countries) requires government ID to vote. Do they all have “the 21st century poll tax”?

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Why not just make all ID’s free if you want to have an ID requirement to vote.


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