Federal Appeals Court Upholds Wisconsin Voter ID Law

An unsurprising decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Voter ID Required Sign

A panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law, reversing a District Court opinion from earlier this year and potentially having a big impact on the upcoming election in which Governor Scott Walker is in a close fight for re-election:

Madison — A panel of three federal judges upheld Wisconsin’s voter ID law Monday, finding it is in keeping with the U.S. Constitution and federal Voting Rights Act.

The panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last month ruled the voter ID law could be put in place for the Nov. 4 election between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke. Monday’s ruling is the panel’s final decision on the issue and puts the voter ID law in place for other future elections.

Attention now turns to what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan or the full Supreme Court might do. Even before Monday’s ruling, the groups that challenged the voter ID law had asked Kagan to block the voter ID law for the Nov. 4 election.

Kagan is the justice responsible for handling emergency petitions in cases before the 7th Circuit, which covers Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

Writing for the unanimous appeals panel, Judge Frank Easterbrook determined Wisconsin’s law was essentially identical to an Indiana voter ID law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2008.

Even if voter impersonation is rare, the Supreme Court found a voter ID law has other benefits, Easterbrook wrote — “it deters fraud (so that a low frequency stays low); it promotes accurate record keeping (so that people who have moved after the date of registration do not vote in the wrong precinct); it promotes voter confidence.

“If the public thinks that photo ID makes elections cleaner, then people are more likely to vote or, if they stay home, to place more confidence in the outcomes.”

Also on the panel were Diane Sykes and John Daniel Tinder. Easterbrook was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Sykes and Tinder were appointed by President George W. Bush. Before serving on the federal bench, Sykes was a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice.

(…)

“Unless Wisconsin makes it needlessly hard to get photo ID, it has not denied anything to any voter,” Easterbrook wrote.

Relying on the testimony of an expert, Adelman concluded about 300,000 registered voters in Wisconsin do not have IDs that qualify for voting. About 70,000 additional people who lack such IDs are eligible to vote but not registered, he found.

But the appeals judges determined those figures were “questionable.”

“The district judge who tried the Indiana case rejected a large estimate as fanciful in a world in which photo ID is essential to board an airplane, enter Canada or any other foreign nation, drive a car (even people who do not own cars need licenses to drive friends’ or relatives’ cars), buy a beer, purchase pseudoephedrine for a stuffy nose or pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open a bank account or cash a check at a currency exchange, buy a gun, or enter a courthouse to serve as a juror or watch the argument of this appeal,” Easterbrook wrote. “Could 9% of Wisconsin’s voting population really do none of these things?”

As noted, today’s ruling reverses a ruling in April by Federal District Court Judge Lynn Adelman striking down the law. In that ruling, Judge Adelman found that the burdens potentially imposed by the law on minority and poor voters outweighed the concerns raised by the state to justify the requirement that everyone who wishes to vote present photo identification at the polls. This was especially true, he found, based on the fact that there was almost no evidence of actual in-person voter fraud in Wisconsin while at trial there had been studies presented purporting to indicate that Voter ID requirements tend to impact poor and minorities disproportionately both due to the costs and time needed to obtain the identification to begin with and the fact that these types of voters are less likely to have easy access to the types of documents, including birth certificates, that would be needed to obtain the identification to begin with. Adelman’s ruling was the opposite of two separate rulings from Wisconsin’s Supreme Court upholding the ruling. Additionally, as I noted when I wrote about the decision in April,  though, the complaints that he raises about the difficulty of obtaining identification go to the specifics of the law, which is a matter for the legislature and regulatory bodies, rather than it is to the legal merits of Voter ID laws. This would seem to be especially true given that the Supreme Court is already on record as upholding Voter ID laws in a 2008 ruling out of Indiana. While the makeup of the Court has changes slightly since that ruling, it hasn’t changed enough to make it likely that the current Supreme Court would reverse itself. More importantly, though, the immediate impact of Adelman’s ruling was blunted last month when this same 7th Circuit panel issued a ruling voiding the stay that she had put in place that would have barred the law from going into effect for the upcoming election. That ruling is itself under appeal, but yesterday’s ruling would seem to blunt any effort to stop the law from being in force during the election unless the full Supreme Court steps in and issues a stay.

Law Professors and election law expert Rick Hasan is deeply critical of the Court’s opinion:

2. As a matter of substance, this is vintage Judge Easterbrook: crisp writing but heartless and dismissive. Judge Easterbrook picks out the evidence from the record he likes, and dismisses the evidence he does not like. The Ansolabehere and Persily study finding no relationship between voter id laws and public confidence is dismissed because it was not peer reviewed. This is some of the most careful work out there, and just because it was published in the Harvard Law Review Judge Easterbook decides to dismiss it out of hand.  I believe that Professor Milyo, who is on the other side of these issues, also found no relationship between public confidence and voter id laws. On the other side of that is the Court’s statement about those relationships in the Crawfordcase. Judge Easterbrook takes that as some kind of established fact which cannot be rebutted by more evidence, despite our relative lack of experience back in the 2008 Crawford case with voter id laws.

3. The opinion puts forward the narrowest test yet I’ve seen for deciding when a vote denial type claim (which Easterbrook calls a voter qualification claim) violates section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. He cites statistics showing whites are much, more more likely than blacks in Milwaukee to have a driver’s license (the easiest form of voter id to use in WI if you have it).  No big deal he says: black voting rates are high enough, and so long as “everyone has the same opportunity to get a qualifying voter ID” in Wisconsin there can be no voting rights violation. Never mind that because of past discrimination African-American voters are on average poorer and will have a harder time coming up with the money for the underlying documents for a voter id. The rich and poor can both sleep under bridges. To Easterbrook, one just “scrounges” the money to get the birth certificate—there is no sensitivity that not everyone is as rich as a federal judge.

Hasan is also critical of the Court’s decision to allow the law to go ahead now, 28 days before the election, even though there seems to be a lot of evidence that many Wisconsin counties will not be prepared:

Regardless of where you stand on the merits of the constitutional and voter id problem, it is unconscionable to roll out voter id without adequate time for everyone who wants to get id to do so.  The 7th Circuit violated the rule from the Supreme Court’s Purcell v. Gonzalez case for courts not to change election rules just before the election. The state itself admits that up to 10 percent of eligible voters may lack id for this election. Today’s order seems timed to give more ammunition to Wisconsin to fight its case on the merits.

The Purcell v. Gonzalez decision that Hasan refers to is a 2006 opinion dealing with an Arizona Voter ID law. In a relatively short opinion, a unanimous Court held there that the 9th Circuit erred in not giving greater consideration to allowing the law to go into effect just weeks before the election, and in a concurring opinion Justice Stevens noted that leaving a stay in effect in advance of an impending election would be the best way for future courts to deal with the legal issues involved in the case. Given the holding in this case, and the reports about just how disruptive allowing this law to go forward this year would be, I think Hasan raises a good point here at least on the issue of the stay and he has cataloged elsewhere the reports indicating the problems that are likely to arise because of the late implementation of the Voter ID law, not the least of them being that over 10,000 Absentee Ballots were mailed before the September 13th opinion by the Circuit Court, when Judge Adelman’s stay was still in effect, that were issued without abiding by the requirements of the Voter ID law. Regardless of how one feels about Voter ID laws as a matter of policy or law, it seems to me as though avoiding chaos at the polls, which is what the Purcell case is all about, should be an important consideration. While the Supreme Court will obviously not have time to hear this case on the merits, I would expect that the efforts to appeal the lifting of the stay, based on Purcell will continue.

As to the merits of Hasan’s criticisms, while I understand them I can’t really say that I agree with them, at least not to the extent that they should be sufficient legal grounds to void a law that was duly passed by the people’s representatives. As I noted above, even conceding the fact that there may be difficulties for some people in obtaining identification, that fact alone doesn’t strike me as a reason to void the law in its entirety. Those issues are more properly addressed by the legislature and the regulatory bodies that implement election laws and, if necessary, by Federal Courts that can issue mandates about how a law is enforced that would alleviate many of the problems. When it comes to the overall validity of Voter ID laws in general from a legal point of view, though, it seems fairly clear to me that the Constitutional and other objections that have been made to the laws are incredibly weak to say the very least, which is one reason why the outcome here is really not very surprising.

None of this means, of course, that Voter ID laws are a good idea as a matter of policy, or that they are something that should be considered a legislative priority as many on the right have treated them. As I’ve noted before, the type of voter fraud that these laws would combat is relatively rare to begin with, which suggests at the very least that a state legislature looking to deal with voter fraud should be looking at other areas, such as registration fraud, and absentee ballot fraud, that cannot be detected via Voter ID laws and which are far more common. Whether or not a law is a good idea, though, is not something that courts should properly be considering. For them, the only questions relate to whether the law in front of them violates some provision of the Constitution or is otherwise invalid. In the case of Voter ID laws, the law just isn’t on the side of the opponents, which is why this ruling wasn’t surprising and why the Supreme Court is likely to ultimately uphold this law should the full case get before it.

Frank Et Al v. Walker Et Al by Doug Mataconis

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2014, Law and the Courts, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. humanoid.panda says:

    As I noted above, even conceding the fact that there may be difficulties for some people in obtaining identification, that fact alone doesn’t strike me as a reason to void the law in its entirety. Those issues are more properly addressed by the legislature and the regulatory bodies that implement election laws and, if necessary, by Federal Courts that can issue mandates about how a law is enforced that would alleviate many of the problems.

    I do wonder if Doug was laughing when he wrote those two sentences, because I can’t see how any sentient being could be naive enough to actually believe them.
    These “issues” are not glitches that the legislature will fix. They are the intent of these laws, always were, and always will be. If it makes you better to sleep at night to pretend otherwise,fine, but don’t insult your readers’ intelligence, please.

