Voter ID Laws Won’t Work If Problems Like This Aren’t Dealt With
Voter ID laws are a good idea, but we have to be careful in how we implement them.
There have been several posts here at OTB in recent years regarding the slate of laws sweeping the nation tightening the rules for what forms of identification are required at polling places. Several states have passed new laws requiring voters to present an approved form of photographic identification in order to be able to vote and one of the main issues of controversy has been what forms of identification are acceptable. In Texas, for example, a Concealed Carry Permit is considered an acceptable for of identification but a Student ID issued by a state college or university is not. In other states, public university student ID’s are acceptable, but not identification from private universities such as the HBCU’s. Many on the left have asserted that these voter identification laws are principally intended to suppress the vote, principally the votes of minorities and other traditionally Democratic blocs. At the moment, at least two state laws are subject to disputes with the Justice Department under its Voting Rights Act enforcement powers and appear headed for the courts.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with the concept of requiring people to prove who they are before casting a ballot. We already have a number of laws and regulations that require people to present their identification for purposes that are clearly far less serious than voting in an election — ranging from getting on an airplane, to buying certain forms of cold medicines, to buying alcohol if one appears to be under 21. Additionally, properly implemented, a law requiring someone to present photo identification to a poll worker is, at the most, a de minimis, inconvenience that would take no more than a minute or two. As with any such law, though, it’s important to craft the regulations with some degree of reason. The college identification issue is a tricky one because students aren’t necessarily residents of the community where the college is located and many of them remain registered to vote in the community where their parents live. This was certainly the case with many of my fellow students during my college days. Additionally, it strikes me as reasonable to differentiate between identification produced by a government entity and that produced by a private institution because the government cannot guarantee the integrity of the identification process used by a private entity.
Keeping all of that in mind, though, it strikes me that voter identification laws aren’t going to work if they let things like this happen:
AURORA, Ohio – A Portage County World War II veteran was turned away from a polling place this morning because his driver’s license had expired in January and his new Veterans Affairs ID did not include his home address.
“My beef is that I had to pay a driver to take me up there because I don’t walk so well and have to use this cane and now I can’t even vote,” said Paul Carroll, 86, who has lived in Aurora nearly 40 years, running his own business, Carroll Tire, until 1975.
“I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”
Portage Elections Board Director Faith Lyon said she felt badly for Carroll, but said the law requires an address on even a veteran’s identification card.
“There are three requirements – name, photo and correct address,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’re finding that some don’t have addresses on them. I feel so bad, but we have to follow the law and voters don’t always understand that at the moment.”
Two local representatives for Veteran’s Affairs said the decisions on the cards were likely made at the federal level, not locally.
However, because the ID cards are accepted at any Veteran’s Affairs facility, “the actual address of a veteran isn’t as critical to us,” said Darlene Ehrler, a spokeswoman for the Ohio VA office in Cleveland.
Now you could, perhaps, criticize Mr. Carroll here. He let his driver’s license, which would have been an acceptable form of identification, expire in January and he failed to obtain an Ohio Identification Card, which would have also been an acceptable form of identification and which would have only cost $8.50. He also could have filled out a Provisional Ballot but, as the story notes Carroll said “the print looked very small, I didn’t have my glasses and I was kind of perturbed by then.” On some level, perhaps, these criticisms are correct, but as Jazz Shaw notes, the optics of this story just look really bad for advocates of voter identification laws and it indicates quite strongly that these laws need to be thought through carefully before they’re enacted:
It doesn’t get much worse than this in terms of the MSM narrative. The guy isn’t just a law abiding senior citizen, but he’s a veteran of the second world war to boot. With a cane. And he had an ID card provided by Veterans Affairs. This is a dream come true for progressive opponents of voter ID laws to jump on for an end zone dance, and it’s already started.
Yes, Mr. Carroll could have filled out a provisional ballot, and he was offered one at his polling place. But – again – he provides the perfect response, saying the print was too small and he’d forgotten his glasses and wasn’t sure if they counted the provisional ballots anyway.
This case should be instructive for everyone, no matter which side of the debate you come down on. When enacting voter ID laws, there need to be a few basic hurdles which all of them should pass. If you’re going to accept any existing forms of ID above and beyond a drivers license, identify all of them out there and work to make sure they will pass muster before enacting the law. But even that won’t be enough in some instances. One suggestion I just heard recently was to make an offer of a free, valid photo ID part of the voter registration process. If the person doesn’t choose to take one, make them initial something on the registration form acknowledging that they passed on the chance. This would also remove the entire “poll tax” question from the process.
That last idea sounds very good to me. Of course, part of the issue for people like Mr. Carroll is that they were obviously registered to vote years ago so it wouldn’t necessarily help their situation. What would be needed is a public education campaign to let people know about the new requirements combined with an effort by the state to ensure that everyone who is registered is aware of the need to have photo identification if they don’t already. Additionally, a grace period for people who have been registered to vote for a longer period of time would probably be a good idea. That way, Mr. Carroll could have been allowed to vote and he would have been aware of the new ID requirements for future elections. There might be some huge upfront costs involved, but if the state wants to pass a law like this they have to be willing to do so in the least disruptive manner possible.
I’m sure there will be those who make the argument that we don’t need these laws at all, and I will concede that actual evidence of voter fraud that would be caught by photo identification is quite rare. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court did uphold such laws back in 2008, and noted at the time that there were several valid reasons a state may wish to implement such laws:
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.
In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana’s strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to prevent fraud.
It was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. But the voter ID ruling lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.
The law “is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting ‘the integrity and reliability of the electoral process,'” Justice John Paul Stevens said in an opinion that was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy. Stevens was a dissenter in Bush v. Gore in 2000.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also agreed with the outcome, but wrote separately.
“We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Stevens said.
Stevens’ opinion suggests that the outcome could be different in a state where voters could provide evidence that their rights had been impaired.
But in dissent, Souter said Indiana’s voter ID law “threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting rights of tens of thousands of the state’s citizens.”
Scalia, favoring a broader ruling in defense of voter ID laws, said, “The universally applicable requirements of Indiana’s voter-identification law are eminently reasonable. The burden of acquiring, possessing and showing a free photo identification is simply not severe, because it does not ‘even represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting.'”
Given the changes in the makeup of the Court in the past four years, I think it’s sage to assume that Scalia’s broader view would prevail of this issue were re-litigated. Nonetheless, the points that Justice Stevens raises are well-taken. There is an interest in protecting the integrity of the voting process, and requiring people to provide some proof of who they are before casting a vote strikes me as being entirely reasonable. The trick is to not make the laws too burdensome, especially when they’re applied to people like Mr. Carroll. We can do this and we can make it work.
Graphic via Texas Tribune
“One suggestion I just heard recently was to make an offer of a free, valid photo ID part of the voter registration process.”
In other words, exactly what the Democrats have repeatedly said they want in order to agree to voter ID laws.
While I know the Progressives will be birthing kittens over this, the final truth of the matter is that, we know exactly who Paul Carroll is and can thus quantify the impact on the process and move to fix problems that come up. This is ONE voter in a single state. That’s a problem we can fix but not an overall problem for the law. Mr. Carroll’s example helps strengthen the law and the integrity of the voting process. Doing nothing merely institutionalizes weakness in both the system and our ability to be confident about it.
Given that the law surely prevented far more than a single instance of fraud across the entirety of Ohio, I’d say the cost is worth it. I really like the idea of requiring anyone refusing to accept a provisional ballot to sign to that effect. Since many folks are likely to refuse to sign, there should be a two signature witness option for poll workers to be able to default to in the event a person refuses a provisional ballot and refuses to sign.
