H aving just voted a week or so ago, it's fresh in my mind.
And I just don't recall that providing a picture ID was such a huge deal.
In fact, I don't recall that it was a deal at all.
They asked. I showed. End of story. Took about 10 seconds.
No big deal.
But apparently lots of people disagree.
Because 10 registered voters filed a lawsuit earlier this week in the state's Commonwealth Court, claiming they have somehow been disenfranchised or otherwise negatively affected by being asked to prove with a photo ID they are who they say they are.
They're challenging the state's 7-week old voter identification law.
The crux of the suit is the argument that certain voters -- mostly inner-city, seniors and minority citizens -- are unable to provide any ID the law requires and therefore would be disenfranchised.
The flip side of the argument is that Democrats believe the law is a veiled attempt by Republicans to suppress Democratic voters because most of those who will have trouble producing an ID are minorities who tend to vote Democratic.
To a certain degree, both might apply.
Am I crazy about the Voter ID law? Not especially.
But I've been voting for more than 40 years, and I've never had (or seen) a problem with the voting process or identifying voters.
And I doubt most other York County voters have seen it, either.
It's probably almost a non-issue.
Almost, but not entirely.
I believe there have been instances of voter fraud in this state. I believe they've been documented in the Philadelphia area in the form of ballot stuffing -- some votes were cast before the polls even opened, for example, according to a story published in the Reading Eagle.
A CNN story from Oct. 15, 2008, detailed voter fraud in Philadelphia. It said at least 1,500 questionable ballots were sent to the U.S. attorney, and 8,000 more were considered suspect.
So let's not seriously suggest that voter fraud is not an issue in some parts of the state. It is. How much is another question.
The other voter ID concern seems to have something to do with increasing the amount of time it will take to vote. I'm not buying it.
My own voting experience suggests to me that having to produce a photo ID will not necessarily lead to longer lines. In the 40-plus years I've voted, it's been a rare occurrence -- I'd say maybe three times -- where I haven't been able to park my car, sign in, vote and get back to my car in fewer than 10 minutes.
Maybe I've been lucky, I don't know. But any way you look at it, I don't think the act of producing a photo ID is going to add more than 30 seconds to anyone's voting timeframe.
And that's not even worth talking about.
So let's agree that the Voter ID law and opposition to it are nothing more than game-playing politics.
On one side you have Republicans, now holding the power card in this state, who are determined to put an end to any and all opportunities for fraud they believe is being encouraged by the Democratic Party.
As though Democrats own the license for playing political games.
On the other side you have the Democratic Party, the ACLU, the Black Panthers, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and a host of other organizations who like things just the way they are. All but the Democratic Party are plaintiffs in the above mentioned lawsuit.
They believe the Voter ID law violates the state constitution's "free and equal" election clause and another clause that creates qualifications to vote in this state.
Frankly, in my mind, they're both a ridiculous stretch.
I wish we could simplify all of this a little bit. I wish we all could agree that it must be a priority of this state -- all states, in fact -- that voter fraud not be tolerated. Any American should have the opportunity to vote, of course, but only if properly registered.
Is that too much to expect? I think not.
Here's the bottom line: Americans are asked, nay expected, to produce photo identification for lots of reasons. Frankly, I don't like any of them, but I do understand why it's necessary.
So when I'm asked to provide an ID to get a check cashed, I either provide the ID or I don't get the check cashed.
When I'm asked to secure a proper photo ID to legally drive a car, I get the photo ID and carry it at all times.
And on and on and on. It's often an inconvenience, but I do it anyway because to do otherwise only contributes to the unnecessary chaos in our lives.
There are no excuses or exceptions here -- we're talking about our civic duty and responsibility to vote. It's important.
It would anger me to discover that another person had managed to cast a ballot using my name. That possibility should anger us all.
So I'll make whatever sacrifice is necessary and have a photo ID in my wallet.
I don't like it, either, but I'll gladly do it.
It's a small thing.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dis patch columnist, run Mondays, Wednes days and Fridays. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.