  2. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Seriously, a part of me wishes we were living in the 1930s or so, so that we could see Doug defending poll taxes and literacy tests using exactly the same lines he is using to defend this decision.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Impose burdens on people less likely to vote for you…for no discernible reason…other than to win elections? It’s the Republican way!!!!

    If I was Walker and I had screwed up Wisconsin as badly as he has with his Republican agenda…I would look to fix the election too!!! He promised 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his first term. He’s not even close. Wisconsin is just another example of the full-on Republican agenda being a full-on failure. Kansas, Minnesota, NJ. What they’re selling doesn’t work. So rig the election. It’s all they have.

  4. stonetools says:

    The Republican voter supression strategy proceeds apace…
    The Democrats are playing catchup, but the Republicans have their anti-voting rights judges in place at every level, so they are going to win a lot of the legal battles, especially with an anti-voting rights Supreme Court.
    What happens if it turns out in this election that the Wisconsin laws DO suppress minority voting? I expect Easterbrook is simply going to deny the evidence and blame it on “lazy blacks” not getting the “right ID.” And its likely the SCOTUS will back him.

  5. beth says:

    @humanoid.panda: Eventually even these voter id laws won’t help them win elections so we may still get to see Doug defending poll taxes and literacy tests. What else do they have left? I’ve seen some Republicans float the idea of only property owners being allowed to vote – maybe he’ll see the merits in that.

  6. Each of the arguments that each of you have raised are policy arguments, not legal arguments. Policy arguments are properly addressed to legislatures, not courts. That is the way our system works.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Well, it’s good to know that Wisconsin Republicans and a conservative judge are working in tandem to solve a problem – in-person voter fraud – that does not exist, and at the same time making it more difficult for some Democratic Party constituents to vote.

    Put in the context of a Supreme Court that recently held that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was no longer needed this really comes as no surprise.

    Again, elections have consequences. When you elect people like Scott Walker, and Republican majority legislatures, as well as presidents who nominate certain types of conservatives to the Federal District Courts, this is a very possible and likely outcome. If Democrats do not like these type of outcomes they need to win elections and change the laws to preclude or pre-empt Republicans from implementing vote suppression laws.

  8. Gavrilo says:

    @stonetools:

    You and most of the other liberals around here have already decided that the “lazy blacks” will not get the right id which is why you’re so deathly afraid of these laws. The vast majority of Americans, including a majority of black Americans, don’t share your low opinion of minorities.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The vast majority of Americans, including a majority of black Americans, don’t share your low opinion of minorities.

    Interesting. A majority of Republicans seem to have a low opinion of minority voters. Why is that?

  10. humanoid.panda says:

    @beth: Yes, this. The voter ID bills in the end affect outcomes on the margins, and might even backfire on some of republican constituencies (older people with expired drivers licenses, for example). However, the thinking embedded in them, that some people are too “lazy” or dependent for voting, and the jurisprudence protecting them, that a law is not discriminationary as long as it does mention race explicitly, can be used to defend any and all Jim Crow voting suppression tactics (the Jim Crow laws on voting didn’t mention race of course and worked their way via combination of terrorism, unequal enforcement, and disparate impact. The Supreme Court is famously coming ever closer to denying recognition of disparate impact as a legal standard, and given that the text of the constitution doesn’t actually protect the right to vote explicitly, only God knows what comes next..).

  11. humanoid.panda says:

    @Doug Mataconis: In other words literacy texts should be ok, as long as they are not enforced in a selective way? It’s a matter of policy,no?

    Let’s put the cards on the table: is the 1965 VRA constitutional or not according to you?

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Each of the arguments that each of you have raised are policy arguments, not legal arguments. Policy arguments are properly addressed to legislatures, not courts. That is the way our system works.

    Once again, no, that is not the way our system works, at least not since Marbury v. Madison. This policy/legal split exists only in your head, not in reality. Constitutional questions are well within the ambit of the courts.

    Anyone with even a high-schooler’s passing acquaintance with American history, for example, is aware that many “policy” issues revolving around due process, protection, and/or voting rights, were decided by the courts, inclucing Brown v. Board of Education (segregated schools), Loving v. Virginia (inter-racial marriage), Bowers v. Hardwick (reversal of state sodomy statute), and US v. Windsor (marriage equality).

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Policy arguments are properly addressed to legislatures, not courts.

    Curious, Doug. How do you reconcile this position with your other position that the marriage equality cases were properly decided? Why don’t you think that the policy issue of gay marriage should be left to the legislatures and not the courts?

  14. humanoid.panda says:

    @Gavrilo: No, what we “decided” is to recognize the fact that a large number of people, the majority of whom are minorities, don’t have those Voter IDs. In that condition, one can only support a Voter ID law if one wants to either repress their votes, or if one wants to put the burden of education,funding and outreach to people without IDs on the state (for example, mandating that Voter ID laws will go into effect only after the state can certify that say, 99% of all registered voters have valid IDs). Since no Voter ID law I know off has funding for such education and outreach efforts, then they are by definition meant to repress voting.

    Here is my challenge to conservatives: the only fool proof way to stop all possible forms of in person voter impersonation is to issue a federal ID, mailed to each citizen on their 17th birthday ), and maintain a federal registry of voters(otherwise, people can move between states and cast multiple votes..). Are you in favor of such a program, or do you feel that the price the country will pay for this in freedom is too high? If it is the latter, you have just proved you don’t give a crap about voting integrity, and are in fact only seeking out ways to repress votes of the unworthy.

  15. Jack says:

    Regardless of how one feels about Voter ID laws as a matter of policy or law, it seems to me as though avoiding chaos at the polls, which is what the Purcell case is all about, should be an important consideration.

    Considering this law was passed in 2011, it’s been the Democrats that have continually used delaying tactics to push off the law’s implementation rather than insuring a populace has taken the ensuing 3 years to obtain a proper ID.

    ID is needed to cash checks (Social Security or other), write checks, it’s needed to open bank accounts, buy alcohol, drive, and access the plethora of social services that poor people claim to need…yet they don’t have ID??

    Liberals demand that ID be a requirement to exercise gun rights, but contend requiring ID to vote is unlawful and oppressive. Hypocrite much?

  16. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: Shorter Jack (and the hack who should be disbarred for writing this opinion: people should have photo IDs. Therefore, people who don’t have photo IDs don’t exist. Problem solved!

  17. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “Each of the arguments that each of you have raised are policy arguments, not legal arguments.”

    Not really, Doug. Would you say the same if it were a right to property which is being denied by the Legislature (by requiring ID to purchase non-age restricted items such as soda)? Or do you believe voting rights less protected than property rights?

    @al-Ameda:

    “If Democrats do not like these type of outcomes they need to win elections and change the laws to preclude or pre-empt Republicans from implementing vote suppression laws.”

    How do Democrats change the law to prevent a future Republican majority from changing it back? Or do you think Democrats have to win every election forever, as if they lose any one, the Republicans will make changes to voting rights to ensure they win future ones?

  18. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Surprisingly, this is also the conservative position on climate change

    The market solves all problems
    Global warming is a problem the market can’t resolve.
    Therefore, global does not exist.

    QED!

  19. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: Shorter panda: Derp.

  20. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: I’m glad we agree,. I should not have to have ID to purchase a firearm.

  21. SKI says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Not really, Doug. Would you say the same if it were a right to property which is being denied by the Legislature (by requiring ID to purchase non-age restricted items such as soda)? Or do you believe voting rights less protected than property rights?

    While I agree with you on the merits, the reality is that such a scheme is very much in place today – the purchase of over-the-counter psuedoephedrine-containing products like Sudafed.

  22. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Curious, Doug. How do you reconcile this position with your other position that the marriage equality cases were properly decided? Why don’t you think that the policy issue of gay marriage should be left to the legislatures and not the courts?

    Well, Doug votes for Republicans and refuses to vote for Democrats, even though he is for SSM and gay rights, so he is OK with cognitive dissonance.
    Doug also believes that campaign financing laws aren’t a policy issue best left to the legislatures.

  23. CB says:

    I’ve gotta admit, mandating an ID to vote always struck me as a pretty low barrier to entry. But just because it’s low doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This can and will cause trouble for a not insignificant proportion of the population.

    You could solve this ‘problem’ with a national ID, but we all know that won’t fly..

  24. Moosebreath says:

    @SKI:

    Point taken, though at least there we have a somewhat rational reason for it, in that Sudafed can be turned into illegal drugs. Here we have no rational reason for it, as Doug himself acknowledges the lack of in person voting fraud.

  25. Andre Kenji says:

    Photos ID are not enough to guarantee that there is no voter fraud. Here in Brazil they are moving to require fingerprint scanning to ensure that there is not voter fraud(You must provide a photo ID in a country that has a ID system, not where Drivers License are used as ID).

  26. James Pearce says:

    Whether or not a law is a good idea, though, is not something that courts should properly be considering.

    But maybe they should.

    I’ve decided to drop my opposition to voter ID laws. I think it’s a rather nakedly obvious ploy to keep the “wrong people” from voting, but I think it’s just as nakedly obvious that ploy won’t actually work. So let’s show the IDs and then laugh as the regressive agenda loses anyway.

  27. Just Me says:

    Our state has a voter ID law-it didn’t keep people away in 2012.

    I think the issue of voter fraud would beat be solved by cleaning up voter rolls and doing something to catch people who vote in two states or jurisdictions.

    I do think it’s funny that the UN observers who observed the last election were shocked that we didn’t have an ID requirement.

  28. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: But “they” should have a voter ID in order to vote!

