John Lewis’s Ridiculous Arguments Against Reasonable Voting Regulations
Ensuring the integrity of the voting process is a worthy goal, not evidence of discrimination.
Congressman John Lewis had an Op-Ed in yesterday’s New York Times that effectively compared the current push by Republican legislatures around the country to rationalize voting procedures with poll taxes and other Civil Rights Era measures that were used to prevent minorities from voting, his argument, like much of the liberal argument against such measures is totally ridiculous:
As we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, we reflect on the life and legacy of this great man. But recent legislation on voting reminds us that there is still work to do. Since January, a majority of state legislatures have passed or considered election-law changes that, taken together, constitute the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Growing up as the son of an Alabama sharecropper, I experienced Jim Crow firsthand. It was enforced by the slander of “separate but equal,” willful blindness to acts of racially motivated violence and the threat of economic retaliation. The pernicious effect of those strategies was to institutionalize second-class citizenship and restrict political participation to the majority alone.
We have come a long way since the 1960s. When the Voting Rights Act was passed, there were only 300 elected African-American officials in the United States; today there are more than 9,000, including 43 members of Congress. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act — also known as the Motor Voter Act — made it easier to register to vote, while the 2002 Help America Vote Act responded to the irregularities of the 2000 presidential race with improved election standards.
Despite decades of progress, this year’s Republican-backed wave of voting restrictions has demonstrated that the fundamental right to vote is still subject to partisan manipulation. The most common new requirement, that citizens obtain and display unexpired government-issued photo identification before entering the voting booth, was advanced in 35 states and passed by Republican legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and nine other states — despite the fact that as many as 25 percent of African-Americans lack acceptable identification.
Having fought for voting rights as a student, I am especially troubled that these laws disproportionately affect young voters. Students at state universities in Wisconsin cannot vote using their current IDs (because the new law requires the cards to have signatures, which those do not). South Carolina prohibits the use of student IDs altogether. Texas also rejects student IDs, but allows voting by those who have a license to carry a concealed handgun. These schemes are clearly crafted to affect not just how we vote, but who votes.
John Lewis played a prominent role in the protests of the Civil Rights Era, including leading the March on Selma in 1965 and being beaten by police after trying to cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge. He deserves both credit and respect for the role he played in bring Jim Crow to an end. That’s why it’s so unfortunate to see someone of his caliber waving the flag of Jim Crow in a situation like this. Accusing people who want to ensure the integrity of the voting process of racism is both vile and incorrect. To deny that there are legitimate reasons to be concerned with these issues is to merely put blinders on for what are quite obviously partisan reasons. Sadly, I don’t think Lewis cares so much about civil rights when it comes to this issue as he does about the fact that enforcing voting regulations, and taking steps to ensure that only people who are legally entitled to vote are allowed to do so, would hurt his party. Turning that into an argument over racism is just pathetic.
As far as some of the proposals that Lewis criticizes, there are legitimate reasons to at least consider these ideas without tainting them with the smear of racism. Requiring people who vote to present some form of identification at the polling place is eminently reasonable. Without such a requirement, someone can walk into a polling place with only a few pieces of information, say they are person X and get a pass into the voting booth. Here in Virginia, a voter can present any one of a number of forms of valid identification to prove both their identity and their address, not just a driver’s license. At the same time, I don’t see a Photo ID requirement as being overly burdensome, especially since every state Motor Vehicle agency will, for a small fee, issue a non-driver’s license Photo Identification that can be used for such purposes. Proving that who you say you are in order to vote doesn’t strike me as unreasonable, and since it has a rational basis, doesn’t strike me as being overly burdensome to minorities.
Lewis also brings up the issue of college student voting. This has been a contentious issues in college communities for years, primarily because most students are merely transitory residents with no ties to the communities in which they live. After their four years, most of them move on rather than establishing residence in the community. Can they really be considered residents of the community where their college is for voting purposes? Many communities say no, for what I think are entirely valid reasons. When I was in college and law school the vast majority of my fellow students were registered to vote in their hometowns, not where their school was located. Allowing them to use student ID to register to vote would be akin to giving them the opportunity to vote twice in two different locations. Moreover, I can see plenty of valid reasons why communities would not want college students voting in local elections when none of them pay taxes, use the school system, or participate in the daily life of the community. Again, this isn’t a question of racism or discrimination against the poor, Lewis’s arguments notwithstanding. However, it is interesting to note that college students are more likely to vote Democratic, so Lewis’s concern about this issue is likely motivated by partisan concerns.
Lewis also bemoans the fact that several states are cutting back on early voting, which some people believe makes it easier for people to vote and increases voter participation:
In Georgia, Florida, Ohio and other states, legislatures have significantly reduced opportunities to cast ballots before Election Day — an option that was disproportionately used by African-American voters in 2008. In this case the justification is often fiscal: Republicans in North Carolina attempted to eliminate early voting, claiming it would save money. Fortunately, the effort failed after the State Election Board demonstrated that cuts to early voting would actually be more expensive because new election precincts and additional voting machines would be required to handle the surge of voters on Election Day.
Lewis repeats the conventional wisdom that early voting makes it easier for people to vote and thus increases voter turnout. As I noted back in October, however, the most recent comprehensive study of the practice found that early voting had exactly the opposite effect:
Early voting offers convenience and additional opportunities to cast a ballot. Common sense tells us that this should mean higher turnout. But a thorough look at the data shows that the opposite is true: early voting depresses turnout by several percentage points
Our research, conducted with our colleagues David Canon and Donald Moynihan at the University of Wisconsin, is based on a three-part statistical analysis of the 2008 presidential election. First, we analyzed voting patterns in each of the nation’s 3,100 counties to estimate the effect of early voting laws on turnout. We controlled for a wide range of demographic, geographic and political variables, like whether a county was in a battleground state.
Controlling for all of the other factors thought to shape voter participation, our model showed that the availability of early voting reduced turnout in the typical county by three percentage points.
Lewis’s anecdotal evidence about African-Americans utilizing early voting disproportionately in 2008 was, in all likelihood, a manifestation of the immense enthusiasm in that community for Barack Obama’s candidacy. There’s no reason to believe that it holds up in other elections. Early voting costs states money, which is not an invalid concern in the current economic climate, and if it isn’t actually increasing turnout then states are completely correct in determining that it is not a worthwhile investment of time, money, and resources.
The election process in this country is needlessly out of date, and needlessly insecure. As we upgrade and update it, we surely need to keep in our minds the concern that such reforms will be used to disenfranchise people. However, to imply, as Lewis does, that even the most elementary reforms are evidence of racism and the return of Jim Crow, is little more than paranoid hyperbole. Congressman, I expect better of you
Photo via Boston.com
Just another racist in congress.
While I agree that on paper the notion that showing ID is no big deal, the practical fact of the matter is that such requirements do disproportionately affect the poor and the poor are disproportionately made up of racial minorities. Indeed, serious studies have demonstrated that voter ID requirements have the effect of suppressing these types of voters.
This is not as cut and dry as you are making it out to be.
I would note, too, that while I concur that there are any number of problems with our voting system. the fact of the matter is that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in general, let alone one that ID requirements are forestalling.
This move is a solution in search of a problem.
I betcha that if the young voted net-conservative the right would have a whole other take on this. As it is, the “no ties to the community” hand-waving serves to reduce net liberal votes.
(Which is why we don’t see “one year prior residency” as a solution. That year would allow liberal kids time to establish “ties to the community.”)
Why do you assume that these people are sincerely motivated only by a desire to ensure the integrity of the voting process?