@Moosebreath: I’ve not heard that Dems will agree to voter ID laws if we implement this idea. It’s a solid one and I have no problem with it. But given that most states have a free or low cost ID to accompany state issued driver’s licenses, it seems a bit of overkill.
In addition, most people registering to vote for the first time already have a driver’s license. I have no idea how many first time voter registrants either no longer drive or have never driven. It seems unlikely to be more than a handful nationally.
An additional problem would be providing the ID. People pick up voter registration cards all over everywhere. Most of those places aren’t going to have the facilities to take pictures and provide the IDs. Unless you want to limit getting voter registration cards to DMV locations, it’s not a practical idea in that regard.
All of which seems to me to explain why I haven’t heard a lot of Democrats arguing that this one solution is all that is needed for them to get on board.
What would have fixed the problem is an option that we here in Tennessee put into our just enacted Voter ID law. Namely, an expired driver’s license is acceptable as a form of ID even though it is not acceptable as a license to drive. This catches the folks like Mr Carroll who just missed his window on his driver’s license and he will likely renew it before the next election or get a separate ID card.
I feel badly for Mr Carroll but unless he can show that his lone vote in his precinct in his state would have made a difference to the outcome of any race in Ohio, what we learn from his experience makes the law better and we are able to deal with these issues precisely because we know they exist now and in what exact quantities. Unlike voter fraud which we all know exists but we do not know the extent to which the integrity of the process is being corrupted.
Voter ID laws are good for America. Eventually, even Democrats will see and accept that.
Of what cases of fraud are you speaking? Any evidence of, you know, actual voter fraud?
I see your “ONE voter in a single state” and raise you Tennessee.
…You speak about confidence in a minute section of the electorate that might, might try voter fraud, and yet say nothing of the DieBold electronic theft machines.
…Must be a republican.
Call me a B.F. Skinner acolyte, and no offense to Mr. Carroll, but protecting the integrity of the entire system is more important than sweating the details of one snafu sob story the left-wing media managed to locate and vomit up. We simply can’t have another Landrieu vs. Jenkins, or Carnahan’s corpse vs. Ashcroft, or Gregoire vs. Rossi type of fiasco. Just can’t do it. Not unless we actually want to be a third-world banana republic.
I can’t help it if you don’t listen to your opponents. It’s generally a sign that you aren’t just trying to hear yourself speak. Every Democrat I’ve ever heard on this subject points out that millions of people don’t have drivers licenses and making them acquire one (or get the non-drivers ID card through the DMV) with the attendant costs (both in time and dollars) is the equivalent of a poll tax, a unconstitutional cost to exercising a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
I would add that if you believe the number of first time registrants who have never driven is just a handful nationally, you probably have never lived in a major city.
All of which are guaranteed by the Constitution. Oh, wait. No, they’re not.
The same voter fraud argument was brought up here in Florida. Supervisors of Elections came forward in a Congressional subcommittee hearing here in Tampa, which I attended, and testified that voter fraud was insignificant. What fraud that existed was far more evident in absentee balloting (used most by Repugnicans) than in early voting (used most by Democraps). The Republican-dominated legislature wants to make absentee balloting so easy that you can actually have someone else’s ballot mailed to you. Early voting, particularly Sunday voting, is being cut down to 48 hours. A professor testified with historical data charts showing the major impact this would have on minorities (they strongly tend to vote on the Sundays).
It’s all about rigging the vote.
To that point, I have heard suprisingly little in the MSM or conservative media about electronic voting being hacked to elected a drunken cartoon character to the position of President of the DC Schools?
I would definitely submit that the opportunity for voting malfeasance (versus voter registration fraud) when electronic voting machines are in play. But no one really likes to talk about that. Not when there’s the possibility that illegal immigrants and poor folks might vote.
Yes. Do that, and I’m fine with voter ID laws. I’d wager that large majorities of Democratic voters would agree.
The only purpose of the ID laws is to suppress voting. Ipso facto they are working as intended.
@Rick Almeida: Ummm … perhaps I’m going to regret not recognizing your name Rick. Perhaps you know me and I’m drawing a blank on yours. Or perhaps I’m missing your point.
But, the article you reference in raising me Tennessee is mine. I’m the Blue Collar Muse blogger.
@Neil Hudelson: Neil, if you read my comment, I did not allege there was any voter fraud in Ohio. What I said was, the law probably prevented more instances of it than the single glitch in Ohio’s law . Which means, by definition, that the fraud it prevented did not occur.
Which brings up an interesting question concerning fraud. If legislators making extensive good faith efforts to craft a bill to protect the integrity of the system missed this one narrowly defined scenario that would not be an argument against the new law. It would, however, be evidence that those purposely intending fraud and looking for ways to perpetuate it have a reasonable chance for success if they study the system looking for weaknesses. Which, of course, is exactly what they do. Prior to Voter ID laws, that search for weaknesses was easier. Now it is harder. That’s a good thing.
If, however, you are actually advancing the notion that there is no voter fraud to prevent in Ohio (and/or elsewhere around the country), I’ll just allow that you don’t understand the broader topic well enough to comment on it and leave you to your opinions.
I really believe that anyone who wants to vote should
be required to obtain a government issued photo
I.D. card. I understand that some may have difficulty, physically,
getting to a registration center, but they can surely get help from a
friend or family. Voting is a right for citizens, but it also
carries a certain responsibility, like understanding who
or what you are voting for and having proof that you are
a citizen and resident of of your voting district.
@Moosebreath: Moose … Given that vehicles are the preferred method of transportation for the vast majority of Americans you are going to have to source your claim that “millions of Americans [obviously limited to those of voting age] don’t have driver’s licenses.”
Given that there are a wide variety of things people do daily in this nation which require a photo ID from buying beer to flying to opening a checking account, I’m calling BS on your basic premise absent proof of the accuracy of your statements.
As to where I have lived? Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville … And I stand by my statement.
It’s no hardship at all and it’s not even extensive. For early voting here in Tennessee, out of 200,000 early ballots cast there were only 47 provisional ballots needed. No report so far that any of those votes weren’t counted.
Regarding time and cost, the state of South Carolina offered to pay for vehicles and drivers to take anyone who needed a photo ID down to the DMV, wait for them and then take them home afterwards in order to make sure there was no cost to voters. 23 people took advantage of it.
Your claim of “millions” and the reality on the ground don’t just not match … they are orders of magnitude different. But feel free to manufacture another crisis that you can’t let go to waste.
The fact is that the GOP has designed these laws to disenfranchise Democratic leaning voters, and they will likely have their intended impact. I’d call that actual, organized, systemic voter fraud, as opposed to the mythical “voter fraud” they claim to be worried about.
@Hey Norm: Please offer proof that any Voter ID law has suppressed voting. The truth is that states with Voter ID laws have actually seen increases in voting which they attribute to people believing the system is better protected and less subject to being gamed so they return to it.
Course, that’s a widely reported fact so I’ll be expecting you to reject it as gratuitously as you asserted that Voter ID laws suppress votes.
As Reagan noted, “It’s not that my Liberal friends are ignorant. It’s just that so much of what they know isn’t so!”
“But, the article you reference in raising me Tennessee is mine. I’m the Blue Collar Muse blogger.”
Normally, I’d let Rick respond. But his link went to an article in the Tennesseean written by Nicole Young. I guess on the internet, no one really does know anyone.
@Blue Shark: And your point is irrelevant. I didn’t mention Diebold machines because they are not in the absolute slightest way related to the discussion at hand, which is Voter ID laws.
If being able to grasp concepts and stay on topic without mistaking an apple for an orange makes me a Republican, I’ll wear the label proudly.