    Seriously, though, both voting and purchasing a gun are rights guaranteed to US citizens under constitution (yes, I am with the conservatives on that one). Like all rights, they can be regulated, but not regulated out of existence.
    The question is, what kind of regulation is appropriate?
    If you lack a voter ID on election day, you will not be able to vote, period.
    If you can’t buy a gun without ID today, nothing stops you from buying it next week.

    Voter registries are minimizing the dangers of in person voter fraud, a fact that even the judge in Wisconsin concedes.
    Registries of gun owners are a non-starter.

    On the most basic level in the absence of mass fraud, for which there is zero evidence, the damage caused by fraud is minimal.
    The danger of letting anyone to buy guns without proving their identity is obvious.

    Now ,do you see why A is not like B?
    Also, a friendly advice: don’t use the “Derp” card on people who are smarter than you. That only makes you look even more ridiculous than you already are to outside observers.

  29. humanoid.panda says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, over time, Voter IDs are bound to fail. However, in Wisconsin, for example, the law was set up in a way that invalidates the vast majority of student ID cards. Students also cannot use out of state drivers licenses as Voter ID (notice that both documents are sufficient for the everyday transactions the judge is relying on in his reasoning). This will almost certainly cause thousands of college students to become ineligible to vote in this particular, and very close, election. Right now, that is all Walker is thinking about..

    As Beth pointed out above, there is also the problem that the logic behind passing Voter ID can also be used to disqualify,say, people who rent rather than own property in a given location, or college students or whatnot. After all, “it’s alll a matter of policy” !

  30. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    If you can’t buy a gun without ID today, nothing stops you from buying it next week.

    Not having ID next week will stop me from buying it. If you suggest I can get an ID in a week to buy a firearm, then you can also get an ID in a week to vote. Do you not see that A is like B?

    On the most basic level in the absence of mass fraud, for which there is zero evidence, the damage caused by fraud is minimal.

    What in you mind is minimal? Even one case is fraud. The Ohio poll worker that admitted to voting for Obama 6 times still has not been prosecuted by the DOJ. How many more like her are there?

    Federal law makes it a felony to vote more than once for President. In fact, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973i(e) subjects Richardson to twenty-five years in federal prison for her six votes for Obama.

    If it’s not a problem as you contend, then why have the law?

    Also, a friendly advice: don’t use the “Derp” card on people who are smarter than you. That only makes you look even more ridiculous than you already are to outside observers.

    I’ve seen no evidence that you are smarter than I. I suppose you want to take away my right to freely point out that your response was obtuse. Just like a liberal, rights for us but not for “them”.

  31. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    I’m glad we agree,. I should not have to have ID to purchase a firearm.

    This is such a perfect encapculation of the conservative mindset that I had to respond to this. Overall, the the liberals on this board are concerned with small r republican consequences of suppressing votes.
    You could have responded with “how about the right of Americans to purchase firearms,” which is also a small r republican concern of a sort.

    However, instinctively, you went with “what about me,me,mmmmeeee” which is the instinctual response of a child, or a modern day Republican with a capital R…

  32. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Liberals demand that ID be a requirement to exercise gun rights, but contend requiring ID to vote is unlawful and oppressive. Hypocrite much?

    Actually , rational. Liberals take an evidence based approach to the law. Liberals see that thousands of people die unnecessarily ever year, because of lax gun safety regulation. Liberals accept that reality, and thus decide that we need to change the balance between constutional rights and existing law to reflect reality in a way that allows for better gun safety and effective excercise of constiutional rights.
    In the same way, liberals see that in actuality there is no such thing as significant in person voter fraud and that these “voter ID” laws are really voter supression schemes in disguise.
    Conservatives OTOH take a “wishful thinking” approach to the law in which they reject science and data in favor of conservative dogma fed by right wing propoganda. That’s why they oppose background checks ( “It’s the first step down the road to banning all guns and one world government!”) and promote voter ID laws ( voter ID laws are ball about preventing a Democratic plan to have millions of illegal immigrants vote!”)

  33. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    I’ve seen no evidence that you are smarter than I.

    Dunning-Kruger Effect. Look it up.

  34. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    However, instinctively, you went with “what about me,me,mmmmeeee” which is the instinctual response of a child, or a modern day Republican with a capital R…

    Yeah, because d democrats aren’t worried about my welfare, my healthcare, my birth control, my section 8, my food stamps, my WIC, my unemploymentmy, my, my is all you hear from democrats when they want something that costs me money.

    Meanwhile, my right to exercise owning and carrying a firearm cost no one else diddly.

  35. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: First off, you can say whatever you want, as long as Doug and James agree, so I don’t see how I am repressing you at all. At this point, your concern about people repressing you is reminiscent of that of Dennis the Constitutional Peasant.

    Second, if someone comes to a polling place and told he can’t vote, that means he can’t vote, period. As I said above, if Voter ID laws included provisions for minimizing harm and maximizing outreach, we’d be having a different conversation. However, in Wisconsin, the Walker administration famously cut the DMV budget after the Voter ID law was passed. Purchasing guns is simply not time-bound this way, no matter how much you try.

    Voter fraud is a crime, yes, but so is gun crime. Therefore, the important thing is balancing: are regulations on the purchase of guns or voting outweigh the harms to freedom created by enforcing them? In the case of requiring voter ID, yes, for the reasons I elaborated above: the individual consequences of a single case of voter fraud are not the same of than those of a single shooting, there are other means of regulating voting (voter registries) but none of gun purchases, and gun purchases are not time bound in the way voting is.

  36. Gavrilo says:

    @derpanoid.panda:

    If you lack a voter ID on election day, you will not be able to vote, period.

    Actually, if you lack a voter id on election day, you can vote via provisional ballot, which will be counted so long as you provide a copy of your id to the election board within a certain period of time.

  37. @Rafer Janders:

    Those cases involve violations of rights guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. There is no direct evidence that these laws are intended to violate anyone’s Constitutional rights — and the fact that there might be a disproportionate impact is not, in and of itself, evidence of a violation. The laws apply to all voters equally.

  38. Andre Kenji says:

    I live in a country that has a National ID system, and I worked with administrative functions in the government and I can say that there are good reasons why so many US Civil Libertarians are against National ID. There are good reasons why gun owners would not like it. You give each person a number, and then you trace everyone with that. Yes, one can argue that it could be used for security reasons, but that´s fair more complicated than it looks.

  39. @Andre Kenji:

    Voter ID laws don’t required a National ID, though.

  40. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Liberals see that thousands of people die unnecessarily ever year, because of lax gun safety regulation.

    Um, no. There is no lax gun safety. Guns are regulated more than the nuclear power industry. People die unnecessarily every year because there is no way to stop criminals from getting guns.

    That’s why they oppose background checks ( “It’s the first step down the road to banning all guns and one world government!”)

    Background checks are already required for all purchases of new firearms. Conservatives oppose making me people go through a background check in person to person sales or gifts (i.e. my grandfather giving me a firearm). Besides, how many criminals selling guns out of the trunk of their car will suddenly require other criminals to have a background check prior to purchase if this law were to go into effect. The only people gun show loophole laws will effect are law abiding.

    Besides, less than 1% of guns bought at gun shows are ever used in a crime, so as panda and others have suggested, this would be a law:”for which there is zero evidence” it is needed.

  41. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “Here in Brazil they are moving to require fingerprint scanning to ensure that there is not voter fraud”

    Also having candidates show up at polling places to slap voters!

  42. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:First, I suspect that all, or nearly all liberals on this thread have not used any of the things you list, for the simple reason that statistically, people who debate on internet forums ran by lawyers and professors tend to make quite more than the median US citizen, and still advocate them, so this is hardly the case of them looking out for gifts.

    Second, I noticed your list omitted things like roads, Medicare and college education, stuff that is used by older, suburban and middle class people, and are paid for by urban, young and poorer people (among others)

    Third, your gun ownership individually costs no one nothing. However, the vast amount of guns in America is imposing social costs, and is therefore subject tor regulation according to liberals.

    An individual casting a legal vote without Voter ID costs you nothing, and yet you think that the collective effects of this action are such that they require regulations. How do you explain the disparity?

    Since the disparity cuts both ways, my explanation is simple: I am not opposed to Voter ID bills that put the onus of providing all voters with proper ID on the government, preferably the federal one. That meets the balancing test of rights and voter integrity.

    What is your explanation for this disparity?

  43. humanoid.panda says:

    @Doug Mataconis: This is an a-historical malarkey. Poll taxes and literacy tests were written in an ostensibly race-neutral way. Their enforcement was what made them racist.

  44. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    At this point, your concern about people repressing you is reminiscent of that of Dennis the Constitutional Peasant.

    A lot like voters are being suppressed with this new law….right?

    the individual consequences of a single case of voter fraud are not the same of than those of a single shooting

    You don’t seem to understand. Most shooting are by criminals that didn’t buy the gun legally anyway. Criminals don’t follow the law.

  45. humanoid.panda says:

    @Gavrilo: Not in all cases, the time frame is often too narrow, and not all voters can obtain the documentation required for a voter ID. As a matter of historical record, vast numbers of provisional ballots tend to be thrown out. Next.

  46. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    A lot like voters are being suppressed with this new law….right?

    The difference is that the voters in question are being denied a constitutional right, and your incident of speech repression is someone insulting you on the internet. Again, anyone but a toddler can make that distinction.

    You don’t seem to understand. Most shooting are by criminals that didn’t buy the gun legally anyway. Criminals don’t follow the law.

    The vast majority of people without IDs are eligible voters, and yet you have no qualms about their rights.

  47. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    An individual casting a legal vote without Voter ID costs you nothing, and yet you think that the collective effects of this action are such that they require regulations. How do you explain the disparity?

    Yeah, see…that’s not how laws work. Drivers going 5-10 miles over the speed limit cost people nothing, yet drivers still get fined for it.