The Republican party has a very long and sordid history of attempting to suppress voting, especially amongst the poor and powerless. I suspect that Rep. Lewis is very well acquainted with this history, and it informs his perspective on those who mount these efforts.
I think your own perspective would benefit from taking this history seriously.
@john personna: Localities differ in how they handle this but it’s often required that they vote in their home precincts, even if they’re in-state students. And I can see that, really. The 30,000 kids who are passing through shouldn’t be able to dominate the public policy decisions for the 10,000 residents who actually live in the community.
On the other issues, though, I’m inclined to agree with Steven. ID cards seem like a perfectly reasonable requirement, since I’ve had to carry one since my 10th birthday (military dependent, driver, Army officer, etc.). But there’s doubtless a nefarious disparate impact.
Normally Doug would oppose the passage of a raft of laws designed to solve a non-existent problem.
But of course in this case there is a problem: people voting in ways Doug doesn’t like. That’s the problem, and that’s what these laws are about. Their sole purpose is to reduce Democratic votes.
One of the things one cannot stress not often enough:
A lot of the people who make charges of “racism” or “sexism” have been educated or spent a lot of time in an environment that uses a very specific, sociologist, definition of the term.
The core concept of this is that “intent does not matter”. Since the goal is to have a society where there are no race-related differences, any rule that leads to different outcomes for different races is, by this definition, racist regardless of what was intended by the rule.
Since, as Steven pointed out, ID rules affect some minorities differently, they are – by this definition – racist.
The problem here is, as shown by this post, that most people do not use a sociologist definition of racist. Instead they use the term as a moral judgement. As can easily be seen, this makes any discussions by right- and left-wing supporters a real minefield. I would humbly suggest to keep this difference in mind in these matters.
That said, a professional politician should have enough message control to heed this problem.
Those who support tougher voter eligibility procedures are almost exclusively those who wish to suppress turnout of the young and minority citizenry. . . The reasons are also almost exclusively because those voters support left of center candidates and the suppressors do not . . . To argue otherwise is silly. . . Voter suppression is a growing issue in the United States and – given the massive income/wealth inequality explosion – it must become epidemic to protect the Plutocracy. . .
I guess I have been outed as a racist since I believe it is absolutely common sense to require that voters show an appropriate photo ID prior to voting.
This idea that minorities don’t have a photo ID is nonsense. And, quite frankly, I think it’s racist to believe that minorities are somehow lesser citizens and are unable to prove who they are. Think about how often you have to prove who you are, such as everytime you seek medical care, write a check at a store, etc.
If the solution is to provide free government-issued photo IDs, then do that. However, allowing people to walk into a polling place, state their name and then vote does cause irregularities in voting results. Admittedly, it’s not an obvious problem at the national level, but it certainly is a contributing factor for irregularities at the local level.
@Steven L. Taylor:
The poor have government issued ID if they are on any type of taxpayer assistance.
Any poor person who can get a library card or an Independence card can surely get a card designated to allow one to vote.
In today’s environment of ACORN type fraud outfits, and Project Vote fraudsters, to NOT demand photo ID to vote is disenfranchising MILLIONS of LEGAL voters.
ONLY racist fraud supporters would fight reasonable voter ID laws.
@Tano: Likewise, the Democrats and their allies/proxies have a very significant record of late of “enhancing” voting by extra-legal means. Remember all the ACORN voter registration fraud convictions, and even some voter fraud convictions? Remember Chicago, with its graveyard voting and “vote early and often?”
Of course, they don’t mind their own targeted voter suppression, either. In 2000, the Gore campaign actually put out a memo in Florida on how to specifically target and disallow military ballots. In 2010, the Obama Justice Department granted waivers to plenty of states so they could ignore the federally-mandated timelines for sending out absentee ballots — again, disproportionately disenfranchising members of the military.
Right now in DC, they’re giving out sandbags to people who want to try to save their homes — IF they have a valid DC ID. They want an ID for a frakking SANDBAG, but not for a ballot?
If the poor can make the effort to get all the different Independence Cards and ID to get free everything, they can make the effort to get voter ID!
If they CAN”T get off their fat ases to get a voter ID they are effectively saying they really don’t give a rats ase if they vote or not. The more poor refraining from voting for the politicians who will only give them more the better we ALL will be.
To ascribe any other motivation to those who prefer to secure the voter rolls to those legally able to vote, to anything OTHER than a secure voter roll, is pure unadulterated BIGOTRY!
Fine, Doug. I’m sure you’ll pony up the budget for the National identification and Photo ID drive with the community outreach in places like Harlem and Compton, because you don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a photo ID before they can vote. Therefore, you will help pay for everyone in the nation to have a photo ID, right?
Or maybe you’ll just continue to bleat that it’s “reasonable” to have a photo ID with you when you go vote, with no evidence of voter fraud to back your baseless claims or evidence that it’s necessary to change current voting practices. Just the way literacy tests and grandfather clauses were “reasonable” measures to their proponents, I’m sure.
By the way, only Republicans support voter ID measures, and only Democrats oppose them, making this a partisan issue but you seem to be pretty solidly in the Republican camp. More disingenuous, unhistorical hackery from Doug “I’m not a Republican but you have to denounce Al Sharpton before I’ll listen to you” Mataconis.
@Steven L. Taylor:
1. Disparate impact is not evidence of discriminatory intent
2. If there is a disparate impact, then measures can be taken to ensure that minorities have access to the forms of identification necessary.
Quite frankly. I don’t see what is so controversial about requiring someone to provide some proof of who they are and where they live in order to gain access to a ballot.
We don’t need a National ID, which I oppose anyway. This is a matter for the states to decide. And if individual states decide that requiring a photo ID is necessary, that’s their choice.
Good point about the sandbags. You also have to provide proof of residence to gain access to county dumps.
Apparently voting is less important to some people than a five pound bag of sand or a big pile of rotting refuse.
I am not sure how intent is relevant. The effect is what matters.
I have no problem with this. Indeed, I think we need some kind of process of automatic registration. However, that is not what these bills do.
If a) there is no real problem being solved and b) there is in fact a negative impact on some voters, that is where the controversy lies.
I used to take your position (and there is probably a blog post or two out there where I say such at PoliBlog). However, the lack of evidence of fraud coupled with the fact that the effects of these laws are born by the poor disproportionately (if not entirely) changed my mind.
Beyond that: the fact that these bills are pushed by Republicans and the voters who are affected tend to vote Democratic is another reason to give one pause.
@Sam: And Sam neatly proves how wrong Doug is. He’s the perfect Republican — “People who vote a way I don’t like don’t deserve the vote.”
That’s what all these laws are about, not non-existent voter fraud.
@Sam: In Wisconsin, the Republican legislature and governor passed a law saying you need a DMV-issued ID to vote.
Then the governor shut down the DMV offices in Democratic-leaning areas.
A firestorm of outrage made him back down. But if you can look at that and say they’re targeting fraud, then you are nothing but a mindless partisan.
To play Devil’s Advocate for a moment: why? If the problem you are concerned with is voter fraud and you believe that photo ID cut down on voter fraud, why not just settle the issue once and for all with a government issued national ID that also served as voter registration?
@Steven L. Taylor:
Because the dangerous of National ID cards outweigh the benefits, for one.
For another, the issues I address can be dealt with by state-issued identification. Which is how it should be because this is an issue that is appropriately the concern of the states rather than the Federal Government.
@Steven L. Taylor:
And Democrats push Motor-Voter laws and same-day registration because it benefits them. That’s politics, isn’t it?
@Doug Mataconis: Or maybe it’s that voting is more important so we put fewer obstacles in people’s way.