And, of course, I’ll be forced to note that, by your own definition, ignorance, illiteracy and thread jacking irrelevance must mean you’re a Democrat.
@: David M,
you are as left leaning as they come! This subject has
nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican or Independent.
I only has to do with meeting the requirements
to vote period.!!!!
I don’t understand this claim. The recent changes in the Court are that two liberal justices (Stevens and Souter) were replaced by two other liberals (Sotomayor and Kagan). Why would that lead to a minority conservative viewpoint gaining ascendance?
Yet somehow this interest only applies to in-person voting (where the impact will be felt by Democratic-leaning voters) rather than absentee voting (Republican-leaning voters). Amazing coincidence, that.
You are calling me a liar…the burden of proof falls on you.
@Moosebreath: My bad, Moose. You are right about Rick’s link. I had just linked to that same story along with this one from my blog and evidently mixed up which window opened when I clicked on Rick’s link.
His link, does indeed, go to a Tennessean story.
The story of Lincoln Davis in Tennessee, however, is not germaine to this thread. His problem was not that he didn’t have a photo ID. His problem was that he went to vote at a place where his name no longer appeared on the voter lists.
Why that is the case is being looked into. Some say he was registered in two separate counties and one was purged – the one where he tried to vote. Others will see an attempt at fraud wherein someone intentionally removed his name from the voter lists.
But, he was offered a provisional ballot and asked to re-register to vote to correct the situation. He refused to re-register and confirmed that he got the offer of a provisional ballot. No word on whether he took it or not.
Either way, this is not a problem related to Voter ID. Rick’s raising me Tennessee is flawed in the context of this discussion.
@Ken Marrero: You’ve got a little bit of a math problem here. There are at least 200 million voting age adults in the USA, and even assuming 99% of them have driver’s licenses, that is still 2 million adults without a driver’s license. Given that the number is likely under 90% instead of 99%, your posts seem a whole lot less convincing.
“you are going to have to source your claim that “millions of Americans [obviously limited to those of voting age] don’t have driver’s licenses.””
My source is the Federal Highway statistics. They show roughly 68% of the population has licenses. Since the number of children is far under 32% of the population (ages 0-14 make up 20.2%, according to Wikipedia, the difference is roughly 6-8% of the population, or about 20-25 million people.
What do I win?
@Hey Norm: I called BS, I didn’t call you a liar. If you have proof that your stats are right, pony them up or pipe down. I offered my stats and will give you links to back them up.
No one gets to just say what they want to and expect everyone to accept it as fact. There is such a thing as truth.
Or, you can refuse the attempt at legitimate debate on the issue at hand. You don’t have to participate. Your choice. Saying something you later find is wrong doesn’t make you a liar, just wrong on that point. Correct it and we’ll move on, or show me I’m wrong and I’ll admit it and we can move on.
Or stand your ground and insist that I prove you wrong. I’ll just move on to people who understand how conversations and persuasive argumentation works …
@Moosebreath: You win my thanks for proving me wrong on that point. I concede. There are millions of adults of voting age who don’t have driver’s licenses. I would not have thought that to be the case. Won’t be the last time I’m wrong.
Now all you have to do is demonstrate that those same millions want to vote but were not allowed to because they don’t have driver’s licenses.
Here in Tennessee, we send people to nursing homes and hospitals to take votes from folks and they don’t have to have a photo ID. We also have absentee ballots for which no ID is required. And, as I noted earlier, of the 200,000 ballots cast in early voting, statewide only 47 resulted in a provisional ballot being cast. No reports yet of any of those votes not being counted. Lincoln Davis and another man, Tim Thompson were offered provisional ballots, too. Thompson refused to vote his and I don’t know what Davis did. But they weren’t denied the right to vote. They chose not to vote.
Voter ID laws are intended to suppress turnout by likely Democratic voters. They are a solution in search of a problem.
Now all you have to demonstrate is that the absence of voter ID is the source of massive voter fraud.
You assume this, but you are mistaken. Laws that aren’t actually necessary, regardless of how well-intended, are _not_ good for society – they either get ignored or they get abused for other purposes. And you have yet to present a convincing argument that voter fraud (at least, the kind any VID law on the books or currently proposed would address) is actually a significant problem.
That’s really the wrong way to to think about this as they are citizens, who are eligible to vote. It is incumbent upon the lawmakers not to disenfranchise them by writing laws that disproportionally affect the Democratic leaning groups (young and minorities). As the GOP doesn’t take these issues into account, why isn’t this organized, intentional voter disenfranchisement?
We could solve both the voter identification fraud problem and the employment and provision of government services to illegal immigrants problems if we switched to a National ID card issued by the federal government. Preferably it would also be linked to our electronic national medical records database, and track our purchases for purposes of determing sales and usage for FAIR tax purposes.
The only people manufacturing a crisis are those like you who claim that the absence of voter ID is the source of massive voter fraud. There’s absolutely no evidence of this whatsoever.
Right. In the time it took you to type that you should have been able to find back-up.
Clearly you could not.
“Here in Tennessee, we send people to nursing homes and hospitals to take votes from folks and they don’t have to have a photo ID. We also have absentee ballots for which no ID is required.”
Now why are nursing home residents different from, say college students? The cynic in me says that it is Republicans who are pushing this, and older voters and those who vote absentee tend to be Republicans, so they are permitted to vote without ID’s, whereas college students tend to vote Democratic, so they are not permitted to vote without ID’s. As Brummagem Joe said, it’s a solution in search of a problem.
@Brummagem Joe: Sorry Joe but the facts don’t bear out your conclusion.
You’re welcome to continue to hold it and express it. But there is no proof for it.
By definition, Voter ID laws suppress voter fraud that is attempted by those who would impersonate another. If that is widespread or not very common is not the point. It is a type of fraud and it is engaged in and/or would be easy to if one so intended. This video is clear evidence of the potential. http://bluecollarmuse.com/2012/01/13/dead-people-voting-is-a-good-reason-for-voter-id-laws/ Given the nature of politics by all who practice it, I think we can all agree the situation in this video is asking for fraud! Voter ID laws stop it.
They don’t stop all sorts of fraud. In this thread we’ve seen absentee ballot fraud and voter machine fraud discussed. I’m all for securing the integrity of the process. So I’m open to hearing ideas on those possible frauds as well.
But the truth remains that no one is seeking to suppress anyone’s vote. Voter ID laws enjoy widespread support in the populace (here in TN, for example, the last number I heard sets support in the 80% range) and in many instances result in larger voter participation.
I’m open to hearing alternative explanations as to why this is. But these are the situations that exist in the aftermath of Voter ID laws. Many are claiming they are to suppress minority turnout. I have yet to see a single factual case where it has.
The process is taking place in VERY public view. All the challenges will be made public and rightly so. Let’s have this debate and see what happens. If it comes up flawed, I’ll gladly argue for it to go away. But if it works as advertised, please do the same.
I say it’s for the integrity of the process. Others claim I’m a scheming schemer bent on winning at all costs. What does the ACTUAL PROCESS show to be true?
@Moosebreath: Apparently the kindly vote collector taking time out of his or her day to ‘help’ the ill and indigent fill out their ballots is the only time in Gooperville when the motives of someone saying “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” are pure and virtuous.
OK, you’re not alleging there was voter fraud in Ohio, you’re alleging the law probably prevented some. Got any evidence to support this supposition? How about examples of actual voter fraud before this law was passed? You seem to me to be just giving us the “maybe this could happen” argument.
Even if you ignore voter suppression…which you really can’t…what’s with the party of small government creating more bureaucracy for a problem that does not exist?
Republicans are so f’ing whacked out it’s hard to believe.
Fighting culture wars that were settled decades ago.
Pursueing failed economic theory.