    The woman in Ohio that voted six times shows there was damage to the voting process. of one person, one vote. If people don’t believe in the process, then the process fails and everyone loses. Someone doesn’t have to die for there to be harm done.

  48. @humanoid.panda:

    Agreed. But the coincidence of a disproportionate impact does not mean that the law is inherently discriminatory.

  49. wr says:

    This is in line with the Republican court decision closing abortion clinics across Texas. In that case, the wise judges reasoned that having to drive hundreds of miles to a clinic posed no undue burden on poor women. If they were too poor to afford a car, they had the obvious choice of becoming rich and being able to buy all the cars they want.

    And of course libertarian Doug approves heartily of each decision — because the heart of the libertarian philosophy is “rich people must be allowed to do whatever they want, and poor people should become rich if they want any rights.”

  50. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There is no direct evidence that these laws are intended to violate anyone’s Constitutional rights —

    That is, quite simply, an outright lie, Doug.

  51. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    The difference is that the voters in question are being denied a constitutional right,

    The vast majority of people without IDs are eligible voters, and yet you have no qualms about their rights.

    Show me! Show me one person who has been affected! Just one!

    I’ll wait.

  52. humanoid.panda says:
  53. humanoid.panda says:

    Now that have showed you some, will this shift your opinions one iota?

  54. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Those cases involve violations of rights guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

    And these cases involve violatons of rights guaranteed under the 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th Amendments.

    Really, this is one of the stupidest arguments you can make. The right to vote is threaded throughout the US Constitution.

  55. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    and the fact that there might be a disproportionate impact is not, in and of itself, evidence of a violation. The laws apply to all voters equally.

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids both rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal loaves of bread.” — Anatole France.

  56. Jack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: disproportionate impact

    Disproportionate/disparate impact. I am so tired of this concept. When Eric Holder can argue that colorblind suspension and expulsion rules in K-12 schools are illegal because more minorities are being affected than whites…when he can argue that colorblind sentencing guidelines for criminals are illegal because minorities are being convicted more than whites…at this point you may as well get rid of the crime – punishment construct because any penalty can be construed to have disproportionate/disparate impact.

  57. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    Yeah, see…that’s not how laws work. Drivers going 5-10 miles over the speed limit cost people nothing, yet drivers still get fined for it.

    The way the process works, is that there has to be a balancing test between the damage of the deed and the nature of regulation meant to prevent/penalize it.

    People who speed get fined. People who drive under influence lose their licenses. Police is not to required to summarily execute neither drunk nor speeding drivers.

    In the same way, there has to be a balancing act between voter integrity and voting rights.

    Whatever that woman in Ohio did, in-person fraud is so rare that disenfranchising tens of people thousands of people in order to stop her from doing it is does not meet the balancing test.

    In a same way, I am sure I could dredge a case of a legal gun owner shooting someone and use it to construct a regulation that would stop tens of thousands of people from owning guns. Would this meet the balancing test?

  58. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    and the fact that there might be a disproportionate impact is not, in and of itself, evidence of a violation

    Deliberately misleading. The fact that there might be a disproportionate impact may not in and of itself be evidence of a violation, but it is evidence of a violation when seen in context with other factors.

  59. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The laws apply to all voters equally.

    Sure, like literarcy tests and poll taxes in the South. They applied to all equally! No problem with them at all!

  60. humanoid.panda says:

    @Doug Mataconis: So, if legislators don’t write race or gender into them, any kind of restriction on voting rights is OK, constitutionally speaking? I mean, at some point, some kind of disparate impact test has to take place, no? When would you pull the trigger on this sort of analysis, if at all?

  61. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    all you hear from democrats when they want something that costs me money.

    Bah….

    Seriously, Jack, once you get past a certain level of philosophical immaturity, it becomes clear that politicians of both parties are intent on putting their hand in your pocket. So you’d prefer to funnel money to business interests instead of the poor. Good for you!

    Just spare us the indignation on Section 8.

  62. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: Lorene Hutchins –has ID. Bettye Jones –has ID. Alice Weddle – Without a birth certificate, however, she has not been able to obtain the state-issued ID now required to cast a ballot. Rickey Davis – Yet Mr. Davis was turned away because he did not have a copy of his birth certificate. Rose Thompson – does not have a birth certificate. Melvin Robertson – has no birth certificate

    Two of your examples have obtained ID and the other three cannot because they have no birth certificate. Once they cannot vote…then they can say they are being disenfranchised. Until then they have no standing, so you have yet to show me one person affected by this law. They can then argue that the law is too restrictive on acceptable forms of proof.

    Just like collecting Social Security, to collect you need to have a Social Security Number and to have paid in. We didn’t tell all those that were already retired in 1935 when the law took place that we would make an exception for them. We had to start somewhere and now toddlers are being issued Social Security numbers routinely. Birth certificates are now being issued routinely. After a few decades, the only people affected by this law will be those that are supposed to be affected–non US citizens.

  63. @humanoid.panda:

    That’s a good question, but it’s quite clear from the law that intent is certainly the most direct evidence — and that doesn’t mean intent to benefit a particular political party since the way election laws are written guarantees that they will be written to benefit whichever party happens to be in power at a given time.

  64. C. Clavin says:

    I’m amused by all the small government Republicanists and Libertarians insisting that everyone register themselves with the government…that a government-based solution be imposed where no problem exists for that government to solve.
    Well…no problem other than a dearth of Republicanist voters.

  65. Jack says:

    @James Pearce:

    So you’d prefer to funnel money to business interests instead of the poor. Good for you!

    A bit presumptuous of you.

  66. @Rafer Janders:

    There’s no evidence that requiring people to prove that they are who they say they are when they go to vote violates any of those Amendments. You think it does, but that doesn’t make it true.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    How much should people be required to pay in order to vote, Jack?

  68. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: I don’t know. How much did Heller and Miller have to pay to exercise a right, Clavin????

  69. Tony W says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Each of the arguments that each of you have raised are policy arguments, not legal arguments. Policy arguments are properly addressed to legislatures, not courts. That is the way our system works.

    Policy or not – courts retain a responsibility to review these sorts of policies for constitutionality.

  70. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “There is no direct evidence that these laws are intended to violate anyone’s Constitutional rights”

    So Wisconsin needs to have a legislator with as loose lips as the Pennsylvania one who said that the voter ID law was intended to elect Romney as President for this to be a violation of the Constitution. Again, I am certain that is not the standard you would apply if this were a property right being taken, (e.g.. needing a legislator to say that a taking was really designed to benefit a private individual and not the general public).

  71. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:
    1. Getting a copy of a birth certificate costs money. Therefore, making someone to get one to vote is prima facie violation of the Constitution (ooll tax!).
    2. Your analogy is inane: people don’t have constitutional right to get Social Security. It is a right established by law, that has clear exceptions. The right to vote is guaranteed in the constitution, and a totally different set of rules applies.
    3. Basically, what you are saying that whatever barriers the state puts in someone’s way, as long as they can cobble up enough time, help and resources in order to vote, its a-ok. Again, how would you feel if someone applied this test for guns?

  72. Gavrilo says:

    @derpanoid.panda:

    In Wisconsin, a voter can obtain a free photo identification without any documents that cost money to obtain, i.e. birth certificate. Next.

  73. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So you are saying that:
    A) citizens should be given fire-arms?
    Or
    B) that poll taxes are justified?

  74. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: At the very least, they have to pay for the gun, because the constitution says that while the government can’t ban gun ownership, it doesn’t have to make guns affordable. The Constitution however explicitly bans having people to pay in order to vote- i.e the 24th amendment. As a constitutional conservative, this distinction must have slipped out of your mind by accident.

  75. @Tony W:

    That’s what the 7th Circuit did. And it’s what the Supreme Court did in 2008 with the Indiana case. And I would remind you that that was a 6-3 decision, with Justice John Paul Stevens, hardly a conservative, writing the majority opinion.

  76. Jack says:

    @Moosebreath: L:ike a Democrat politician that voted on the ACA stating on tape saying it was “just a step toward eventual single-payer system?” Oh, wait…http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/aug/10/reid-says-obamacare-just-step-toward-eventual-sing/

  77. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There’s no evidence that requiring people to prove that they are who they say they are when they go to vote violates any of those Amendments. You think it does, but that doesn’t make it true.

    Seriously? That’s the best you got?

    There is, in fact, evidence that requiring people to prove that they are who they say they are violates those amendments — evidence which is even referenced and linked to in this thread.

  78. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: I had to have a copy of my birth certificate to enlist, and to get a passport. Are you suggesting our federal government is suppressing minorities ability to enter the military and vacation overseas?

    B.S.

  79. PD Shaw says:

    The thing that stands out to me about these cases, originating out of the federal courts in Chicago, is that strong assumption that in today’s America one needs a photo i.d. to fully participate in civic life. To get into the federal building where these judges preside, one needs a photo i.d., plus remove one’s shoes, belts, and suspenders and wait in long lines behind people whose pants keep falling to the ground. Many of the surrounding skyscrapers also require a photo i.d. to enter. I live in the state capitol, and all but a couple government buildings require a photo i.d. to enter. (The exceptions are significant though, the DMV and the lowest state courthouse do not require i.d.’s) My wife, who works with a private hospital affiliate, cannot get to her office without an employer photo i.d.

    In any event, the world the judges live in, is one in which the lack of a photo i.d. is unthinkable, you cannot enter that world without one. There are opportunities that are lost and risks of victimization by the underground economy. So, the problem from this perspective is not any potential disenfranchisement from voting, but that people without photo i.d.’s need to get one, or they will be continually disengaged from the greater world.

  80. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Heller and Miller already had their firearms, you dope. They simply could not exercise that right within the city of DC and Chicago.

