Two voter ID laws making their way through the state Legislature could end up keeping some of Illinois' poorest residents from exercising one of their basic democratic rights–voting. Come Election Day, voters would have to present a government-issued photo identification card at the polling place, if Senate Bill 2496, which was introduced last week, is ulimately approved by lawmakers. A similar measure--House Bill 3903 --was introduced in the lower chamber in December.
Most of us are surprised to hear that not everyone has a photo ID, but it's not always easy to get one. Illinois requires four original proofs of identification as well as a fixed application fee. If you were born at home or in a foreign country and don't have a birth certificate, only have three original proofs of ID or can't rustle up the money for the mandatory application fee, you're out of luck.