NH citizens oppose REAL ID license option - 236 citizens, 646 responses

Sep 29, 2015

Rep. Sherman Packard has proposed legislation for 2016 that calls for state-issued IDs to comply with the REAL ID standards put forth by the US Dept. of Homeland Security. The bill will give residents the power to opt out if they prefer a non-REAL ID compliant license. In light of the proposed bill, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) put the issue to Facebook members, asking “Should NH offer drivers licenses that comply with federal REAL ID standards?”

A total of 88% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 66% majority said they opposed an option for a REAL ID compliant NH identification with 34% in favor. Of the remaining respondents, 11% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 1% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 236 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 646 responses. 

Those opposed to a REAL ID option argued drivers licenses and other forms of identification were an issue for states, not the federal government, to manage. “This is federal overreach,” one commenter wrote. “Freedom of travel is our right, and I am tired of threats from the federal government whose goal is total control of our lives,” a respondent said. “Just another way of showing them your papers,” a citizen posted. 

Supporters argued that allowing an option for a REAL ID would be helpful for those who wanted one.  “I think offering the new compliant licenses as an option is a good idea,” a commenter wrote. “For goodness sake just allow those of us who aren't so worried about this to have the form of ID that will allow us to fly without having to carry a passport too,” a citizen said. “Why not allow everyone the choice?” another argued. 

Those who opted not to give a yes or no response instead discussed states and federal rights more broadly. “Is anything up to the states anymore?” one commenter wrote. “The feds already have access to anything they want to know about you,” another said. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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