Starting wars for no apparent reason.
Outing covert operatives to try and save face for their own failures.
What a sad, sad Clown Car.
@Ken Marrero: You do realize that we should expect dead people to have voted in every election? And that this is normal and not remotely a problem?
Er….there’s no evidence at this web site of massive voter fraud…it’s just someone claiming there should be voter id laws because there is a POTENTIAL for voter fraud. There’s a potential for my house to be broken into tonight but I’m not going to post an armed guard outside it because it’s a very remote chance. Just like serious voter fraud is a remote chance. Voter ID laws are solution in search of a problem.
Doug: “The trick is to not make the laws too burdensome, especially when they’re applied to people like Mr. Carroll. ”
Spoken like a true libertarian — Doug finally finds a problem with voter ID laws once they affect a white, male veteran — in other words, people just like him.
My thinking on this subject is very binary. Which is worse: someone denied their right to vote because of bureaucratic barriers to vote or the possibility that a fraud has occurred? I would submit that the denial of a person’s rights is worse. Second, is it in the interest of liberty that the Government decides who gets to vote? Or should the burden of proof rest solely with the individual? Third, getting an ID is burdensome (because not just any ID will do). Just spend 1.5 hours at the motor vehicle department doing the simple task of renewing my driver’s license. There are just thee offices supporting 1.5 million people here in San Antonio. Needed to bring proof of SSN which is different than the proof required for voting registration. Yes, the system is set up to prevent voting, not enhance the exercise of democracy.
@Ken Marrero: “I called BS, I didn’t call you a liar”
Congratulations, you are now the biggest weasel on the internet. You must be proud.
“I only said that what you were saying was a lie — how can you accuse me of calling you a liar?”
Remember, “vote early and often”
Remember, you can always rely on some wise man to quote this cliche
Quick, somebody mention Chicago!
Rather than trying to come up with documented instances of voter fraud to justify voter ID laws, the real justification to me lies in assuring the integrity of the voting process, period. Besides, there have been enough “irregularities” here and there, such as the strange sequence of events in the state of Washington a while ago, to warrant serious attention to the possibility of fraud harming the voting process. We must be able to trust the voting process to produce clean results in every case and in every area.
Requiring a voter ID is such a common sense solution I wonder that so many challenge it. Even people here in VA on welfare and food stamps are required to have a positive ID to receive the services. The DMV will issue them an ID, and I believe it is either free or has a nominal fee. So, if it is the poor that one tries to use to hinder the ID idea here, it won’t wash, and essentially the same situation exists or can be created in other states.
In the cities, public transportation is adequate to reach a DMV office; in the suburbs and rural areas there are a number of possible approaches to minimizing the transportation costs to poor people. One possibility is using the same manner that they would use to find their way to their welfare councillor, a voting station or school, or a post office, for instance, whatever that is, such as getting a ride from friends, or even walking. It would be a one-time effort good for years, and the ID would be useful to them for other purposes as well. Getting these people informed of the need and the process they must go through is a real problem, akin to the problem of getting them out to vote, and to vote for someone at all.
The rare possibility exists, I suppose, that some people may not have anything at all with which to identify themselves: no birth certificate; no form of birth record at all, no credit cards, no paid bills, nothing. They may not even speak English or be able to read and write. In such a case, they are not even able to prove their citizenship or their qualification to vote at all without help from the local or state government to create an ID, perhaps based on the testimony of knowledgeable relatives, neighbors, ministers, doctors, teachers and friends.
@Brummagem Joe: And how does that differ from the argument that you’re making? The potential exists for this to disenfranchise someone but that, too, is just potential disenfranchisement. Not actual … So why are you so concerned about the law that just potentially addresses something.
The reason is found in various comments up-thread. This isn’t about protection of integrity for you (From here on, Im not using “you” to address you personally except insofar as you fit into the group up-thread who deflect and dismiss without engaging the facts). You believe GOP fraud exists without question. But not this sort of fraud. This would be Democrat fraud and that doesn’t exist despite the obvious possibilities. You want proof? I can show you about 50 cases here in my county turned over to the DA for prosecution in the last couple of years. Multiply that by 100 counties and then 50 states. That’s just the fraud we know about and can prove.
Voter fraud exists. You know it. But you can’t admit it because then you’d have to rethink Voter ID. You label this law as GOP efforts to suppress Democrat turnout. Again with the potential. It’s all about your need to make the GOP evil at every opportunity.
The point of fraud is that it takes place in the dark. You’ll never find all the instances of it and that which is prevented will never be known because it’s impossible to know it. But you know that’s true. The process to catch it is taking place in the light. Every aspect of how and when and where will be endlessly dissected. That’s a good thing because sunlight is a great disinfectant. This is just part of the ways disenfranchisement is prevented from happening.
But the truth of the matter is that you look and sound silly because to make this stick, you have to argue that there is no fraud taking place. Everyone knows that it is. Michael DelGiorno, currently in TN, broadcast his radio show when he was in Tulsa, OK from an empty lot that had been listed as the residence of a person who voted in several elections. Same thing with a garage. We all know the fraud exists. But you are forced to claim it does not.
Not because you like fraud. But because you are so partisanly blind that you cannot permit anyone other than you to have good motives or good laws.
You are welcome to your views and your inability to see even the most obvious points. There are none so blind and all that. I’m arguing for the value of protecting the integrity of the voting process. You are arguing that Republicans are evil and cannot be trusted. I am arguing that a real problem exists, you are arguing the matter should only be addressed if the problem is “massive.”
In short, we are talking past one another. You refuse to agree to the terms of the discussion and disparage the motives of the other side of the argument at every turn. There is no chance of discussion under those circumstances.
You cannot and will not win because you do not engage. You do not engage because you have no factual addition to the discussion. So you demagogue and demonize and then congratulate yourselves on how nicely you spanked that evil Conservative racist voter hater.
When you are ready to participate with integrity and mutual respect, let me know. Until then, I’ve led your side of the discussion to the water. Drinking or not is up to you. Open minds will appreciate the opportunity for debate and conversation. Closed ones will assure themselves they are right because everyone knows they are right.
The issue I have with arguments about “assuring integrity” is that (a) there has been no serious proof of a systematic lack of integrity and (b) by suggesting that integrity needs to be assured, you are suggesting that past elections have NOT had an acceptable level of integrity.
More importantly, to the conservative folks who are pushing for this, who seem to continually ignore documented issues with the process and projections of who will be disproportionately affected by these decisions, and who constantly argue that this is a necessary refinement and we will keep working to get it right, let me ask you a simple question:
If we know that there will be problems, that the law won’t be perfect, why pray tell are these laws being enacted either the year before or the year of a contentious presidential election?
Why not enact them the year AFTER the election? Which would give three opportunities to refine the process prior to election that typically has the highest participation. In other words why not scale up?
The fact is that these measures are being largely pushed by Republicans and Conservatives in a year where any honest commentator would admit that there chances on their own are less than stellar.
The only thing that these laws as they stand are designed to try and stop is another four years for Obama.
The article I linked is from the Tennessean.
@Ken Marrero: The GOP lost the benefit of the doubt when the laws targeted Democratic leaning voters (without driver’s licenses) at the same time they chose not to address potential fraud for GOP leaning voters (absentee).
Would you like to show me where I said any such thing? I don’t think there is GOP or Democratic fraud, or if there is it’s fairly minute and certainly doesn’t justify voter id laws which are clearly a Republican tactic because they can’t win elections without them. Despite all the bandwidth you’ve consumed you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there is widespread voter fraud athough I’ve repeatedly asked you to. Instead you produce a mountain of bluster that doesn’t mean a thing.