It just has the “side effect” of eliminating walk-in voting eh?
@Doug Mataconis: Plus, Doug, elections are the bailiwick of the several states, not the federal government. Pretty much every state has a DMV/RMV-issued “Non-Driver Identification Card” (one friend called it his “license to not drive”); I can see the feds simply requiring they be issued at no charge to the voter, with the feds covering the nominal cost.
And those would be? I know we grew up in an era where national “papers” were consider verbotten (especially in conservative and libertarian circles) but it isn’t like the feds don’t already have centralized record keeping linked to individuals (SSNs being the best example) but a lot of us have passports and people over 65 have Medicare records.
Of course, this is as much a matter of preference as it is anything else. It certainly isn’t the most efficient route (at least for people who move a lot).
Beyond that, though: the issue of the post assumes that we have a serious voter fraud problem that has to be solved by having photo IDs. If that is true, that some uniform policy of issuing said IDs is needed. While a national ID is not the only way to take care of the problem, it is perhaps the best way.
You need, at least, a policy that is uniform across states (and it is a national problem in scope if, in fact, there is a lot of voter fraud going on, as it would impact House, Senate and electoral college elections).
@Steven L. Taylor:
Actually the issue of the post is that John Lewis’s column was a ridiculous piece of nonsense.
Again, I see nothing controversial about requiring people to prove who they are. If we can do it for handing out sandbags before a hurricane or access to the county dump, we can do it for voting.
@WR: That’s what all these laws are about, not non-existent voter fraud.
I was surprised how often you overrun your intelligence, but then I remember that you don’t have that much intelligence to overrun. And when you make an absolute statement like this, it’s easier than shooting fish in a barrel.
As of November, the number of ACORN people convicted of voter fraud just in 2010 was up to 15.
Interesting that you should note that, as it does fit the narrative, but not in the way you suggest.
Let’s consider: Motor-Voter and same-day registration make it easy for people to vote. I consider that an unvarnished good. However, Republicans tend to oppose these practices because they think (with some reason) that it helps register people who might be predisposed to vote Democratic.
Republicans who oppose Motor-voter and same day registration are tacitly admitting that more voters in general equals more Democratic voters. Indeed, this tends to be why Reps oppose any rules that make registration easier: the fear that the Dems are the majority party.
So, opposition to Motor-Voter by the GOP = hoping to cut down on potential Democratic voters.
And, voter ID laws supported by the GOP = a likelihood of cutting down on Democratic voters.
As such, I can’t see GOP position on these policies to be motivated by concerns about proper voting practices and hence my general skepticism about the policies.
Now, do Democrats push Motor-Voter because it helps them? Very likely, but there is a profound difference between pursuing policies that expand suffrage and those that try to constrain it.
Well, for that claim to be true, one has to deal with the claims that Lewis made.
Again, I understand why this is true on paper. I have detailed some of the reasons it doesn’t play out that way in reality (and you really haven’t address those).
WR says: He’s the perfect Republican — “People who vote a way I don’t like don’t deserve the vote.”
You LIE! That is nowhere what I typed or implied. You people continue to lie and ascribe evil motive when there is none because you cannot make any other argument for maintaining an unsecured voter roll.
With the number of illegal aliens and the ease of filling out a voter registration with no proof that the one registering has passed the legal requirements.
I could easily ascribe the motive of you progressive socialists, in passing Motor Voter was nothing but allowing anyone to vote regardless of their legality to do so. That would just be wrong though.
A secure voter roll nationally is in the best interest of America and its citizens.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of racism/discrimination. ‘
@Ebenezer Arvigenius give an excellent breakdown of the larger issue here:
As to the issue of cards, I fall on the side that unless someone can prove widespread voter fraud, please explain the importance of these preventative measures (note – this is pretty much the conservative argument against the implementation of cap-and-trade/climate change regulation).
As I’ve said in the past, I would have less problems if the bar was lowered for acquiring a voter ID. The DMV thing is frankly onerous — especially for individuals without a car. In my home city, it would take a city resident from one of our poorer neighborhoods over an hour by bus to reach the DMV. And that’s without addressing the issues of what hours it’s open and how does that fit into a work schedule.
If it was possible to go to a local post office and get a photo ID card, I think that would make a difference.
So you suggest voters provide a water bill prior to voting (as most county dumps require).
Because most Democrats drive? Good God Doug, can you dig yourself any deeper?
This is the issue.
It is easy for those of us who are educated and well off to pontificate about how easy these things are to acquire, but the reality for many Americans is quite different.
I don’t oppose, on principle, the idea of ID. I oppose a system that purports to solve a non-existent problem while creating another one (and one that tears at the fabric of democracy itself).
No, I don’t recall many voter fraud convictions. Some phony registrations, yes – but no evidence whatsoever that any of those people were ever able to cast a ballot.
That level of fraud would not be prevented by a voter ID law, for it involved political machines that controlled the voting process. But I see no evidence either that such fraud continues to take place. Most of the voting fraud convictions I have heard of in the last generation have been Republicans suppressing the vote.
“Of course, they don’t mind their own targeted voter suppression, either. In 2000, the Gore campaign actually put out a memo in Florida on how to specifically target and disallow military ballots.”
Those that had been postmarked after Election day. Which is, of course, entirely proper. Votes cast after election day are not legal votes, so this is not an attempt to suppress legal voting.
As we’ve seen in the past, Doug makes an erroneous or questionable claim, gets called on it, and digs in his heels.
Because we don’t understand the Dougster is never, ever wrong.
To show where this free for all voting issue goes, from those who say a secure voter roll and secure voting is in the best national interest being called racist, bigot and whatever like WR here has, to this. Now tell me how much more twisted it can get?
The plaintiff demands in daily business that voter ID laws are racist and all the SAME crap WR and the rest of you are telling us.
Now the plaintiff is suing because LEGAL CITIZEN VOTERS have not provided enough IDENTIFICATION!
Read it and see if your mind is changed at all.
The issue of traveling for the poor to get an ID is bogus. The ID could be issued in any number of places they frequent. Stop making excuses and demand SECURE VOTER ROLLS and VOTING!
Tano says: “Some phony registrations, yes – but no evidence whatsoever that any of those people were ever able to cast a ballot.”
Please explain to us how, if the original voter rolls were not secure, could anyone ever prove something that could not be proven unless you go back to the original voter registration scheme? If anyone is allowed to register, then they would appear to be a legal vote.
It all starts with the REGISTRATION! Why do you think ACORN and PROJECT VOTE and La Raza and the other fraudster groups focus on registration drives? Once they are registered it is hard to not allow them to vote.
Please understand that Voter Registration Fraud is fundamentally different than voter fraud. Acorn was involved with the first, not the second. Further, the very construction of the regulations around voter registration arguably led to some of the issues (that every form had to be returned). (See: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1008/Two_kinds_of_fraud.html , http://factcheck.org/2008/10/factchecking-debate-no-3/ , http://factcheck.org/2008/10/acorn-accusations/).
In fact, in the Republican DA in charge of prosecuting the largest case of Voter Registration fraud against ACORN canvasers noted:
In fact, as many have noted there is little to no evidence of Voter/Voting Fraud in national elections.
In fact, there is far more evidence, as I noted in the last post, for Anthropomorphic Global Warming than Voter Fraud. However, in that case, it seems most conservatives believe that far more solid evidence of cause/effect/and damage is not solid enough to warrant any preventative action. Can anyone make a serious case for defending the notion of voter ID while rejecting taking action on climate change?
If 100,000 Democrats vacationed two weeks each year in Wyoming and registered to vote there, they could pick up that state’s two perpetually Republican Senate seats for their party.
