Dick has been offline and mostly out of touch for the next few and that’s no…
Please enjoy this commentary from 2012.
We made the long drive from North Puffin to South Puffin last week. The consensus was to “avoid New Jersey” which we did, but I still saw the results of Shredder Sandy in the firewood on lawns and highway shoulders across Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland. We had to detour around the Delaware Water Gap on some lovely, twisty windy roads that got my rally juices flowing. Those roads didn’t appear on my map, so I’m not sure I could find them again.
A very nice lady at the Florida border handed us a waxed-paper cup of freshly squeezed orange juice; Anne had seconds, then we put the top down and continued along.
I voted in person on Tuesday. Despite the news reports about the horrors of voting in Florida, all true by the way, the hopelessly long line leading to the South Puffin voting booths had (wait for it) three people waiting. It really did take longer to read the 8-page ballot than it did to get to the booth and that despite studying up on it ahead of time.
I had to show my photo identification (my driver license) to get in the door so I wondered, aloud, why Florida had given me a voter ID card. No one at the polls knew because they weren’t accepting that card.
Now I know.
Regular readers may recall that I had cataracts sucked out of my eyes a couple of months ago. The end result is that I have a really neat form from my ophthalmologist certifying me. OK, certifying that my vision is adequate to UNcheck the CORRECTIVE LENSES REQUIRED box on my Florida driver license.
We all know that just having the eye doc fill out a form is far too simple for a state that employs more bureaucrats than the entire population of Vermont. State government employee numbers had grown to 184,237 by 2011. County and local government employees increased to 703,922. That’s more than the population of South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, or Wyoming. Heck Florida government employs more people than the population of Vermont plus the population of the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands twice. Combined. (Worth noting: in the 50 years from 1957 to 2006, Florida’s population increased 302%, but the number of state and local government employees increased 583%. Corporate layoffs have been in the news as companies fight costs, but that’s another story.)
None of the 184,237 people ever answered the phone at Florida DMV when I called, so I eventually tried the county driver license office to find out what I need to bring to my get my license changed. I need to bring a lot.
The state website shows that Florida law requires one to bring “identification and proof of residense (sic) documents” for a new license but doesn’t make clear if that applies to changing the vision requirements as I need. A very nice lady in the Marathon office told me that, yes, I need a:
1. Valid United States Passport
2. Social Security Card or any 1099
3. TWO Proofs of Residential Address, such as
- Utility bills, not more than two months old
- Current homeowner’s insurance policy or bill
- Florida Voter Registration Card
The voter registration card is your ticket to a driver license, the document you need to … vote. Plus your existing driver license that they collected all this stuff for in the first place.
Of course, if I simply renew my driver license online, the state doesn’t require any ID.