  81. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Yeah…it’s not quite so easy as you would have everyone believe.
    http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-identity.htm
    This one can be quite especially costly to obtain….

    Marriage certificate or certified copy of judgment of divorce.

  82. humanoid.panda says:

    @Gavrilo: That is indeed a step forward (in Pennsylvania, the case with which I am familiar, there was no such stipulation). However, see this story from Wisconsin:

    Eddie Lee Holloway Jr.’s birth certificate says Eddie Junior Holloway and as a result he is no longer able to vote in the state of Wisconsin. DMV employees tell him that his birth certificate is an unacceptable form of ID because the name on it reads “Eddie Junior Holloway,” due to a decades-old clerical error. It doesn’t matter to the DMV that his father’s name — “Eddie Lee Holloway” — is printed on his birth certificate, and that Eddie has a Social Security Card and an expired Illinois photo ID both bearing the name “Eddie L Holloway Jr”. Eddie says, “I never miss voting” and has rarely missed a chance to cast a ballot since he was 18. He worked in Illinois for years as a cook at the airport and Claire’s Family Restaurant, and he cooked in nursing homes too. Years of heavy lifting and hard work left him severely disabled, unemployed, and homeless — in that order. He now lives with his mother in Milwaukee but cannot secure the disability benefits and medical attention he so badly needs due to a lack of photo ID.

    In general, I said it before, and I said it again, Voter ID laws are not evil in their own right. Howevver, when superimposed on the fractured, under-funded American system of governance, they will always repress voting. The only way to make that issue dissapear is either
    1) esablish a national registry and Voter ID.
    or
    2) Craft laws so that they lavishly fund DMVs and education efforts and will go into effect only after a non-partisan committee certifies that they constitute no burden on voting.
    Are you on board with any of that?

  83. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:Guns have been and always will be passed down from generation to generation. For that matter, I can make one in my garage. But Heller and Miller were not allowed to own any firearms within the DC or Chiago city limits. How much did it cost them to fight the good fight and get these laws overturned? I’m betting it was more than the cost of a birth certificate.

  84. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So you are saying they procured those firearms free of charge?
    Can you provide details…I would be interested in acquiring a firearm is just such a manner. Numerous, actually.

  85. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: So you can sell them out of the trunk of your car without background checks? Yeah, I’ll get right on that.

  86. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: I said several times that I agree with the Heller decision (which of course, still allows regulation of gun ownership). As for costs: do you think the litigation by people who are disenfranchised by Voter ID laws is free?

  87. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So all those gun shows are giving away guns? Huh…didn’t know that.
    Here’s something you don’t know.

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

  88. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So you got nothing…you could have just said that.

  89. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    A bit presumptuous of you.

    Is it? I heard you complain about Section 8, food stamps, and WIC. I suppose you were going to get to the really big stuff after you had finished with the ephemera.

  90. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Basically, what you are saying that whatever barriers the state puts in someone’s way, as long as they can cobble up enough time, help and resources in order to vote, its a-ok. Again, how would you feel if someone applied this test for guns?

    Barriers to owning and carrying guns arise daily. Magazine restrictions, caliber restrictions, scary gun restrictions, ammunition restrictions, ID to buy ammunition restrictions, FOID restrictions, method of carry restrictions, Concealed carry restrictions, silencer restrictions (permission and tax).

    You are losing this argument.

  91. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    That’s a link for a different id, genius. To get a free Wisconsin id for voting purposes, basically all you have to do is certify that you are who you say you are and answer some basic questions like the names of your parents and your place of birth.

  92. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: I’m sure the ACLU will get right on it–for free.

  93. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    The courts get to say what is a poll and a tax. Voter ID is neither, the courts have spoken.

  94. Jack says:

    @James Pearce:

    Is it? I heard you complain about Section 8, food stamps, and WIC. I suppose you were going to get to the really big stuff after you had finished with the ephemera.

    In the U.S. today, total spending on means-tested welfare programs amounts to $956 billion per year.

  95. humanoid.panda says:

    Here is another challenge to Jack and Gavrilo.
    In Israel, when one hits 16, one receives a letter from the government, which notifies him that he or she must obtain a national ID, and the address of the nearest processing center (the 40,000 people town that I grew up in had 2 of those). Once you arrive there, with your letter, your picture is taken, and an id is issued. The whole process requires no additional documentation, and is free of charge. From that point on, you have to present this ID in all interactions with the government. Drivers’ licences, gun permits, and other forms of “voluntary” IDs are not acceptable for voting.
    Would you support, and willing to pay, for a system like that?

  96. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: OF course, no gun rights organizations have helped Miller and Heller! In fact, as self sufficient individulas, they must have represented themselves, and even cut the wood that was used to create the paperwork on which they filed their petitions!
    Really, you myopia is simply astounding.

  97. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: Actually no, different courts ruled in different ways on the current iteration of Voter ID laws, and the Supreme Court hasn’t made a decision yet.

    Also, the courts also ruled that abortion is a constitutional right. Are you down with that? Where do you stand on the Texas regulation of clinics?

  98. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Wrong again.

  99. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: You must first determine the “right” to vote. In federal elections, there is no right to vote. It’s not in the constitution, it doesn’t exist.

    Second, the constitution allows each state to determine who is eligible as long as the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments are adhered to. Mandating a national ID overrides that statue. If a new amendment is passed and signed by a majority of the states that a national ID is required–based upon a birth certificate–then yes, I would support it.

  100. Moosebreath says:

    @Jack:

    “L:ike a Democrat politician that voted on the ACA stating on tape saying it was “just a step toward eventual single-payer system”

    And that’s a violation of the Constitution because…?

  101. Lyle says:

    These people need to get a damn ID card. You want to drive, open a bank account, get a library card, credit card, buy alcohol, get a hotel room, fly a plane, bus or train then get a photo ID. The majority of the folks that don’t have a photo ID are most likely living off the grid paying little to no taxes.

    In NY, it costs $14 for an ID card valid 8 years and $10 for an ID card valid 4 years. In Colorado,it cost 10.00 for an ID card. Cost should not be an excuse

  102. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda: Of course gun rights groups supported them, but they still had to do the initial leg work–and get denied. There were costs, regardless. They did not get paid by DC and Chicago after those cities lost, only the lawyers did.

  103. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Really?? The Supreme Court didn’t determine that the ACA was a tax?? They haven’t already ruled that voter ID is constitutional??

    Speak of which you know.

  104. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    No…read the link you provided…you must prove identity.

    Applicants using this process to obtain an ID must:
    Apply at a DMV Service Center
    Complete a Wisconsin Identification Card Application. Social Security number must be included on this application
    Complete a Document Verification Process (DMV Administrator Petition) form
    Present documents to prove:
    Identity
    Wisconsin residency (where you live in Wisconsin)

    But I am a genius…thanks for recognizing it.

  105. Jack says:

    @Moosebreath:

    a legislator with as loose lips as the Pennsylvania one who said that the voter ID law was intended to elect Romney as President

    And that’s a violation of the Constitution because…?

  106. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: No I’m not,. As Scalia himself notes, caliber and method of carry restrictions are not necessarily in violation of the Second Amendment. In a similar way, voter registration is clearly not a suppressive act, nor are “soft” Voter ID requirements that some states instituted, nor is felony disenfranchisement (at least, according to the courts). Again, the question is balancing.. In your opinion the test of balancing should be extremely harsh for voting, non-existent for guns. I beg to disagree, for reasons I stated above.

  107. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: So, the cat is out of the hat: disenfranchising voters is OK after all!
    Let me put this simply: do you believe there is a constitutional right to vote?

  108. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: So, how do you know that the plaintiffs in the voter ID cases didn’t do initial leg work, and had some costs? Because deep down, you know they are moochers, aren’t they?

  109. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    Voter ID is neither, the courts have spoken.

    The SCOTUS has upheld some ID laws…and not others. If there is a blanket ruling that says all ID Laws are constitutional…I am unaware of it. Perhaps you could provide a link.

  110. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: Oh, I see that you have already answered this question. If you believe there is no constitutional right to vote, there conversation really is pointless. I only wish that other conservatives were as brave as Doug and came out and said it instead of obfuscating.

  111. humanoid.panda says:

    @Lyle:So, what you are saying is that the 24th Amendment is not really a thing? Are there any other amendments we could chop off?

  112. C. Clavin says:

    @Lyle:
    It’s unconstitutional to charge a fee to vote.

    But in general…you are right…they should get ID’s. There should be a standardized ID that is absolutely free and ridiculously easy to obtain. If you need a birth certificate in order to procure such an ID that should be free as well….subsidized by the state if necessary. I should not have to pay $600 for a birth certificate in order to get an ID in order to vote. That’s tantamount to a tax.

  113. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Let me put this simply: do you believe there is a constitutional right to vote?

    There is a constitutional right to vote in state elections, not federal.

    So, no. There is no right to vote in a federal election.

  114. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: The Supremes said Indiana’s voter ID was legal. Therefore voter ID in and of itself is not unconstitutional.

    Some specific provisions in laws may be, but requiring voters to produce ID to vote is not.

  115. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    In the U.S. today, total spending on means-tested welfare programs amounts to $956 billion per year.

    Now look up how much is spent on WIC and Section 8……

  116. Lyle says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Why should someone be able to just walk in and be able to Vote? This isn’t a poll tax so please stop throwing Racism into this and I’ll take you seriously. It’s the damn 21st century and everyone should have ID. This should happen regardless of elections. the cost is minimal and the argument that i dont have time time or cant leave work is stupid. Go on your lunch break or take time out as you would if you had to go see the doctor or dentist.