If a state decides that a water bill is sufficient proof of ID, then that’s their choice. If they want to require a Photo ID I see no reason to object to it.
Mate, calm down. It’s not “bogus”. For many of us it’s the central issue. The impact is disparate and the legislation contains no measures to minimize this impact. If ID’s were issued free of charge at every post or city transportation office, I doubt many people would have issues with the requirement.
But making it harder for people without a car etc. to vote sits not well with either the people who care about minorities or those who want to promote suffrage.
@Sam: This is exactly what you wrote:
“If the poor can make the effort to get all the different Independence Cards and ID to get free everything, they can make the effort to get voter ID!
If they CAN”T get off their fat ases to get a voter ID they are effectively saying they really don’t give a rats ase if they vote or not. The more poor refraining from voting for the politicians who will only give them more the better we ALL will be. ”
If you somehow believe that makes you look better than my paraprase does, go with it. Frankly, I think I was being generous to you.
I haven’t made any claims. I am not saying that there is a massive voter fraud problem. As far as I’m concerned if an individual state doesn’t consider it a big deal, that’s their choice. That shouldn’t preclude other states from addressing the issue if they choose to, however.
I do, however, think that John Lewis’s attempt to tie efforts to require people to prove who they are in order to vote to Jim Crow to be patently ridiculous and rather insulting. And, as I said, I have yet to see anyone give me a single reason why people shouldn’t be required to prove who they are and where they live in order to vote.
But, go ahead and continue misrepresenting what I said instead of, you know, reading it.
@Jay Tea: Hey Brains — try to learn the difference between voter fraud and voter registration fraud. Once you’ve mastered that diffiicult concept, you may return and join the conversation.
@Steven L. Taylor:
As I’ve said, I don’t have any problem with making it easier to get identification in order to alleviate the disparate impact problem. What I don’t accept is the argument that the disparate impact is reason enough to not require secure voting.
Here’s the problem with argument… the successful prosecution of numerous voter registration fraud cases demonstrates that, in fact, the voter registers were secure. If they were not secure then we should have countless “Mickey Mouses” voting today.
The irony is that the ACORN prosecutions actually proves that the system works. To prove it doesn’t work you need to demonstrate actual voter fraud.
Sam can you do that? Please. Because otherwise you are making a baseless argument without evidence. Or, more practically, can you explain the Tea Party victory in 2010? Because if voter fraud is as rampant as you imagine, how is it possible that — especially in local elections where that fraud should have the most effect — that so many conservatives won (since, reading between the lines of your post, you seem to b indicating that voter fraud benefits Democrats/Liberals).
Well you basically admitted that he was right (albeit by the “liberal definition”) in the comments: “And Democrats push Motor-Voter laws and same-day registration because it benefits them. That’s politics, isn’t it? ”
On other words: The law is motivated by politics to keep a democrat-leaning constituency from the ballot. But that’s ok because everyone does it and there are also good arguments for it.
Please note that this goes further than I would have gone on this. Still, “yes, but” is not the same as “this is ridiculous”.
@Doug Mataconis: And what if they demand proof of income over a hundred thousand dollars? What if they demand proof of racial purity? What if they demand little old black ladies in Democratic nieghborhoods show voter ID and middle-aged white guys in Republican precincts don’t?
Let me guess: As long as it doesn’t inconvenience white laywers, Doug’s gonna have no problem with it.
You have to show ID in Canada to vote, and the only issue that’s ever come up is whether women wearing a Burka have to expose their faces (they do, though they typically arrange it so they only do so to a female voting official). On the other hand, in Canada the gov’t gives you the necessary cards (and it varies from province to province) free.
This should be a non-issue. Have the gov’t provide everyone with some sort of citizenship card (free), and then you can require those cards to be shown at the polls. I think this is what is done in just about every first world country but the US.
There should be a private, impartial committee to take a look at the voting procedures and make recommendations to Congress and states. This committee could be made up of business, educational, and election officials. Issues such as fraud and voter intimidation (such as has taken place in many areas, not just the south; the Black Panther incidents in Philadelphia recently). How about requirements for voting? We need an informed and literate electorate.
Bringing up ridiculous hypothetical questions doesn’t really prove your point. You do realize that, right?
It all starts with registration for perfectly legal voting. These organizations focus on registration because legitimate citizens cannot vote unless they are first registered.
Well, it should be more than hard, it should be impossible. You should show as much outrage over a legitimate voter being unable to vote, as with an illegitimate voter voting. The two case are equally affronts to democracy. Your militancy on one side, while dismissing the other gives the lie to your claim to a principled stand.
@WR: Crud, wrong link. Too many links, but here’s enough Google-bait for you:
Lessadolla Sowers, Tunica County, Mississippi: convicted of fraudulently casting 10 absentee ballots.
Claudel Gilbert, Reynoldsburg, Ohio: registered twice by ACORN, voted twice, convicted.
Kimberly Prude, Milwaukee: convicted of illegally voting.
Amy Little, New Paltz, New York: Obama organizer convicted of illegally registering to vote — and voting — in Ohio.
I especially think the Sowers case is appropriate here — she was an NAACP official who cast ballots for people without their knowledge.
And as noted, if you can’t trust the voter rolls, it’s all irrelevant.
You want an example of how just screwing with the rolls can screw with the elections? Let’s say that in one electoral district, ACORN or their successors manage to get enough bogus registrations to make up 5% of the total rolls. (It’s not totally improbable, but I’m just picking a number here.) On election day, that’s an assload of bogus names that people can show up, claim to be Joe Blow, registered voter (no ID required, remember?), and cast their ballot.
And even if they don’t — and not even one fraudulent ballot is cast — then the reported turnout is suppressed, because 5% of the registered voters don’t turn out. That gives the losing side the opportunity to claim “voter suppression” and “the winner didn’t have a true mandate” because the turnout is artificially low. Their proof? an abnormally low turnout — look at all those registered voters didn’t cast their ballots!
It’s a nice self-fulfilling prophesy.
Indiana has a pretty good voter i.d. process that passed Constitutional muster. Several forms of i.d. are allowed. When activists took it to court arguing disparate impact on minorities, the Court of Appeals found it somewhat ironic that a person cannot enter the court building without a photo i.d., as well as any number of beneficial activities in this day and age.
I’ve toyed with the idea of finding one of these “you can’t ask for ID!” people, getting their name and address, and on election day showing up and casting their ballot for them. If the people at the polls try to deny me, I start parroting the voter in question’s beliefs and accuse them of racism and discrimination and civil rights violations. Then, when the real voter shows up, let them explain how their own beliefs and policies led to their being disenfranchised.
Just a fun little thought. I’d never feel the least bit inclined to put the time and energy into carrying it out. But it’s a fun thought experiment.
I think we’re talking about the probationary states of the Confederacy that have to submit any voting procedure changes to the federal government, not the normal states…
@Doug Mataconis: I’m not trying to prove a point. I’m trying to figure out what level of inconvenience and disenfranchisement of people who aren’t just like you you’re willing to put up with.
My position on this seems to echo Steven Taylor’s to an extent. I agree that some form of identification is in order to prevent voter fraud. This is just common sense; you prevent problems before they become bigger problems. But the issue, to me, is parallel to the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR. Do I agree that federal funds should not be going to these programmes? Yes, theoretically. But I fight their defunding because the intentions behind the action are anything but pure. Republicans aren’t fighting to defund these programmes because they’re legitimately interested in curtailing government spending; not with the percentage these programmes take of the budget (minuscule). They’re being defunded solely because they tend to favour Those Evil Liberals™, and anything that hurts a liberal helps a conservative, even if it’s like shooting your face to spite your nose.
