Voter card

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I RENEWED my Mexican voter ID card. It’s laminated and has my color mugshot. My child bride did the same.

This is my first renewal. It was almost a decade back when I got the initial one. It was a simple process. We went today to a nicely appointed, modern office right off the main plaza.

There were few people waiting, two or three.

I had to show a proof of residence, so I took my latest light bill. And, yet again, I had to show paperwork proving I’m a made Mexican, if not a born one.

My wife just showed a birth certificate and light bill.

After displaying the required paperwork, I was told to step into the next room and have a seat. I waited less than five minutes till I was called to a window where I had to sign a few forms, leave fingerprints and have my photo taken.

All was done with high-tech gear.

Come back in two weeks and pick up the new card. Now, that wasn’t so bad, and it makes perfect sense, proving who you are, that you’re a citizen before getting to vote.

One can’t help but snicker at how the Democrat Party above the Rio Bravo screams discrimination at such a process. It’s an imposition on poor people, they yell. Yet somehow the poor people of Mexico do it just fine. And no gnashing of teeth.

Nobody feels put upon.

It’s a convenient card, used not just to vote, but it serves as a national ID, and you’re asked for it fairly often for this, that and the other. I flash it proudly.

It’s understandable that the Democrat Party up north wants to make voting as easy as possible because if it required much effort, the ignorant wouldn’t bother, and Democrat politicians rely on the ignorant to stay in power.

So I’m set to vote for another decade, assuming I last that long, and in a few months I’ll renew my Mexican passport, which will go smoothly too. And no gnashing of teeth.

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(The photo is not from my town. I forgot to take my camera. It’s an election office elsewhere in Mexico.)

The switcheroo

New ImageA PAIR OF YOUNG ladies rang our doorbell this week. They said they were from City Hall and that all the house numbers in our neighborhood were being changed. They even had a can of black paint and a brush to slapdash the new numbers on the exteriors.

They said they wouldn’t do it on our front wall due to our stunning new paint job, done during the recent bakery construction, plus the old address numbers attached out there are artsy ceramic tile.

But we will have to do it. You can’t opt out.

My child bride answered the gate, not me. I would have asked questions. The first to enter my mind was, Does CFE know about this? That’s the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, the light company. In order to get most anything official recorded here, one usually must show a comprobante de domicilio, a proof of residence.

Your latest CFE bill normally does the trick. Your phone bill will work too, but we have no phone bill. A water receipt will suffice, but our water receipt is handwritten down on the plaza and doesn’t show an address.

The only option we have is the CFE bill.

You might ask: Can’t you just show your driver’s license? Makes sense, but you usually cannot. We also — unlike the silly Gringos — have laminated voter-identification cards.* That won’t work either, even though you have to show the light bill, etc., to get a driver’s license or a voter-identification card at the get-go.

Sometimes logic is in short supply hereabouts, but it’s what makes us so freaking colorful.

I went to CFE’s website and signed into my account. There is the old address, not the new one.

Here’s what I will do. I will buy the new numbers on more artsy ceramic tile, and I will attach them to the property wall just below the previous numbers. Yes, we will have both. Other than that, I’m not changing anything unless the CFE bill appears with the new numbers one day.

If that happens, I may have to change lots of stuff — banks, driver’s licenses, passports, online shipping addresses and so on. The list will be lengthy. Time will tell, but until then we’ll just have two addresses.

While this will be an inconvenience, I understand why it’s being done and embrace it. Currently, many — likely most — houses in our neighborhood have no number outside at all. And when they do, they often make no sense, as if the residents simply made them up, which is quite possible.

Let’s say our old number is 32. Guess where the old 34 is? Instead of next door where it belongs, it’s about four blocks down that-a-way — and on the other side of the street!

This explains why deliverymen often ask not only your house number but what two cross streets you are between. Our being next door to the only sex motel in the neighborhood simplifies matters for us.

If you’re delivering something, and you hear squeaking bed springs and howls of glee mixed with moans, well, you’re almost at the Hacienda. Brake soon and keep an eye peeled.

This standardization of addresses is just one detail in the ongoing modernization of Mexico, a good thing.

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* This sensibly insures that only citizens vote, plus it doubles as an official ID. Nobody thinks there’s anything discriminatory about their voter ID. We think it’s just common sense.

Voter-identification baloney

THE VOTER ID hubbub is heating up again due to the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

This may be about the most boneheaded conflict imaginable. The worn-out phrase “no-brainer” would be hard pressed to find a more comfortable home. Who can logically argue that demonstrating that you are a legal citizen should not be a requirement for voting? Answer: The Democratic Party.

Or, as I prefer to dub it, the NDP, the New Democratic Party, due to its radical departure from classic liberal values.

voteHow anyone can voice the opinion that one must not be required to prove citizenship to vote without breaking out in howling laughter is beyond me. Yet, that is the official position of the NDP.

Why? Because many who favor the NDP notion of the perpetual Christmas stocking are poor, uneducated, in the country illegally, and so on. That the illegals cannot prove citizenship is obvious. That the poor and uneducated cannot is because, usually, they cannot get up the gumption to get an official ID.

And the NDP hasn’t enough carpools to round them up like cattle nationwide so they can get that ID.

Here’s how it works in Mexico, a land where the poor and uneducated are not in short supply: You go to an office of the election agency under your own steam with your birth certificate and proof of residence. You get photographed and issued a voter ID on the spot. It is not complicated. Most people do it.

It also doubles as a national ID for other purposes. I have one. It’s quite handy. Is there even one other nation aside from the United States where you can vote without proving citizenship? I doubt it.

Effectively proving you are a citizen would make mail-in voting difficult or impossible. So be it.  It would make my absentee voting from south of the Rio Bravo impossible, but it’s a hit I’m willing to take. You cannot vote by mail in Mexico. On election day, we head to a nearby polling place. It’s as it should be.

That no proof of citizenship is required to vote in many parts of the United States is another tragic indication of the ongoing unraveling of a once-great nation. Another is the deliberate lack of border control.

Let us salute the NDP.