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AZ Senate to opt out of Real ID

Despite extension, Republican sponsor says state should not participate in national ID program.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on
The Arizona Senate is likely to approve a bill removing the state from the federal Real ID Act, which is intended to turn state driver's licenses into a national ID card, The Arizona Republic reports.

Earlier this week, the Washington state Senate voted to delay participation in the program pending more-specific guidelines. The program has been delayed two years, to 2009. But that delay does not affect Arizona's intent to opt out, despite strict repurcussions.

"I am absolutely against a national ID," said Johnson, a Republican. "If we do this, we'll have a nationwide databank that would be a gold mine for ID theft." Plus, Johnson said, she is troubled that such a national repository could be privatized, further imperiling privacy rights.

The federal government says that people without complying licenses won't be able to board planes.

In the "strange bedfellows" category, conservative states rights groups and liberal civil libertarians are joining forces against Real ID.

"The ACLU and myself probably are not together very much," but on this issue, they have found common ground, Johnson said.
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