This is much the same issue. Republican voters tend to be older white people who have all of their forms of identification, and Democratic voters tend to be poorer people who might not have theirs in order. Regardless, those poor people fear authority, and by putting up roadblocks, either perceived or real, they’ll be discouraged from doing something that, in their eyes, doesn’t matter on the ground level of their lives. Yes, on paper, this type of reform is a good idea, but the reasons behind this push are so evil that I can’t support them.
@Jay Tea: You claim to have all of 14 cases out of a nation of 300 million people, and then add to it a bunch of paranoid fantasies. And to stop the hideous problem of 14 illegal ballots — not that you actually have links to any of these convicitons — you are willing, or even eager, to disenfrachise hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of voters.
Agaon, it’s a solution without a problem. Unless of course the problem is that poor people and minorities are allowed to vote.
@Jay Tea: Yes, committing felonies is always a fun thought experiment for Jay.
How would this help?
An excellent idea. It would seem reasonable to limit voting to people with Ph.D.s, as they represent the most literate and informed group in the United States. You’re fine with that, right?
Certain people who seem to be defensive about accusations of racism/bigotry are the same people who make blanket statements about the poor getting all kinds of government benefits…as if all poor people are on food stamps and get welfare checks…meanwhile, all socioeconomic groups in this country receive government benefits of some kind or another, but it seems like the poor have to receive special attention…
Meanwhile, Steven makes the exact right point…Republicans seem to be terrified of expanding the franchise to as many people as possible because Republicans are afraid that will increase votes for Democrats…
This, of course, is quite logical and makes perfect sense…but then we run into those pesky states’ rights arguments, where it is just so horrible for the federal government to come up with such a system, but it’s just peachy for 50 states to come up with 50 different systems…
That’s interesting you’re so blase about the disparate impact an unnecessary government policy could have on certain populations. You seem very concerned about being very unconcerned about them. I believe that was the point John Lewis was making. You seem to hate him for making that point. That’s interesting too.
You want to secure voting all right, but only for white libertarian lawyers. If policy has a disparate impact to “others,” well then let the chips fall where they may.
I disagree with your assertion that it’s unnecessary and, as I’ve said, the disparate impact can be dealt with by other means
This is the crux of the problem: you seem to be acknowledging that there are disparate effects that can be fixed. However, the problem (and the thing that has Lewis exercised) is that said disparate effects aren’t being fixed. And if said problem are being created by these voter ID laws and they aren’t being fixed, then Lewis has a point (even if you find it be presented in a hyperbolic fashion).
“I disagree with your assertion that it’s unnecessary…”
The truth finally comes out.
Since there is essentially no voter fraud, what problem will this kind of ID solve? Why should I want big government forcing me to get yet another ID card to solve a non-existent problem? Why should my liberty be trampled upon for nothing?
@Steven L. Taylor:
Let’s be honest, if this disparate impact was impacting predominantly Republican voting blocs, Lewis wouldn’t care. His moral smugness is somewhat annoying.
This is possible, but I have no real basis to say one way or another.
Regardless, that utterly elides the points I have been making.
So what it comes down to is that although legislation is clearly being created to make it harder for certain people to vote, it’s really moral smugness that’s the problem here.
I really wish you’d think about this statement Doug, because it sounds like you’re saying Lewis is getting too uppity. I don’t think you’re a racist in any sense, but I do believe your privileged position is leaving you blind to the continuing struggles the poor and the dark skinned face in our society.
Neither I nor you have any idea whether Lewis would support or oppose disenfranchisement of Republicans, but I do know he’s an honorable man who has fought and bled to obtain equal rights for all Americans. And I don’t mean the kind of bleeding the Reason crowd wails about when the state tyrannically mandates trash pickup in their home cities: I’m talking about a man who has been beaten, jailed and mauled by dogs because he wanted to be treated like a human, to use a friggin’ water fountain or sit on a damned bus, or vote like he’s a person instead of an inconvenience.
Blanket dismissal of his argument because it sounds “smug” is the kind of indifference-toward-the-other we melanin privileged people engage in on a daily basis, and it’s part of the reason that even today many African-Americans still don’t feel like they’ll ever belong in our society.
Jim Crow was a system of intentional discrimination and disenfranchisement.
It was not an occurrence of disparate impact.
Wow. You really want to accuse a civil rights leader of moral smugness Doug?
I kind of feel sorry for you at this point. Maybe a sabbatical from blogging will help.
Well, no editorial by WR on the case I linked? Voter rights group in Maryland who pushes the same open voting scheme you do is suing because a citizen petition was approved by the State and the voting rights group now says there are no checks and balances and it is subject to fraud.
Comment on the direct assault on citizens RIGHT TO PETITION TO VOTE.
@Sam: I can’t comment, because I can’t tell what the hell you think you’re saying. You might want to rewrite it so it’s in English…
This is what you said earlier:
That seems to be a claim about “voter fraud convictions” connected with ACORN. When are you going to show us any evidence of such a thing?
What’s the connection between Lessadolla Sowers and ACORN? I haven’t seen anyone other than you even allege a connection. Likewise for Kimberly Prude and Amy Little.
And where is your evidence that “Claudel Gilbert [was] registered twice by ACORN?” I can find people (like you) making that claim, but I can find no reliable source for that claim. Various people making that claim link to this article. Trouble is, that article says nothing about ACORN.
All you’ve done is name four people who have been convicted of voter fraud. So what? Who cares? In no instance have you shown any connection to ACORN. So what’s your point? No one said there’s no such thing as voter fraud. Of course there is some. But what you want us to believe is that it’s a big problem, and that ACORN is involved. But you’ve demonstrated neither of those things.
As someone else has pointed out: “there exists no actual evidence, after all, of any illegal vote ever having been cast by any voter who was improperly registered by an ACORN worker.”
So let us know if you ever find any such evidence.
@Sam: Perhaps you could elaborate, because your link doesn’t seem to advance your argument. Although to be honest I’m not sure what your argument is.
Some helpful information on this subject is here (4/12/07):
As Steven said: “This move is a solution in search of a problem.”
And speaking of gratuitous hysteria backed by no evidence, let’s recall that McCain said this:
As WP said:
@steve: “Why should I want big government forcing me to get yet another ID card to solve a non-existent problem? Why should my liberty be trampled upon for nothing?”
You and I would not want this. Apparently Mr. Mataconis and others of his ilk want to do the trampling.
@Mr. M: Doug you write “After their four years, most of them (college students) move on rather than establishing residence in the community.”
So the Local(?) State(?) Federal(?) legislation to control this sham of residence will read: “Duly enrolled full time students at Sleepytown U (as defined by the registrar of the college), can not vote in the City of Sleepytown elections.
Part time students are exempt and can vote in Sleepytown elections as they may well be working a job in town and contributing to the local sales tax when they buy their groceries and gasoline and beer if they want it. They are most likely renting so if their landlord has any brains at all the property tax on their hovel is included in the rent and the part time student tenant is indirectly paying tax to the county and therefore establishing residence.
Full time students who live off campus and pay rent to local landlords will not be allowed to vote in Sleepytown elections because they are not establishing residence because they are full time college students. Forget that the local government inspects the housing they live in and they do have an interest in who local officials are, they are full time students and by definition they can not establish residence in Sleepytown.
Just to be fair, Sleepytown U students who grew up in Sleepytown and lived with their parents in Sleepytown all their lives will be able to vote in Sleepytown elections since they have been establishing residence all their lives.