@Ken Marrero: you said: “You want proof? I can show you about 50 cases here in my county turned over to the DA for prosecution in the last couple of years.” Just because it’s alleged doesn’t mean there’s proof, much less proof enough for a prosecutor to get a conviction. How many of those cases were prosecuted and how many defendants were found guilty?
There are lots of occasions where one set of rights conflicts with another set; some sort of comparison and compromise has to be made. If a person commits vote fraud, there is damage done, but it is one “bad” vote measured against all the other “good” votes – in order to actually cause damage to the electoral process, a fairly large number of bad votes have to be cast. From the individual’s perspective (i.e., Mr Carroll), however, the damage is absolute – he is unable to vote at all.
And voter disenfranchisement also exists. But unless you can show, beyond any shred of doubt, that voter fraud is causing more damage than disenfranchising people like Mr Carroll, there is _no_ moral justification to enacting stricter VID laws, and unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s also the standard the state will have to prove in order to keep laws like this from being declared unconstitutional.
Well that would be because there aren’t any. So why is it necessary to create a load of new laws to protect the integrity of voting process? The only reason is depress turnout. Never mind even if these are successful in some states it’s not going to succeed ultimately because every action produces a reaction and there isn’t any longer the option of standing outside polling places with nooses. All this will do is drive minorities further into the Democratic camp.
I call. Please list those 50 cases. Links would be great, but I just need anything that would allow us to check them against your count
Seriously… Not joking here. You offered, we accepted. No need to provide links, but be sure to provide us with a way of verifying your claims (which shouldn’t be too hard, prosecutions being public and all).
@Mike in DC:
I didn’t want to bring that up, for I suspect we’ll end up with “the County DA is a democrat and turns a blind eye to the results of these investigations.”
But who knows, perhaps Ken will be able to bring actual public records to back up his claim.
Also note that the 900+ “dead” voters that supposedly voted in South Carolina has been challenged by the state electoral board. (they looked at the 207 cases from 2010 and found that 197 were not dead voters, but mistakes due to clerical errors. The commission didn’t have enough information for the remaining 10 cases.) http://www.scvotes.org/2012/02/23/sec_releases_findings_on_dead_voters_investigation
@Mike in DC:
Which also speaks to the fact that there are mechanisms in place to investigate and correct voter fraud after the fact.
I think the critical thing to appreciate is that, the closer one gets to the local level, the more impact voter fraud can have due to the shift in scale. However the question remains as to whether, given the amount of voter fraud that is investigated and prosecuted (we won’t even look to convictions) whether or not a prophylactic cure (which we know will disenfranchise voters) is a better solution than investigating and prosecuting after the fact (which can also include reversing the results of an election).
Rather a dangerous claim there that there is no voter fraud to be found. But why bother to research for all of the proven cases in every jurisdictrion in the history of the nation? Simply require voter ID, and a level of trust will have been established.
I believe that the scare of disenfranchisement is quite definitely overblown, and that rational officials can work out any kinks that arise in the ID process. Personally, I think it is an insult to accuse supporters of voter ID wanting to make the voting process more difficult in order to win elections. That appears to me to be pure leftist fabrication. It is not and has not been my position at all.
Of course, I could turn around and accuse Dems for wanting a free hand to stuff ballot boxes to their benefit…you know, grabbing names off of tombstones and filling out their absentee ballots, and such. But I won’t make that statement simply because I cannot prove it, just as you cannot prove that there has never been any voter fraud.
@mannning: I don’t recall any attempts anywhere to combine Voter ID laws with ease of registration and voting procedures. It is one thing to require IDs but quite another to restrict voter registration drives and impose bureaucratic barriers in the application process, etc. There are reductions in early voting being put into place. I haven’t seen any drive to Saturday voting or any other ways to encourage voting.
@Brummagem Joe & @mannning:
Ok, let’s actually talk numbers. According to a Republican Law group, there were *nationally* approximately 311 cases of voter fraud that went to some form of adjudication in the last decade or more. [Source: http://www.rnla.org/votefraud.asp%5D
First, for the record, note that these simply went to the courts… This is not the same as finding that error occurred. (BTW for extra points my conservative friends, if you are going to stand on the usual Pro-Death Penalty arguments that “the system works, and therefore we can morally execute” you must also accept that if no voter fraud is found, then that’s “the system working too.”).
Of those cases, most have to (a) deal with fraud on a local level, (b) deal with absentee ballots (far easier to commit fraud with, and (c) are committed by individuals seeking to maintain their *local* positions.
On the entire Absentee Ballot issue (as with the Election of Bender) voter id laws will have no effect at all on that situation. So why, I ask, isn’t the majority of time being spent on closing issues with absentee ballots?
Ultimately this comes back to the argument for or against a National ID. It’s funny that people on the right, who should not endorse state ownership of identity do so, for short-term gain.
The ultimate libertarian position would be that I am who I say I am, and sue me if you want to prove otherwise.
I am not that comfortable with required ID in general, and so am hesitant to say we should keep on expanding in that direction. See also:
It really doesn’t matter if the reason you support voter ID isn’t to help the GOP. What matters is the voter ID laws you support are written specifically to help the GOP win elections. Scott is absolutely correct that these laws will simply prevent people from voting, when they could have been paired with other improvements in the voting process so it became more secure without becoming more difficult. The fact that these laws disparately impact Democratic leaning voters shouldn’t be ignored, even if it’s embarrassing to voter ID supporters.
One other point about the review of http://www.rnla.org/votefraud.asp
The general pattern were that almost all of the cases of multiple votes being submitted by a give individual were done with absentee ballots. AGAIN, ID LAWS DON’T DO ANYTHING TO STOP THAT.
When you look to actual cases of fraudulent in person voting, you end up with a subset of the list (less than 311 cases in over a decade — the list runs from 1997 to 2011). So you conservatives/republicans are basing your case for systematic disenfranchisement on less that 311 cases of in person voter ID fraud across more than a decade!
Let me repeat that: you conservatives/republicans are basing your case for systematic disenfranchisement on less that 311 cases of in person voter ID fraud across more than a decade!
Given that in 2008 some 131,313,820 Americans participated in the democratic process alone, less than 311 cases isn’t bad at all. In fact it’s spectacularly good.
But of course, the facts never really were at play in this argument. Fears, yes. Facts, not so much.
Personally, I don’t think ID should be required for over the counter medications. If a medicine has a huge abuse potential, it should be by prescription. A prescription is a different enough animal that ID is reasonable. YMMV.
@Moosebreath: Pennsylvania just passed a voter id bill today. The bill includes a provision that anyone without an acceptable form of identification (which includes college and nursing home id’s as well as drivers license and government employee id’s) can obtain a free government issued id for voting purposes through the DMV. The Democrats still opposed it.
Were the Libertarians for it? Really?
It would be interesting to know how many times Fox News has shown its stock “voter fraud” video clip. You know, the one that shows a bunch of black people waiting in line to vote. I know I have seen it quite a few times and I don’t watch a lot of cable news.
@Septimius: As with most “free” IDs, the documentation required is not free.
Comprehension problems there Manning? Viz
Ultimately you guys are always reduced to lying about what people say.
@Septimius: As they should have, the law requires a valid, non-expired ID. There’s absolutely no reason an expired driver’s license shouldn’t be accepted for at least a while. Also, implementing a requirement like this really needs to be paired with proactive measures to make sure eligible voters aren’t disenfranchised. Go spend a couple hours getting a “free” ID at the DMV isn’t really adequate.
@Septimius:Fine. Have a Voter ID. However, the right to vote should not be dependent on the ability to jump through bureaucratic hoops. I won’t buy the argument that if you’re not willing to endure hours (yes, it is hours) of time that you don’t deserve the vote. Voting is a right, not a privilege.