  117. Jack says:

    @James Pearce:

    Now look up how much is spent on WIC and Section 8……

    WIC, section 8, etc., are all part of the means tested welfare programs.

  118. beth says:

    @Lyle: Shorter Lyle – I have a job that allows me to take hours off for personal reasons without being fired and losing a few hours of pay makes no difference in my life. I also have access to a car or good public transportation that can take me to get this ID. If you don’t have exactly the same circumstances as me, tough.

    Your empathy is overwhelming.

  119. Lyle says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Where do you see it costs $600 for a birth certificate? thats ridiculous and simply not true. The costs are minimal other than inconvenience and time. i do though agree that we need a standard ID that will not just take care of this issue but allow Americans protection and security to use basic services we all use.

  120. humanoid.panda says:

    @Lyle: So don’t you think it would be a matter of basic fairness to set up a standard ID system first, and a Voter ID law later?

  121. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    If you believe there is no constitutional right to vote, there conversation really is pointless.

    It’s not a belief. It’s a fact. There is not constitutional right to vote in a federal election.

    See Bush v Gore–2000

    “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States.”

  122. Jack says:

    @beth: Shorter Beth: If the government doesn’t foot the total cost of voting to include food, gas, day care, hourly wages, bus fare, and clothing then it’s unconstitutional.

  123. beth says:

    @Jack: If that’s what you read, then perhaps a remedial reading course is in order. I said nothing of the sort. I’m sorry you have poor reading comprehension skills. One more thing to feel sad for you about.

  124. Lyle says:

    @beth:

    Your lack of common sense is overwhelming. This excuse I can’t get off work is ridiculous. Stop making excuses for people who are too lazy to get off their asses and get a photo ID. Do you think any of us wants to go to DMV? How about all the voter registration drives that happen every few years? There is not an excuse in this day and age not to have a photo ID. IF you called these folks and told them they just won a free all expense paid trip to Hawaii or a Car, but they only a month to show up with a photo id to claim the prize, you’d see everyone of of them get a Photo ID. Maybe you can emphasize with that logic…

  125. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    WIC, section 8, etc., are all part of the means tested welfare programs.

    Way to miss the point……

    Sorry, Jack, but I’ve got to invoke my “why bother” clause. You can’t reason with the unreasonable, so why bother?

  126. beth says:

    @Lyle: Again, every single person does not have the same circumstances as you. Why is that so hard for your to understand? And why does it make you so angry?

  127. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: Federal spending on these programs had reached $746 billion per year—more than expenditures for Medicare ($480 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), or the military ($540 billion).

    Yeah, it’s the corporations that are bleeding us dry.

  128. Jack says:

    @beth: And not every person was born in 1942 in Georgia to a midwife and therefore doesn’t have a birth certificate.

    Again, for all of the variety of things that ID is needed for, delaying a laws implementation until right before an election and then complaining there is not enough time for people to go get an ID is the fault of the Dems.

    It sounds to me that you are in first/second stage of grief as a result of this law being upheld.

    Denial
    Anger
    Bargaining
    Depression
    Acceptance

    Keep going…you’ll get there.

  129. Lyle says:

    @beth:

    It makes me angry because its not true. Again, you make it seem like these people work
    24/7 and walk to work. They have 4 years in between election. You are telling me that
    Someone can’t pay the minimal fees and cant get to DMV having 4 years?
    You sure are naive if you consider that a hardship

  130. beth says:

    @Jack: Again, I’m sorry you have trouble understanding what people write. There are classes that can help you.

    I never said I was against voter ID. I actually think that once the states put an easy, reliable way for all people to obtain an ID, then there’s no reason not to have voter ID laws. However, none of the laws that were passed by Republican state legislatures (and they were all passed by Republicans) allowed for access to easier ID even though they knew it would be a problem for some. Statements were even made by Republicans that these laws would allow them to win elections which kind of gives away the true reason for them.

    Hopefully you will understand what I wrote this time. If not, try your local community college for some remedial reading classes. Maybe they’ll even let you bring your gun and wear cammo.

  131. beth says:

    @Lyle: Again, everyone isn’t like you. In many states the people who passed these laws also closed DMV offices or made their hours be just a few hours during the day. Very few of them are open in the evening or on weekends. People who live for every single penny they make may not have the luxury of giving up a few hours pay to go to the DMV to get an ID. Yes it may be a concious decision on their part not to get the ID but it really is kind of a crappy choice we’ve blocked them into. Some of them (and I know people in this position) would rather not give up an evening’s meal in order to get an ID so they can vote. It’s a luxury they just can’t afford and that’s not something voting should be.

  132. James Pearce says:

    @Lyle:

    Do you think any of us wants to go to DMV?

    This cracked me up…..

    If you support Voter ID laws, then yes….you must think that we all want to go to the DMV.

  133. Lyle says:

    @James Pearce:

    Well i dont understand how people in the 21st century do not have Photo ID. i also dont understand why its so difficult for people when they have SO much time to get ID. These “disenfranchised” voters are most likely living off the grid and they do not want to register with the government. If not, the ACLU and other groups should spend money sponsoring trips to DMV.

    Actually you and Beth could sponsor your own registration drives. No need to thank me, just happy to help get out the Vote. Good luck! Here is how it works:

    Contact the board of registrar’s in the county where the drive will take place. This office can provide you with essential information and materials like voter registration forms. Ask how to store and drop-off the completed voter registration forms.

    Get the details before you bring treats. Some states prohibit any benefit or “reward” (such as balloons, candy, school credits, etc.) from being provided in exchange for registering to vote or voting. So do your research.

    Get institutions involved. Recruit students, church members or municipal workers, or go door to door.
    Be prepared! Make sure you have all the necessary supplies for the voter registration drive. Be sure to bring pens, clipboards, forms and volunteers.
    Be creative with your table Decorate it with bunting, balloons, and/or signs encouraging people to “Register to Vote Here.”
    Remember that your voter-registration drive must be nonpartisan. This means you cannot endorse a party or candidate while registering voters. In fact, the Federal Election Commission requires that a sign be posted or a written notice be available to registrants that states “Our voter registration services are available without regard to voters’ political preference.”
    Don’t be shy Have some volunteers standing with clipboards and registration forms in-hand, ready to ask passers-by if they are registered to vote.
    Have fun! You are helping citizens fulfill a civic responsibility!

  134. Jack says:

    @beth:

    allowed for access to easier ID

    Why should these people get easier access to ID than anyone else? The requirements are standard for everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or age.

  135. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Federal spending on these programs had reached $746 billion per year

    No, Jack. We are not spending that much money on WIC or Section 8.

    Next.

  136. Lyle says:

    @beth:

    Oh these poor people sacrificing an evenings meal so they can vote…. Wow, you actually believe that. I would buy that argument if these people had less than 90 days to register, but most elections are every two years. Again offer all these people some type of incentive or prize and see how many register. i would think that every American would want a photo ID so that can enjoy services and amenities that they do not have access to without a photo id.

  137. beth says:

    @Lyle: And if the problem was that people had no access to register to vote, then I guess that would help. But since this post is about having ID during the actual process of casting a vote, I’m not sure what good your suggestion would do.

  138. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: Are you dense???

    WIC and section 8 were examples of just some of social spending we are paying. They were not intended to be all inclusive as I have neither the time nor inclination to write down all 80 + programs. The total is 746 billion.

  139. beth says:

    @Lyle: Oh these poor people sacrificing an evenings meal so they can vote…. Wow, you actually believe that.

    And the sad part is that you don’t.

  140. Jack says:

    @Lyle: Coming soon to a polling place near you–Obama-Ipads–for those with a annual income of less than 40k. It’s just a simple “get out the vote” maneuver.

  141. Jack says:

    @beth: That’s because it’s B.S. and you know it.

  142. James Pearce says:

    @Lyle:

    Actually you and Beth could sponsor your own registration drives.

    Better plan: I’ll just vote for the Democrat.

  143. beth says:

    @Jack: I’m sorry you don’t have capability to put yourself in the shoes of others who may be less fortunate but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  144. Jack says:

    @beth: No on is sacrificing a meal to get ID or to vote. If they are that poor, they are already on some subsidized or taxpayer assistance and their meals are free.

  145. David M says:

    Look, it’s pretty simple. Conservatives don’t care if the wrong people aren’t able to vote. The whole point of this exercise is to make voting harder for the others, the undesirables. Now sometimes they will admit it, and sometimes they will lie about it, but in the end their words are irrelevant, as their actions are much more important (attempting to disenfranchise minorities).

    There is basically zero in person voter fraud, and no realistic chance of it happening in the future. So they aren’t actually concerned with addressing a problem, so the only other possible explanation is to keep eligible voters from participating in the elections. Nothing they can say changes those basic facts.

  146. beth says:

    @Jack: I’m sorry but you’re wrong. I know I won’t change your mind so I’ll stop now but really, you are wrong.

  147. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    If they are that poor, they are already on some subsidized or taxpayer assistance and their meals are free.

    You really don’t understand much about the real world, do you?

  148. Jack says:
  149. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You really don’t understand much about the real world, do you?

    I understand that we taxpayers are shelling out $746 billion annually for poor people. So, yeah. I have a good grip on the real world.

  150. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    They were not intended to be all inclusive as I have neither the time nor inclination to write down all 80 + programs.

    Dude….you give me an inclusive number and then tell me it “was not intended to be all inclusive?” So which is it Jack…..are you trying to be inclusive or are you trying not to? Because, and forgive me for saying this, it sounds like you’re trying to sell me a line of shit.

    At any rate, way up above, I said:

    “I heard you complain about Section 8, food stamps, and WIC. I suppose you were going to get to the really big stuff after you had finished with the ephemera.”

    I am glad to see that you have done just that, whether you realized it or not.