Any other person who moves to Sleepytown with the intention leaving after four years can not vote in Sleepytown elections because as we all know you need to live somewhere four years before you are an established resident. Per Doug Mataconis.”
Another issue that occurs to me on the student theme: what about members of the military? They often are stationed in a locale for 1, 2, 3 years (and so forth). Should they be allowed to vote because they are transitory in a given jurisdiction?
(For the record: I think they should). But how is that substantially different from students?
Many of you are behind the curve. We have a national identity card in the US. It is just printed with different styles by your state driver’s license provider:
It is kind of interesting that it avoids that creepy “show me your papers” feeling, while giving us all “papers” all the same.
The DHS has guidelines for all states to issue non-drivers licenses for the same reason.
@Steven L. Taylor:
As I’ve said, I think 1 year residency should be sufficient, but the real litmus test for why this is a conservative issue would be this:
Should students be allowed walk-in voting for _national_ not _local_ issues?
@john personna: Yes, but that is not an actual, universal national ID that serves multiple functions, such as voter ID.
@Steven L. Taylor:
My point is that it is a semantic word game. When there is a national standard, and beneath the printed surface, each state driver’s license is the same, then yes, it is a national ID.
We could imagine a national ID printed with our favorite sports team on the cover. It would still be a national ID.
See also the The REAL ID Act of 2005
Actually, that wikipedia page is an interesting read. I hadn’t been aware of the push-back on REAL ID since 2005.
@john personna: No, not just semantics because not all citizens have drivers’ licenses.
I am aware of Real ID, but creating some level of uniform standards for a card that not all persons possess (and is not used as a national ID) is not a national ID in more just just words.
Voter ID requirements do discriminate against two key Democrat constituencies: paid fraud operatives and dead people. Otherwise they’re quite benign.
@Steven L. Taylor:
The arc, with the 2005 law, was that citizens would have a driver’s, or non-driver’s, Real ID.
Thus it would have been a coordinated national ID. It would have slid through somewhat below the radar. Interesting that Real ID seems to have stumbled on cost as much as philosophy, but I’m happy it has stumbled.
@Steven L. Taylor: @Ebenezer Arvigenius: So riddle me this mental midget. How the hell do they get to the voting booth??????????? Free all expense rides to their local polling place. Or maybe just maybe a group linked to fraudulent groups like ACORN. Once again you socialists spare no expense to lie cheat and steal.
@Ren: There are any number of people in the US who do not drive. Many people who live their whole lives in NYC never learn to drive,
One of my wife’s grandmother’s never learned to drive.
BTW, you might want to Google the term “non sequitur” (not, btw, the cartoon strip, although it can be amusing as well).
There are numerous reasons to require ID’s. The first is that the election process would be fair to all CITIZENS. The only way to prove that is with an ID that requires PROOF of citizenship. Heck even some states don’t require that to get a Driver’s license. So apparently they aren’t sooo poor that they can’t get to the DMV to get a drivers license to drive. You know enough is enough with elementary arguments with the likes of Steven. He is just a socialists with a cause of destroying America. And when it gets worse and he doesn’t feel protected enough he will whine when he goes down in flames. Always happens like that. Steven=Chamberlin. Get down on your bended knee you lefties. Oh wait that is just the facade until you have control. Then like the former Soviet Union you throw your political opponents in gulags. Until the next revolution throws you in the dustbin of history.
@Steven L. Taylor: You still haven’t answered the question of how they can’t seem to get to a place to get an ID but they sure can get the voting booth? But you will not answer.
@Ren: It is odd that you equate concern over proper democratic access to the voting process to be a the realm of “lefties”
Again: look up “non sequitur”
You’ve lost your mind, and you’re way out of line for saying this about a man who is trying to teach you something.
In virtually every place I have lived the polling station has been much more accessible than the nearest DMV. In fact the way polling stations are chosen is to make them as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. That’s why there are so many of them.
1) You do realize that polling places are linked to where people live and hence closer to said persons. Further, polling places typically have hours more conducive to working persons than does the DMV (i,.e., they open early and close late) although, quite frankly, we ought to have weekend voting.
2) The issue is often not just transport, but cost and the aforementioned hours problem.
The issue at hand really isn’t that difficult to understand.
I am no opposed to ID, per se, but I am opposed to the current approach that assumes a problem that does not exist and that creates a “solution” that can make it more difficult for some to vote. If you are willing to make it a heckuva lot easier for people to have IDs and to register, then let’s do it.
Proper democratic (should say representative republic ) access is the realm of all legal citizens. But you really have no concern on that topic as long as it advances your cause.
My point would, of course, be that we need to guarantee all “legal citizens” (a redundancy, but ok) access to the ballot box. That is my “cause” in this context (nothing more, nothing less).
Do we really have to continue to pretend this voter I.D.stuff isn’t just a blatant attempt by the Republicans to prevent poor people from voting?
After you spanked Doug so very very hard in this thread?
Calling Steven Taylor a leftist America hater is the world turned upside down. We truly live in lesser days and a time of madness.
@Steven L. Taylor: Glad to hear that you have no issue with ID’s. Then when they register to vote they can show their birth certificate and a home of record. They can then be issued a one time “free” State ID and would be required to show that at the time of voting. I know there is a problem just there are a few people out there that doesn’t believe we have one. Just like with illegal immigration. No thinks we have a problem until they have to pay for it. Then it is a huge problem. Like health care cost increasing due to hospitals having to treat anyone who walks in. When the cost goes up everyone then complains but they are unwilling to confront the real issues that cause it. You can say you do not see an issue. But I bet if one day you looked up and were living in a Republican county that said vote and vote as many times as you can (as I heard a Democrat in Boston say) then I just betya that you would have a different opinion.
No gulag for assholes like you. You’ll be first against the wall, I promise.
@Ren:Shorter Ren: Someday, it’s possible something might happen, so we need to act now. Voters should have IDs because hospitals are expensive and anyone can walk in. That makes voting really costly and causes the deficit. You wouldn’t like it if Republicans told you to vote, but you will like it if Republicans tell you you can’t. Only people with homes can vote, no one else is a citizen, and so what if not use definite articles in sentences.
He’s been saying this for a hundred and six posts. Lurn 2 reed.
@ponce: Oh yes its all about the poor. I forget myself. The poor poor people out there ponce. Have you ever lived or visited anywhere else in the world. If you have you would know that the so called poor in America have it better than most of the middle class in Europe and they most likely would be considered extremely wealthy in most impoverished nations of the world. I am sure this will get many responses but I grew up poor and lived in the most run down areas of Denver, CO and Toledo, OH. Always moving from one apartment to another with 4 other siblings and a father who worked as a security guard. I have struggled for my 40 years on this planet to get to a place in my life that I can make a little money and provide for my family. But when people like me finally escape poverty you are willing to burden me with someone else’s problems. This in no way is about attacking the poor. When I was younger (13) I had a full time job and was getting there by bus. I also had a State issued ID. What you are really saying is that the poor you speak about are too stupid to get on a bus or can not even afford a bus trip to a place to get an ID to prove their identity. How do they prove their identity to a police officer? Look the poor have it hard enough without you denigrating their intelligence or capabilities.
@Scott O.: That is also why lefties like you do not like people like me to have weapons. We shoot back! And we most likely are more accurate than you Scott.
Now we know why you’re so venomous: self-loathing.
@Doug Mataconis: Regarding Democrat intentions in Motor Voter, etc.: Yes, but it is also a red herring in this case. SHAME,SHAME,SHAME!!!
@Steven L. Taylor: Steven, excellent I see that you believe that all people trying to vote are legal. You do realize that States like Maryland do not require proof of citizenship to get a Driver’s License. Just proof of residence. Now which would you call “legal”?