Prove this point, please. If you can’t then your entire argument is void, because there is no evidence that the law is providing a benefit that outweighs the harm.
Fine, show me where there is widespread voter fraud in general that would warrant such a law.
@ALP: @Ken Marrero</aSo a literacy test ? Sounds familiar
@David: Actually, the documentation required is free. Acceptable documentation includes a birth certificate (free), social security card (free), and proof of residency such as a W-2 form and a utility bill (free).
Sorry. I live in Brazil, where people are required to have photo IDs to vote and I know people that works in elections. There are still suspicions of voter fraud, even if no one acknowledges that. It´s also true that everyone that I knows find the American Voting system laughable, and frankly, considering the fact that most elections are held during weekdays, with no leave to people that work or study, I have to agree.
@KariQ: Where’s the proof of the harm?
@David M: An expired driver’s license is not considered legal identification for any purposes, not just voting. The state of Pennsylvania (or any state) can’t just allow it for voting, but not other purposes. It’s either legal or it isn’t.
@Scott: As with any of our rights, there is absolutely no expectation that there can be no burden involved. While I have the right to own a firearm, the state can require that I get a permit. Similarly, the government can require that I obtain a permit if I want to exercise my right to peaceably assemble.
It’s simple, really. The Repub legislative efforts are either directed against real voter fraud, or intended as a sham to disenfranchise votes that skew Dem. This is testable. If the former, then they would be anxious to make the kind of adjustments Doug mentioned above. And they would recognize that absentee balloting has problems of its own and would be seeking to insure those ballots are safe guarded despite the fact that it skews Repub. But lo and behold, they aren’t doing either of those things. So it’s entirely reasonable to conclude this is a sham effort designed to target people who skew Dem.
Think about it. To get a photo ID, you need to present something like one or two proofs of address (phone bill, tax receipt, etc) and some proof of identity (birth certificate, VA card, etc). And then someone takes your picture and prints you out an ID. And for some Republican reason this can’t be done at the voting place? It can only be done at a DMV, which may be many miles from your home and where you wait in line for hours? If Repubs were legit on this, they would be saying – “hey no problem, you can do this right at the polling place. In fact, you don’t even need the photo ID if you show up with the documents that would have given you the photo ID in the first place. And all at the polling place where you have come to vote in the first place. No problem.” Yeah, when I see that, then I’ll believe it is legit. And I’m willing to bet Dems will fall in line behind it.
The trick is to not make the laws too burdensome
Not when making them burdensome is the point. Don’t pretend that isn’t why Republicans want to do it. A solution to a problem that does not exist is actually a solution to a different problem. In this case, the problem being solved is too many people voting for Democrats.
I would add that if you believe the number of first time registrants who have never driven is just a handful nationally, you probably have never lived in a major city.
Yeah, it’s almost as if they don’t want people in urban areas to vote. Hmm, I wonder why…
Voter ID would be suportable only if every legitimate voter could easily obtain the requisite documents. Unfortunately the current crop of Voter ID laws don’t achieve this, as the Ohio example demonstrated. Another example was cited in the Wisconsin Voter ID injunction announced yesterday:
Yes, after all, it’s only one insignificant voter, right? Until, of course, that voter is you…
Oh? Do point out all the alleged fraud in those cases, and how Voter ID laws would have supposedly prevented that alleged fraud…
Please offer proof that voter fraud is so extensive as to need Voter ID laws in the first place…
Also, considering that there are 50 different standards regarding voting makes the whole thing even more ridiculous…
And those stories we are hearing, of people being turned away for having the wrong ID or being denied a voter ID card, are just the noisy ones who complain to the press. How many stories are we not hearing?
If people are looking for numbers, both in terms of actual fraud (as noted above, documented cases are quite rare) and the potential for older and/or minority voters being denied the right the vote (the numbers are pretty big) see my post from January: click.
Also contains some links to other studies.
@André Kenji de Sousa:
Yes, this is an odd practice, to be sure. We should move to weekend voting.
@Rob in CT: Ya, I’m fine with that in theory. But that process seems like a waste of time and money (hello bigger gov’t) if no one can show real data of voter fraud problems that warrant additional legislation and spending. Let’s be practical.
Also, as an aside, as our nation gets more mobile, always having an ID with the ‘correct’ address is harder than it sounds. Between age 18 and 26 I’ve had 14 addresses in 3 states. I would be paying to get a new license (which in MN takes 8 weeks to mail to me for some reason) all the time, with a risk of not receiving it in time to vote. Losing my constitutional right because someone at the DMV took an eternity or I couldn’t get time off from work to change my address isn’t a price I want to pay.
Funny how all the “get government off our backs” cats suddenly want more rules and regulations. These guys cry tyranny because McDonald’s can’t give toys to children with their crap food in San Francisco, but they can’t wait to put more red tape between American’s and the ballot box.
To all you liberals and Libertarians out there, What about
all the voters that are receiving, Welfare, Food Stamps,
Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal Support.
They are all required to show a government issued
Photo I.D. to apply for these services. How is this
different from an approved photo I.D. required to vote!!!
@ALP:Just to reiterate, I don’t think many Dems would be against requiring a photo ID if that ID could be issued at the polling place. Dems like myself believe the reason Repubs don’t offer this as a solution is because the real intention is to disenfranchise those who skew Dem.
Now, would anyone in favor of these photo ID laws care to explain why none of them focus on absentee ballots? Oh, and where did Ken M. go to? Last time he posted here he claimed he could show 50 cases of voter fraud in his county alone, but when someone asked for proof he seems to have disappeared. It really would change my opinion if voting fraud was so widespread that you could easily come up with 50 cases in one county.
You wrote this, and it rather clearly states your misguided belief that there isn’t any voter fraud to be found. Or don’t you remember your own words? You are trying to eat them, I guess.
Again, everyone seems to want to look for really well–documented cases of voter fraud. I suggest to you that it is most likely that the fraud was successful and not picked up, or was hidden by someone in the process. Using the few cases that were identified to suggest that it is rare misses the boat completely. If voter fraud was being organized by a political party, I think the party would want to use bright people and a method that has a very high likelihood of going completely undetected
Yes, we need to develop solutions to problems that are so hidden that no one can find them…
Hmm…and which political party might you be referring to?
OK, there’s a certain line on voter fraud to where you’re officially in tinfoil hat, black helicopter territory. The consequences would be much to severe, and the chance of getting caught is almost guaranteed, so neither political party is organizing actual voter fraud. If there was an easy way, both sides would know about it.
It has always been the case that organizing a group of people, illegally registering them to vote in multiple places, and then casting enough fraudulent votes in person to sway an election just isn’t happening. (Now absentee might be slightly easier, but somehow that’s not a concern to the GOP.)
@MarkedMan: There are literally hundreds of thousands of polling locations through out the U.S. on election day. The idea that we could outfit all of them with the equipment (cameras, printers, etc.) necessary to produce a government issued id is ridiculous. Not to mention the security risk of having hundreds of thousands of machines capable of making government issued photo id’s floating around.
And, I will ask why you, and others have not addressed what I asked,
” Is there a difference between requiring a government photo I.D.
for voting, and requiring one for applying for government assistance
of any kind”. Or is it that you would rather ignore this rather
non insignificant difference????
I do which is why I posted my earlier qualification which you ignored. It’s not my problem if you are not following the thread. The point which I and numerous have made is there is no fraud of any significance, certainly not sufficient to create a mass of voter id laws which are obviously intended to depress turnout.
This argument is hilarious. Just because there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud doesn’t mean it does not exist. There isn’t much evidence of black magic cults committing ritual murders either. Is this supposed to prove that in fact there is an epidemic of such events. After all black magicians are very bright people and there’s a very high likelihood these murders are going undetected.