  151. Lyle says:

    @beth:

    No I don’t. It is sad that you do and continue to make excuses for people who won’t make any effort to help themselves.

    Here is a link to Register to Vote in Cuyahoga County in Ohio. It is remarkably easy to register and offers a ton of locations. Are people too busy or poor that they can’t register here??

    http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/voter-registration.aspx

  152. C. Clavin says:

    @Lyle:

    Where do you see it costs $600 for a birth certificate? thats ridiculous and simply not true.

    http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/29844852-474/it-shouldnt-take-a-government-photo-id-to-exercise-ones-right-to-vote.html#.VDQ9dPldV8E

    ◆ Ruthelle Frank, who never had a birth certificate in her possession because she was born at home in 1927, can’t get a voter ID because of a misspelling of her name in Wisconsin government records. Fixing that would cost $200 or more.

    ◆ Eddie Lee Holloway Jr. couldn’t get a Wisconsin ID because his birth certificate said “Eddie Junior Holloway” instead of “Eddie Lee Holloway Junior.” He was told getting a new birth certificate would cost $400 to $600, money he didn’t have.

    ◆ The late Lorene Hutchins, who was born in Mississippi, testified last year at age 93 that most African-Americans who migrated to northern states don’t have birth certificates, a prerequisite for getting a state ID, because hospitals in the South didn’t accept black patients. Hutchins’ daughter spent years and more than $2,000 to get birth certificates for herself and her mother.

  153. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Sorry, I was wrong. The figure is $956 Billion when you include state programs.

    “America’s $956 billion in annual welfare spending is distributed among approximately 100 million people—i.e., one-third of the U.S. population—who each month receive aid from at least one of the country’s 80+ welfare programs. Average benefits amount to approximately $9,500 per recipient. If converted entirely to cash, these benefits equal more than five times the amount of money needed to lift every poor person in the United States out of poverty.”

    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1676

  154. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    No bub…you have a grip on the world Fox News tells you about.
    You oughta try to get out more.
    There’s a whole world out there that Fox hasn’t been telling you about.

  155. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: I ordered my father, who was born in WV but live in OH, two copies of a birth certificate to include overnight delivery and it cost less than $70.

  156. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: I gave you an inclusive dollar value, not an inclusive list of the programs.

    You really are obtuse…not just your body, either.

  157. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Yes, the poor, poor, pitiful poor. The same poor you wouldn’t offer a meal, jacket, or piss on if they were on fire. You only care about the poor when you want to push a political agenda.

  158. Lyle says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Nice, grab an article that cites the ACLU using 3 extreme examples. Here in NY, it costs
    $40.00 to correct a birth certificate.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/vr-birth-correct.shtml

    This Unfair cost and inconvenience argument is just ridiculous. the issue only pops up right before the election. Look how easy it is to register in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland

    http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/voter-registration.aspx

  159. stonetools says:

    Its interesting that conservatives on this thread just cite general principles, or engage in speculative analogies, about how voter ID laws could be farly and impartially applied, as if we didn’t have six years iof evidence of how these so called “voter ID” laws actually work. Sure, if we lived in fairy gum drop land, such laws would be fair and would be administered in an impartially manner, as we played in perpetual sunshine , ate sugar plums and rode pet unicorns. But here on Earth Prime, we find that :

    1.Such voter ID laws require certain forms of IDs and not others, to the detriment of poor and minorities.

    2. To get these preferred IDs, these laws often obtaining underlying documents that are difficult to obtain and expensive.

    3.These laws are always embedded in a package of other provisions that close polling places in minority areas, restrict or eliminate early in-person voting, closeDMV offices where IDs can be obtained, etc.

    Indeed, such has been the operations of these laws that Judge Posner, who originally ruled that these laws were constitutional, now says that Indiana’s voter ID law is “now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.”

    The point is that in the six years, the EVIDENCE has mounted up that:
    1. Voter fraud is essentially non-existent.
    2. Voter ID laws are essentially voter supression schemes enacted and operated by Replublican legislatures and officials to supress Democratic votes. Example, here:

    A 2006 nationwide study of voting-age citizens by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found that African-Americans are more than three times as likely as Caucasians to lack a government-issued photo ID, with one in four African-Americans owning no such ID.2
    b. In Missouri, the Secretary of State identified nearly 240,000 registered voters who are mostly elderly, disabled, poor, and minorities, who also lack a government issued photo ID.3
    c. In Wisconsin, the situation could be dire if that state passes a photo ID law. In 2005 the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee did a study of voting-age citizens and found that 55% of African-American males and 46 percent of Hispanic males lack a driver’s license (and the corresponding figures for females are 49 percent of African-Americans and 59 percent of Latinas).4 Additionally, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of Assembly Bill 7 (the current proposal to impose photo ID requirements) estimated that 20% of Wisconsin residents – one out of five – do not possess the type of identification

    Note all of this is EVIDENCE, not speculation as to how minority voters should be affected or how voter ID laws should work in some ideal parallel universe where we don’t live.

  160. Jack says:

    @stonetools: In VA, the real world has played out fairly uneventful since they passed the voter ID law.

    •Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card
    •Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card
    •Valid United States Passport
    •Other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth
    •Valid college or university student photo identification card (must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
    •Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business
    •or a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card obtained through any local general registrar’s office

    Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of photo identification (photo ID) at the polls. Voters arriving to the polls without photo ID will be required to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

    Yeah, oh so many people being disenfranchised.

  161. Lyle says:

    @stonetools:

    Nice cut and paste job backing up your “Evidence”! i guess you missed the Wapo poll in 2012 that showed 74% of respondents said voters “should be required” to show a valid form of identification when voting.

    Look how easy it is vote in Cleveland.

    Here is a link to Register to Vote in Cuyahoga County in Ohio.
    http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/voter-registration.aspx

  162. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    You really are obtuse…not just your body, either.

    Look at me, Jack. Do I look like someone who can be body-shamed?

  163. Lyle says:

    @James Pearce:

    Timeout. Is that you or Kenny Powers?

  164. James Pearce says:

    @Lyle:

    Is that you or Kenny Powers?

    Kenny Powers isn’t real.

  165. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Dude…that doesn’t even pass the giggle test.
    Do you really want us to think you are no smarter than that?

  166. beth says:

    @Lyle: Do you not know the difference between registering to vote and actually voting (which is what this thread is about)?

  167. C. Clavin says:

    @Lyle:
    We’re talking about Wisconsin…I provided two cases from Wisconsin.
    I understand you think it’s ridiculous that there are poor people in the world.
    Not everyone is as lucky as you.

  168. Tony W says:

    @Jack: Yes – Everyone who showed up at the polls had no problem registering even with Virginia’s ID laws. The phenomena you are experiencing is called confirmation bias.

  169. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    That’s interesting, but it does’nt measure whether voters who, for example, don’t drive might be unduly burdened by the voter ID requirement. Now I get it, Jack: YOU have no problem getting and having a valid photo ID. That says nothing whatsover about whether voters might have a problem meeting those requirements. That’s your problem : you think everyone has a driver’s license, passport, or military ID because you do.
    Well, the law wasn’t meant for you: it was meant to stop the voter in the projects or in rural Nowhere who would have a problem getting these.

  170. Lyle says:

    @beth:

    No i don’t… Get back to me when you can make an argument without getting go emotional

    . @C. Clavin:

    Yeah those poor people….Let’s go to their homes and register them to vote. Stop with your outrage and fake compassion for poor people. It’s the go to go weapon of liberals. Let’s attack them for being racist and hating poor people. You only care about poor people when an election is close and you need their votes. Being poor is not an excuse for being lazy or ignorant.

  171. stonetools says:

    @Lyle:

    Again, that’s a meaningless poll. Do those polls also support you having to get a birth certificate or passport to get your ID? Do they support closing polling places in minority neighborhoods? Do they support banning weekend voting?Do they support getting rid of, or restricting early voting?
    Because that’s what accompanies these”voter ID” provisions.

  172. C. Clavin says:

    @Lyle:
    Yes, of course. The “others” are always lazy or ignorant. They aren’t down on their luck or sick or elderly or veterans. They’re the 47%…the takers.
    It took a long thread…but we have now seen your true colors.
    Thanks for playing.

  173. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You don’t know me so don’t make claims you can’t back up.
    Oh…wait…that’s all you do.
    Never mind.

  174. Lyle says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Oh it took you a while to finally play the Race card on me. I love you liberals on here. It’s time to play the race card after you keep regurgitating the same lines and fail to convince anyone except yourselves.

    People are indeed lazy or ignorant if they need 4 years to register to vote. That’s not a race issue.
    If you want to be stupid and naiive, please continue to be. There is Absolutely no excuse why someone in 2014 does not have ID. You have to be a moron to believe someone in 4 years times cant find the time or money to register to Vote.

  175. David M says:

    @Lyle:

    There is Absolutely no excuse why someone in 2014 does not have ID.

    This is the perfect encapsulation of today’s GOP. If they don’t agree with something, it doesn’t exist, and they can just ignore it. Lyle is unable or unwilling to acknowledge that other people’s circumstances are not identical to his own, so they don’t matter.

  176. Lyle says:

    @David M:

    More bullshit. Again, why does someone need 2 or 4 years to register to Vote. Being poor is not an excuse. This has nothing to do with mine or anyones circumstances. it becomes an issue a month before elections when Dems realize these people aren’t eligible to vote. Why haven’t they registered since 2008, 2012??? Surely, these poor people would have wanted to vote for Obama or even get a photo id.

    These people need to get off their asses, but they dont care. It is remarkably easy to register to vote. Google any county in the US and you will get instructions.

  177. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Thank you for proving my point about there being no significant amount of in person voting fraud. Melowese Richardson committed voter fraud by turning in absentee ballots for her relatives. I’ll assume you understand how this undermines your case.