@Ren- I am actually more concerned about my time. I fail to see why I should have to spend time acquiring yet one more ID for a problem that is essentially nonexistent. This is the stupidest kind of government intrusion.
The right-wing (or ren-wing) mindset on rights is an amusing exercise in cognitive dissonance. On one hand they are dead-set against any form of law restricting the right to own weapons. You should be able to stockpile cruise missile under your pool as far as they’re concerned.
Yet when it comes to a right like voting, suddenly they want requirements. You shouldn’t have to register your identity to buy weapons, but by god you’d better have an ID to vote, and a home, and immediate access to a birth certificate, and you have to live in a specific location for years, and you have to be “informed” (which is Orwellian language for requiring opinions the ren-wing extremists approve of).
@Ben Wolf: Not really Ben. I just don’t like people who know nothing about the poor. People who grew up under their mother’s breast until they were 10 who think they know what the poor need. They just need people like you to get the hell out of their way. Quit impeding them from making a living and quite acting like you know what is best for them. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Like they have some semblance of intellect to know what is in their best interest. Like getting an approved State ID to vote. But, alas Ben. You are too busy trying to be a know it all instead of actually being a good citizen and realizing there is a problem and really try to solve it instead of impeding progress. That is after all what you what you want Ben. Progress. And what really gets under your skin is that I was one that escaped poverty. While you want to keep the poor in it.
Almost all people registering to vote are legal. Good to see you’re catching up.
@steve: Steve, I understand your concern of time. But I bet you already have a Driver’s license correct. And I bet you have to pay bills (water and sewer (if provided by the county or city) not Best Buy) and spend time paying taxes and all of the other government required payments for service rendered. Most cases all these States are asking is showing a form of State authorized ID’s. Not something more than what you are already doing in most cases. Believe you and me, I do not want a National ID.
@Ben Wolf: No Ben I was making a point that just because someone registers to vote does not MEAN they are legal. Wow thought you had at least one brain cell. ACORN anyone?
@Steven L. Taylor: Doug is in favor because it gives his side the power to gore someone else’s ox. He opposes Lewis for identifying whose ox is being gored.
@Steven L. Taylor: Steve, while serving for 8 years what had been explained and practiced was that that military member has a home of record. That can be changed at any period of time during their period of service. But once changed they had to pay taxes for that home of record if required by that State’s law. e.g. While being stationed in California and having a home of record in Ohio I wash’t required to pay taxes in Ohio if not stationed in Ohio. California on the other hand didn’t require me to pay State taxes while serving. So while I was stationed there for more than 5 years (called homesteading) I changed my residency to California. The question is should they get to vote as you mentioned. I think the contrast if very different. One is serving their country while possibly being deployed and risking their lives. While the other is getting an education to benefit themselves. Just to be clear once a home of record was declared I could not vote in any other place and required an absentee ballot from the State where my home of record was in order to vote.
@Ren: I don’t know if you grew up poor, but it’s pretty obvious you grew up stupid. Really, if you want anyone to take you seriously, learn the parts of a sentence and work on combining them in the correct proportions.
@Ren: Well, I always walked. In Washington State where I am from, the evil, vile, and, corrupt leftist socialist governments have always provided that voting takes place in various public locations, schools, libraries, fire stations, and various government offices thoughout the cities and towns. The silly Republicans aided and abetted the government in this nefarious plot by insisting that voting precincts be small enough to allow that all the voters in one were actually neighbors and that their voting place should actually be in their neighborhood. I guess that people who lived in rural areas might be more at risk of not being able to get to the voting area, but I wouldn’t actually know.
On the other hand, there are three DMV Licensing stations in Seattle, population 450,000 (aprox.) and two or three additional in the county. The total population of Seattle Metro is 3.5 million and includes all of one county and parts of 2 others. Total DMV stations in the area–maybe 8 or 10.
@Ben Wolf: Wow Ben cognitive dissonance. Well here is the reasoning on that but I do not expect you to catch it. While you should prove that you are a legal citizen to vote. Which I might add are the only citizens that are allowed to vote. If you have to have a license to drive, run a business or even run for office you must have legal ID. That is the same requirement when you buy a weapon. Matter of fact they require a background check. The only thing that the “right” doesn’t want is for that to be kept for any amount of time. Why a reasonable person may ask. Well when an oppressive government takes control they immediately go to any registration database to find who could pose a threat to their power. Mostly people who have weapons. Nazi Germany ring a bell or the Soviet Union. Then a reasonable person may ask why did the Founding Father’s protect the right of the citizenry to bear arms. We then could go into a long debate about the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States but that would bear no fruit. The Founding Father’s knew that in order for the Federal Government or any State government to be in check is to allow the citizens whom elected them own and keep weapons without tracking them. They knew the one natural instinct of man that would cause him pause. The threat of force to prevent oppression. So to keep a registry of weapon owners would be akin to putting an electronic tag on someone to be targeted by an oppressive regime. Unlike what is being requested on the topic of an ID to vote. That does not tell anyone which party they are affiliated with just that they are a legal citizen of that State with a current address. Oh but now that takes away your so called reasoning doesn’t it. And yes I think that the citizens should have the ability to weapons that could stop an invasive force on their Constitutional rights. Cruise missiles are a little extreme but I think the ban on automatic weapons is a bit overkill.
@Ren: @A voice from another precinct: And I am sure that they planned on accepting all request in one day correct.
@WR: I guess I could also say the same about your spelling WR.
“Agaon, it’s a solution without a problem. Unless of course the problem is that poor people and minorities are allowed to vote.”
Maybe use spell check next time. Or maybe, you were trying to comment and just didn’t see your error. Either way WR if you want to be rude its your right. Or I could just consider you asshole and you have nothing relevant to say. I choose the latter.
@A voice from another precinct: Wow. You know what was funny. I just did a Google search on “DMV+Seattle Washington”. Want to know what I found? A heck of a lot more than the so called 3 DMV’s. Too bad you can’t add an attachment to these posts. Would nice to get a response back from you after showing you that there are more than 20 DMV’s. That is not including the other small towns DMV offices all around Seattle proper.
Here is the link to google maps with the search parameters.
@Ren: Rather than write an unbroken, un-paragraphed screed from fevered imaginings of yourself as the guarantor of American freedom, what you should have written was, “Rights are inherent and unalienable. They cannot be infringed upon in any way, and doing so is illegal and damaging to democracy and society”. Unfortunately you’ve made clear you reject this. Some rights you’ll protect and others you’ll infringe upon because it suits you.
Also, the “Founding Fathers” were not all of the opinion people needed guns to overthrow their government. But keep maintaining that illusion.
P.S. You owe Steven Taylor several apologies.
@Ren: Hey genius. The other locations are for registering vehicles and for business licensing. Total number of DMV locations within the city limits for obtaining ID: four.
Try going to the actual site next time.
@Ben Wolf: @Ben Wolf: No it wasn’t to maintain an illusion Ben. If it was so they wouldn’t have included it into the Bill of Rights. But to your point of rights being inherent and unalienable. You are more than willing to infringe upon the right to bear arms but not the right to vote. I assume that you believe this way due to your earlier post.
Funny how that cognitive resonance is working out for you. Another humorous point you make is that the Founding Father’s were not all of the opinion people needed guns to overthrow “their” government. Due to the fact that a government, that becomes oppressive, undoubtedly tries to suspend or retract those rights. By the way, which of the Founding Father’s can you cite that thought the people didn’t need to have weapons as a deterrent to an out of control government. I mean, they did agree to war with Britain, the controlling Colonial Power of the 13 colonies.