The difference would be that it isn’t required for those services.
Medicare: We may need to see certain documents in order to pay benefits.The documents we may ask for are:
your original birth certificate or other proof of birth
your original citizenship or naturalization papers
a copy of your U.S. military service paper(s) (e.g., DD-214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) if you had military service before 1968; [more info]; and
a copy of your W-2 form(s) [more info] and/or self-employment tax return [more info] for last year.
The identity of the person making application will be verified. Identity may be verified through readily available documentary evidence, or if this is unavailable, through a collateral contact. Examples of acceptable documentary evidence which the applicant may provide include, but are not limited to, a driver’s license, a work or school ID, an ID for health benefits or for another assistance or social services program, a voter registration card, wage stubs, or a birth certificate. Examples of acceptable collateral contacts are phone call to landlord, friend or neighbor. Any documents or oral contacts which reasonably establish the applicant’s identity must be accepted, and no requirement for a specific type of document will be imposed.
For the other mentioned programmes: Do your own research if you want to make a point. We are not your research staff. It is up to the one making the argument to provide proof of his theory.
And I want my edit button back :P.
@Septimius: Setpimus, it may interest you to know there are quite a few manufacturers of all in one ID machines, camera, printer, laminator all together. I expect they cost significantly less than a voting machine (something, by the way, you might find at those hundreds of thousands of polling places 😉 .
And for the record, I don’t think most Repubs are deliberately trying to disenfranchise voters. If I got my information from Fox News and the fever swamp that is the right wing blogosphere, I would probably believe that there are “others” who are stealing elections, so I can accept the good faith of the vast majority who are in favor of these laws. On the other hand, I think the Repub leadership is aware of reality and are deliberately disenfranchising Dem voters.
As for the idea that the reason so little fraud is detected is because the evil Dems are brilliant beyond belief and can keep a plot involving thousands and thousands of people, year after year, completely undetected yet cast millions of illicit votes. Well that borders on tin-foil hat territory. When you add on top of it that these brilliant evil-doers will be thwarted by a voter ID law, well that is tin foil hat territory, substituting voter ID’s for the tinfoil.
@Septimius: Last time I got a certified copy of my Birth certificate it was not free and took a couple of weeks to get, and that was using the Internet and a credit card to get. Without those, it would take a minimum of 6 weeks. So, neither free or easy to get. Not sure you can get a voter registration with a social security card, and the other two require you to either have a job, or have a utility bill, if you don’t have either, you don’t get to vote?
As has been mentioned, the people most affected by these laws are not evil people committing massive voter fraud, they are the poor and or the elderly.
This is, of course, the crux of the anti-fraud argument. It is not based in evidence or serious social scientific inquiry. No, it is based on suspicion and imagination. I would submit that there are not the grounds for policy-making.
I would further note that the use of IDs does not equate to the elimination of all potential routes for fraud and that the same people who can imagine scenarios of massive fraud in an environment without IDs could easily cook up scenarios in their minds of fraud in a universe with 100% coverage of voter ID laws.
It is also why, unfortunately, empirically-based arguments (again, see the link I provided above) fail to make any headway, Facts are nothing in the face of imagination unleashed.
Will voter ID laws really matter in the coming one party state where over 90% of elections will be moot?
This outta be pretty straightforward:
We want everyone who is elligible to vote to be able to do so, with minimum hassle.
We want to prevent anyone who is *not* elligible to vote from voting.
I think we all agree on this.
The differences are over: a) what is the scale of the problem (if large, it justifies significant effort to combat it. If small, not so much); and b) what is “minimum hassle.”
My preference is to err on the side of making sure we don’t turn elligible voters away.
I also tend to agree with those who believe this is a trumped-up “problem” that is actually minute in scale. I could be wrong about that, but you’ll have to forgive me if I’d like to see some actual proof.
@Steven L. Taylor:
God, that seems to remind me of arguments for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And we know how that turned out, and the deep costs payed by people in a multitude of places.
There was more “evidence” of weapons of mass distruction in Iraq than there is of systemic voter fraud in the US. There are comparable levels of moral panic though — at least in the conservative community.
And as usual our less thoughtful friends on the right knee jerked defend ANY plan to “Do something about it” because they know they can still vote, so why care.
Again my recpublican/conservative friends, lets have a discussion on the FACTS: if you look at the facts, systemic fraudulent voting, where it has happened in the US, has happened through absentee balloting and other means which voter ID does not address. It’s been less than 311 cases in over a decade. On the other hand current voter ID laws stand to disenfranchise millions of potential american voters.
If you don’t see the problem with this, it ends ups really reinforcing the general prejudice nothing that you (a) only care that your rights are maintained, and that you think that (b) that anyone who loses a right due to these law deserved it ’cause they were lazy and should have cared more.
@Neil Hudelson: well… in 2010, a couple weeks AFTER the General Election a long time neighbor of my mother’s (they have lived in the same house since 1972 when my family moved there when I was in junior high), asked if “something happened” and I was now divorced and living back with my mother.
“Ah, no” I was caught off guard. (I was a county polls worker on the General Election Day in 2010, in Anne Arundel county Maryland).
“Oh, I was working the polls and I went through looking at the voting records and saw your maiden name, at your mother’s address and it showed you voted that day.”
I have not “resided” in the State of Ohio, and in the County of Cuyahoga since April of 1983 (when I was serving in the USAF, got married and changed my state of residency to that of my husband’s), I have also NOT USED my maiden name since then either… but “somehow,” “someone” RE-registered me and then committed voter fraud! Any guesses who would have done that since I have been a card carrying Republican since age 18, and I was registered as a Democrat??
I have filed complaints both at the county level and the State level in Ohio, but never heard anything back. I wonder who “I” voted for last Tuesday? I was in Maryland the entire day.
Fraud exists, I don’t know if positive photographic VOTER ID will stop all of it.
Great, can you provide your full maiden name and former address? Because we should be able to look at the voting records from that district (they’re public documents) and see how many years that entry has voted.
Otherwise, you’re spinning a perfect Republican ghost story: How I became a zombie democratic voter in a location I used to live!
How timely!. This was on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News:
It is more than the burden of getting a photo ID. It is the many sources of error in the chain of events required to vote that will prevent people from exercising their rights.
I love that the method legislators want to use to combat voter fraud is requiring the same ID teenagers regularly forge to buy booze.
@Tillman: Spot on. Let’s enact laws that make it more difficult to vote, that really won’t prevent fraud that rarely happens, and ignore absentee voting that has a higher occurrence, though still insignificant, of voter fraud.
Is it possible that in a county of 1.3 million people, someone has the first name of Sandra and your maiden name?
To be sure, if it is a bonafide case of fraud than it should be taken seriously. And I do believe your story happened. It just doesn’t sound like the story was actual fraud since names do occur twice in a population.
Indeed, people are often inadvertently disenfranchised due to name matches.
I agree that there’s a possibility, depending on how common the name was. But I took Sandra’s story to say that it was both an address match and a name match — which sounds more like a real potential fraud.
If, on the other hand, Sandra’s maiden name is “Smith” then things start to sound a lot more like the case you laid out.
@mattb: Matt – Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. Real life and all that. The 50 cases of voter fraud I referenced and that you called me on can be verified by talking to the person who filed them.
His name is Albert Tieche (pronounced “tish”). He is the Davidson County, Tennessee Election Administrator. His office address is 800 2nd Avenue South – Nashville, TN 37210. His office phone is Phone: (615) 862-8800. The Election Commission website is http://www.nashville.gov/vote/contactus.asp
@legion: Legion –
Your position is flawed on two counts. Some laws are good and some are bad. Laws that either punish bad behavior or make it more difficult to engage in bad behavior are the good sort. No one here is saying that voter fraud is not a bad thing.