  178. C. Clavin says:

    @Lyle:
    Oh you poor little victim.
    Note that I never mentioned race…I listed circumstances…you jumped to race.
    If it walks like a duck…

  179. al-Ameda says:

    It really comes down to this:

    (1) Potential for voter fraud is greater for absentee voting rather than for in-person voting:
    GOP Response: So what, the majority of absentee voters are traditionally Republican constituents.

    (2) In-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent:
    GOP Response: But it COULD happen, besides voter fraud is likely to be committed by Democratic Party voters. We need to make sure that fewer Democrats vote.

    NOTE: I’ve been voting at the same precinct station for 23 years and not once have I been asked for identification. Prior to that I voted in the same precinct up in Seattle for a few years, and I was never asked for identification.

    Maybe I should turn myself in for possible voter fraud.

  180. Will says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You got nothing. Every day, the same dribble. The GOP Is Evil. They are racists. You are in a fight with someone here every day. That’s just sad. After you repeat the same crap, you call us conservatives racist. It doesn’t matter because you just some loser who lives on this board that blames Republicans for your failures in life.

    Here’s a fact for you. Hope and Change is bullshit. Save your time reading polls because the country has waken up to the crap. Dems have to resort to challenging voting laws and scaring women to get people to vote for them. Thats’ the 2014 game plan to hold onto the Senate.

  181. David M says:

    @Lyle:

    Again, like beth said, we’re talking about voters who have already registered to vote, so I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make.

  182. wr says:

    @Lyle: “Yeah those poor people….Let’s go to their homes and register them to vote. ”

    So I guess your reading comprehension isn’t getting any better. Maybe all caps will help:

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH VOTER REGISTRATION

    If you glance at the article or any of the coherent comments, you’ll see it’s about people who are already registered to vote not being allowed to vote because they don’t have ID to prove they are the same as the names on the registration rolls.

    Is that clear enough, Lyle. Do you need it written in crayon?

  183. David M says:

    @Will:

    That rant might be a little more believable without a Washington logo. (Not any more valid, but less an obvious joke.)

  184. wr says:

    @wr: On the other hand, Lyle, if you’re trolling, this is really quite brilliant. There’s nothing likelier to make people foam at the mouth than making a ludicrous argument and continuing to insist it’s in response to what the others are saying, when in fact it’s completely unrelated… and then insisting they’re all stupid for not agreeing with you.

    But whichever one of you invented sockpuppet Will to bolster your case, that’s just pathetic.

    Sincerely,

    Your referee

  185. Ken says:

    @C. Clavin: The “others” are always lazy or ignorant. They aren’t down on their luck or sick or elderly or veterans. They’re the 47%…the takers.

    It took a long thread…but we have now seen your true colors.

    @Lyle: Oh it took you a while to finally play the Race card on me

    He didn’t say a single word about race. He talked about the lazy, the ignorant, the “takers”. It’s interesting that to you that is somehow related to race.

  186. C. Clavin says:

    @Will:

    Dems have to resort to challenging voting laws and scaring women to get people to vote for them

    Awesome spin. Truly awesome. World class. Who’d you copy it from?

  187. humanoid.panda says:

    @Will:

    Dems have to resort to challenging voting laws

    Since, as even the conservatives on this thread confess, there is no statistically significant voter fraud in person problem, the only reason why challenging voting laws can move the needle for Dems is because the voting laws are disenfranchising some segment of eligible voters, no?

    Also, I find it hillarious that a supporter of the party of “dirty Mexican islamic terrorists are coming to kill us all with Ebola” is talking about scaring voters…

  188. al-Ameda says:

    @Will:

    Here’s a fact for you. Hope and Change is bullshit.

    Here’s a fact for you:
    That is not a fact, that is your talking point.

  189. Andre Kenji says:
  190. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: c’mon man, this is wisconsin, how many “little old black ladies living in the woods with no transportation/money” can they actually drag into the fray to make it seem even tangible?
    i know this is about 50% of the democrat platform for 2016 but it has to have some substance.
    the funniest part is if you were at a polling place and they asked you for an id what would you do?

  191. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @CB: I’d really like to agree with you, but you will have to imagine my surprise to discover that in Metropolitan Seattle–an area with over 3.5 million people–there are only 4 sites where one can renew a driver’s license. I needed to replace mine two years back after I had lost it. (At the time, I didn’t have a car, so the total trip to renew was about 3 hours by bus, but that was ok, because parking downtown in Seattle costs about $5/hour now.)

  192. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    the funniest part is if you were at a polling place and they asked you for an id what would you do?

    I’d run away, I mean, I’m a Democrat, I must be committing voter fraud, right?
    Seriously, nearly 30 years and I’ve never been asked for ID at my precinct(s).
    It is patently obvious, Republicans are only concerned about the non-existent in-person voter fraud problem because they want to suppress the voter turnout of Democratic constituencies.

  193. bill says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: well i can see that seattle is obviously a conservative /republican stronghold that’s hell bent on keeping you and like minded types from voting.- or maybe they just rely on ‘technology” to keep the wheels rolling? even so, they’re obviously suppressing the vote.
    see how ridiculous that sounds now?

  194. Andre Kenji says:

    @bill:

    well i can see that seattle is obviously a conservative /republican stronghold that’s hell bent on keeping you and like minded types from voting

    That´s not what´s being argued here. Since there is no institutionalized used of ID cards in the United States it´s very difficult to get one. Simple as that. In countries where there is institutionalized use of ID one can get it even on very small cities.

  195. David M says:

    @bill:

    Why can’t Republicans understand the issues well enough to discuss them? It was a demonstration of how obtaining identification can be a significant inconvenience. As to your attempted gotcha, Washington State has vote by mail, so they are not engaging in voter suppression.

    Given how hard the Republicans have to work to lie to themselves about this issue, you’d think they were being paid for it.

  196. C. Clavin says:

    @David M:

    Given how hard the Republicans have to work to lie to themselves about this every single issue, you’d think they were being paid for it.

    FTFY

  197. Ken says:

    @David M: Why can’t Republicans understand the issues well enough to discuss them?

    Oh, they understand them just fine. But they’re stuck in the unfortunate predicament of not being able to tell the truth about their actions, motives, or opinions without being labelled as bigots, partisan hacks, or worse. So they resort to simply repeating the approved talking points over and over, even after they are demonstrated to be complete bullshiat, like a magical incantation to keep the truth at bay, or to derailing the conversation by making it abuot gun control

    And shame on all you normally smart folks who actually followed the marching morons down that rabbit hole. Point out irrelevant red herrings for what they are and move on, kids

  198. al-Ameda says:

    @Moosebreath:

    @al-Ameda:
    “If Democrats do not like these type of outcomes they need to win elections and change the laws to preclude or pre-empt Republicans from implementing vote suppression laws.”
    How do Democrats change the law to prevent a future Republican majority from changing it back? Or do you think Democrats have to win every election forever, as if they lose any one, the Republicans will make changes to voting rights to ensure they win future ones?

    Perhaps I didn’t state it very clearly, sorry about that.
    But really, as a practical matter they (Democrats) have to win elections. Of course if Republicans win elections they can change the laws – and that’s exactly what they’re doing in many statehouses. That is why I say, win elections or live with the consequences or fight it through the courts.

  199. Moosebreath says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “Of course if Republicans win elections they can change the laws – and that’s exactly what they’re doing in many statehouses.”

    The problem is that if you are dealing with a party which does not accept norms for political behavior, then losing one election may mean:

    a. aggressive gerrymandering to lock in that party’s majority, even if they do not receive the majority of votes. Based on last decade’s Texas precedent, this does not need to occur at the regular decennial redrawing of districts.
    b. aggressively challenging the entitlement to vote of voters who would be expected to vote for the other party, often on spurious grounds, again locking in the majority (see Florida, 2000).
    c. preventing members of the other party from voting by some combination of (a) reducing the number of voting locations (while keeping the ones in the areas where that party is dominant) (as has been done in North Carolina), (b) reducing the time for early voting, specifically aimed at dates when the other party votes most frequently (Ohio, North Carolina), and (c) adding voter ID laws which prohibit types of ID’s more likely to be carried by members of the other party (Wisconsin’s prohibition of college ID’s vs. accepting gun registration cards, for example).

    If one loss can mean that next time the voting rolls are so different and the electoral districts are so different, then it comes back to requiring winning every time.

  200. al-Ameda says:

    @Moosebreath:

    If one loss can mean that next time the voting rolls are so different and the electoral districts are so different, then it comes back to requiring winning every time.

    I think we probably agree, it’s just that I see no other way.

    Republicans have disproportionate power relative to the ballot counts. Democrats are somewhat boxed in by the fact that Republicans control a majority of low population states, and the system is designed – especially the Senate – to politically value states like Wyoming over states such as New Jersey or California.

    Hard to see things changing much anytime soon.

  201. Moosebreath says:

    Not that anyone’s reading this post anymore, but the GAO analyzed actual 2012 election results, and found that Voter ID laws reduced turnout by 2-3%.

    “GAO’s evaluation of voter turnout suggests that turnout decreased in two selected states—Kansas and Tennessee—from the 2008 to the 2012 general elections (the two most recent general elections) to a greater extent than turnout decreased in the selected comparison states—Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, and Maine. GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements. GAO found that turnout among eligible and registered voters declined more in Kansas and Tennessee than it declined in comparison states—by an estimated 1.9 to 2.2 percentage points more in Kansas and 2.2 to 3.2 percentage points more in Tennessee—and the results were consistent across the different data sources and voter populations used in the analysis.”

  202. Tony W says:

    @Moosebreath: 2-3% is often the margin of victory….thus the point.