@Ben Wolf: So only city limits. I guess if that if you live on the outskirts of the city and want to use the adjacent counties DMV that doesn’t work for Ben. You really limit your options Ben. Next time think outside the city limits box. Also if you go to the section for Official ID’s and not just Driver’s licenses you will find more offices that you can be serviced at. But you only went to the pull down for DMV for Seattle proper. They are not the only ones that can issue an ID.
@Ren: Hmm. Apparently Ben can’t or won’t respond to my query. Or maybe he has to actually look it up and couldn’t find a Founding Father that believed the crap that he spewed. Let me guess, great in English and Art but horrific in History, Math and Science.
@Ren You caught me on a typo, so clearly your eyesight is not a problem. Now you must merely learn how to compose a sentence. Here’s a trick that will make it easier: Next time actually stop and formulate a thought of your own, instead of regurgitating whatever radio loser you heard most recently.
You say you “know there is a problem.” How do you know? And what exactly is the problem? Where is your evidence that there’s a problem, and where is your evidence regarding the size of the problem?
In five years of cracking down on voter fraud, the Bush administration managed to secure 86 convictions. That works out to about 17 fraudulent voters per year, in a country of 300 million people. Does that strike you as a large-scale problem? We should require millions of people to get an ID because we’re worried about 17 fraudulent voters each year? Really?
@Ren: Have you ever actually been to a town bigger than Hog Walla? I spent four years in Seattle, three of them without a car. You can’t walk across the city limits, and God knows you can’t just stroll into the nearest town. (The city is 142 square miles… so yeah, just start walking towards one of four DMVs.)
It’s pretty obvious you know nothing about the constitution, nothing about geography, nothing about the way people actually live. How did you go about pulling yourself out of poverty with no education, no literacy, and no interest in anything but what Rush tells you?
I mean, I suppose you could work at Burger King and say you’ve pulled yourself out of poverty, in which case we would all applaud you and wish you the best in the future. But there would be a lot more to admire if, after this big climb of yours, you weren’t so determined to make sure no one else could make it out.
I can give a very specific instance of rampant voter fraud. In 2005, Ophelia Ford ran in a special election to fill the Tennessee State Senate seat vacated by her brother John after he was convicted of bribery. She defeated the Republican candidate by 13 votes. The election results were voided after voter fraud was proven. A number of convicted felons illegally cast votes, three or four dead people cast votes and a number of votes were cast by people that lived outside the district. In addition, some of the poll workers were convicted for their part in the fraud.
The election had to be held again, at great expense to the taxpayers. If photo ID had been required, many of the fraudulent votes would have never been allowed to have been cast.
Are you familiar with the meaning of the word “rampant?” How does one case that led to precisely three convictions translate into “rampant?”
By the way, pay attention to this:
You said this:
Why are you making a stronger claim than the prosecutor? And why should anyone think that three phony votes represents some kind of a “rampant” problem?
The election had to be held again because it was close. Three phony votes were not the reason the election had to be held again.
Since the prosecutor was not willing to claim there were more than three phony votes, what number are you thinking of when you say “many of the fraudulent votes?” Two?
That sounds like the poll workers were the ones perpetrating fraud, not voters. It didn’t say anyone voted illegally, just that the workers recorded fake votes. IDs wouldn’t have made any difference.
Scott, good point. I didn’t even notice that.
@Steven L. Taylor: “But how is that substantially different from students?”
Well…it’s not. At least not that I can see.
What song goes “Doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?” Carol King?
The answer to that question is no. When did anyone ever stay in one place?
Transience has been with us since before the establishment of the republic.
Her lament was a lost cause long before the 70’s.
Seems to me when Madison et al. came up with “No Person shall be a Representative/Senator …who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.” they were setting a low bar. You don’t even need to be a resident of the state you are representing when elected to the national legislature you just have to be inhabiting it.
If this is enough to qualify to be in the federal government then it should be enough to be eligible to be an elector of the governments of State and local jurisdiction.
I don’t have a problem with requiring ID to vote, so long as that ID is provided free of charge by the government, and the process is designed with the least able in mind. In other words, not a driver’s license. I’m not frightened of a national ID card, which seems like a pretty common-sense response to this issue. But I very well may be overlooking a valid concern.
If we are going to discuss “voter fraud”, it’s time for Fox to cue video of a a polling place full of black people…
Doug, I’m curious. How can a guy who lives in Virginia possibly know anything about vote fraud in California? I think you should stick to commenting about local issues.
This link takes us here…
Voter fraud and voter registration fraud are two different things, the former being a much more serious matter. So is Jay lying, or just confused?
For those who are not hiding under the bed in terror of ACORN, this is a link worth looking at.
Well, there is the daily dose of stupid…
“This is the crux of the problem: you seem to be acknowledging that there are disparate effects that can be fixed. However, the problem (and the thing that has Lewis exercised) is that said disparate effects aren’t being fixed. And if said problem are being created by these voter ID laws and they aren’t being fixed, then Lewis has a point (even if you find it be presented in a hyperbolic fashion). ”
This post seems very similar to Doug’s one on the free trade agreements, in that he is posting in favor of a solution which may be an overall good but which has disparate impacts on the poor, and yet Doug does not care to remediate the actual disparate impacts and instead focuses on the overall good and expects the poor who are made worse off should just buck up and accept it for the good of the country. So we can safely say there is a pattern that redistribution from the poor to the rich does not concern Doug
Of course, when liberals do the same thing for their causes, Doug shreiks bloody murder and vows never to vote for those who would transfer from the rich to the poor. It’s all a matter of who is profiting from the redistribution.
That’s a helpful link, thanks.
I think his history shows that he is usually both.
Obscuring that important distinction is one of the main techniques used by right-wing hacks trying to spread hysteria about ACORN. The writer Jay Tea cited, Matthew Vadum, is trying to sell a book called “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.” He has probably done more than anyone to turn lying about ACORN into a career. And notice what he says in the article Jay Tea cited:
Buried at the end of the article he says this:
In a similar article at biggovernment.com he said it this way:
This is his way of implying that “employees and individuals associated with ACORN have been convicted” of “fraudulent voting.” Except that there are this many “employees and individuals associated with ACORN [who] have been convicted” of “fraudulent voting:” zero.
But of course that doesn’t stop hacks like Vadum and Jay Tea from spreading misinformation. I’m still waiting for Jay Tea to explain why he said this:
Jay Tea, what are the ACORN “voter fraud convictions?” You mentioned four cases, implying (and in one instance explicitly stating) that they are connected with ACORN. Trouble is, they’re not.
Another day, another collection of baloney from Jay Tea. What else is new.
Steven Taylor said:
Well, duh. It's like you've never read any of his blog posts/comment responses before.
in that he is posting in favor of a solution which may be an overall good but which has disparate impacts on the poor, and yet Doug does not care to remediate the actual disparate impacts
Mr. Mataconis sez: “Can they (college students) really be considered residents of the community where their college is for voting purposes?”
Mr. Joyner sez: “The 30,000 kids who are passing through shouldn’t be able to dominate the public policy decisions for the 10,000 residents who actually live in the community.”
Don’t let them vote. Just let them inject the millions of $$$ into the local economy they bring with them.
In a recent Mayoral primary in Sleepytown about 1800 citizens out of 11,000 registered voters actually bothered to cast ballots. God forbid any of those who showed up at the polls were students at Sleepytown U. You know how they are. Their participation will surely subvert our way of life and ruin it for everyone.
Why did I ever think we want eligible voters to participate in elections anyway. Welcome to the political process new voters. Just participate somewhere else. Not in Our Town.