But those opposing Voter ID laws are forced to default to silly positions. They don’t deny that it’s wrong. They say that it’s not widespread or that I cannot prove it ever happened so there’s no need to worry about it. Think about it applied to any other good law. There aren’t a LOT of robberies so there’s no need to get upset about those that do exist. We wouldn’t stand for that because people suffer real loss in connection with robberies.
Similarly, we have other laws that protect against other forms of loss. Requiring minimum liability insurance if you choose to drive. Holding businesses liable for the conditions that exist on their property and so on. These laws recognize that “potential” situations have the possibility to harm and so, even in the absence of “massive” numbers or proof that a business ever had unsafe conditions, laws exist to cover them. If you don’t protect my rights, you are liable.
The same is true of Voter ID laws. We all know voter fraud is bad. No one disputes that. But people here only want fraud to be bad if “massive” amounts can be proved. I disagree. A single instance is bad and should be opposed. Because voter fraud, of any sort, produces a loss of rights to someone. If we know of a tool that is used to accomplish voter fraud and don’t move to address it, we are guilty of aiding and abetting it. A sin of omission if you will.
I agree with you that many laws are beyond useless, they are outright immoral. Voter ID laws are not an example of such laws.
@Ken Marrero: “You want proof? I can show you about 50 cases here in my county turned over to the DA for prosecution in the last couple of years. Multiply that by 100 counties and then 50 states. That’s just the fraud we know about and can prove. ”
Umm, no. Even if we take your word for the fifty cases, THAT would be all the “fraud we know about and can prove.” Multiplying by 5,000 is something you’re making up based on an assumption you then call fact. If you want to know why no one takes you seriously, this is a pretty good demonstration.
Thanks for the contact info… I’ll try giving a call later today or tomorrow.
For those interested, here’s some local media background on some of those alleged cases:
http://www.wsmv.com/story/15574183/election-commission-sends-names-to-da-in-possible-voter-fraud (8 votes tied to abandoned houses)
http://www.newschannel5.com/story/15895532/election-commission-cracks-down-on-voter-fraud (General statement by Commissioner of 60 cases since 2008 with 3 indictment. AG notes that many of the cases appear to be clerical errors).
I really don’t think we want to fashion our electoral procedures after Brazil
@Ken Marrero: “But those opposing Voter ID laws are forced to default to silly positions.”
What’s “silly” about…
1. There is a Constitutional right to vote.
2. Any infringement on that right needs to serve both an essential purpose AND deal with a serious problem.
3. While preventing vote fraud is essential, there is no evidence it is a serious problem.
@Ken Marrero: “But people here only want fraud to be bad if “massive” amounts can be proved. I disagree. A single instance is bad and should be opposed.”
And we could massively increase both the resources and the authority of law enforcement in order to stamp out even single instances of theft, assault, tax fraud, traffic violations and every other violation. We don’t do that, however, because we don’t want to live in a police state. What other rights do you think need to be trampled upon in order to prevent even a single instance of crime?
While I oppose any instance of fraud, I question your logic that preventing one instance is worth the cost you are suggesting.
By the logic you are suggesting I would note that we could radically reduce highway fatalities by reducing the speed limit to 25 and requiring that all cars be manufactured so as to go no faster than that. After all, one instance of traffic death is bad and should be opposed (indeed, one traffic fatality is worse than one instance of voter fraud). However, we do the cost/benefit and decide that the cost of 25 mph driving is not worth the benefit of reduced traffic deaths.
In other words: we do this kind of cost/benefit calculations all the time (as @MBunge notes). We have to do with voter ID/voter fraud as well.
We just hope that superdestroyer is carried off to the reeducation camps when the one party state is enacted so we don’t have to see this same old tired talking point repeated again, again, and again…
As opposed to the oh so logical position that so much voter fraud takes place even though there is little to no evidence to support this position…
@WR: No one takes me seriously? Seriously? You’re part of this thread and you can say that with a straight face? That’s all you folks have done!
@MBunge: So by your own argument, since there are not massive numbers of people being adversely impacted by Voter ID laws, it’s no big deal. Great. I will no longer worry about the people you say are being disenfranchised by Voter ID laws because there aren’t many of them.
Or, we can agree that any infringement on the right to vote is a bad thing. So you agree that Voter ID laws are both moral and constitutional since any fraud would infringe on the rights of every other voter and I agree to set up the system so that we publicly are accountable for our Voter ID actions and any decisions/problems/instances are known by all and everyone gets to see what happened and how it is resolved so there is sunshine, integrity and openness to all.
Oh, wait. I’m already doing that …
There is almost no voter fraud in the US. The fraud we find is committed by those running the elections. Find evidence of fraud, not something that “could have happened” and I will support voter ID. Until then, I oppose big government imposing solutions to problems that do not exist. Billions of dollars spent to stop a non-problem does not make sense.
@An Interested Party: Why does there have to be more than a single instance of a person’s right to vote being disenfranchised by fraud for you to agree to move to protect constitutional rights?
Are you also arguing that single, isolated instances of other crimes should be similarly ignored? That threats to the Life, Liberty and Property of yourself and others should be subject to triage and only those that meet a certain threshold of frequency are to be addressed?
That would make for both an interesting moral and constitutional argument. Please, by all means, go ahead and let us know how that would work …
Dear sir … we regret to inform you that we’ll not be doing anything about your loss because, quite frankly, there isn’t a massive amount of that particular loss in our county and your unfortunate circumstances don’t meet our minimum standards for prosecution or even addressing the issue.
Or am I misrepresenting your view?
Well, no and for three key reasons:
1. Your solution to a near non-existent problem of voter fraud creates the problem o disenfranchisement. Since A is causing B, stopping A would make he disenfranchisement problem go away.
2. Disenfranchisement is more serious than fraud. We are talking here about protection of a vital and fundamental right.
3. The numbers clearly show (again: follow the link I provided above) tha the potential for disenfranchisement is far greater than are the established cases of fraud that could be prevented.
You obviously do not believe in “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and such a simple ounce it is at that!
By your standards any law must be preceeded by a wild orgy of bad behavior that drives lawmakers to write a new law, which is indeed a hilarious position for someone to take! Going forward, and instituting obvious preventative measures against fraud is only common sense. But, you do need to exercise that common sense.
Then, too, the denial-of-voting aspect can be properly treated by local and state officials, and that has occurred in several areas already where voter ID laws have been put in place.
The opposition to voter ID seems to be somewhat rediculous, in that the problems it raises for would-be voters can be solved rather easily with a little effort. If, as some have suggested, voting could be done on weekends, it would free up a lot of resources in the nation to accomodate rural voters, such as bussing to schools or other voting places and ID issue places in the vicinity.
So you actually had established the position that there is no voter fraud, and then reestablished your position that there is voter fraud, and you expect the reader to keep sorting out your flipflops incrementally? Dear, dear! In that event, you should have withdrawn your statement to me regarding my post in line with your most recent flop. That would have been the ethical thing to do, but you let it stand.
@Neil Hudelson: So, the means test for enforcement of the law is how many times it is broken as opposed to that it is broken?
How exactly does that work for other laws? How many murders or thefts or kidnappings do there have to be before we actually decide to do something.
I did not choose those examples for their emotional impact. I chose them because they are part of the Life, Liberty and Property our Constitution says it is the job of government to secure. As has already been pointed out, voting rights are also constitutionally based.
If it’s OK for you to argue that threats to voting rights are acceptable in small doses, what other crimes are permissible in small doses?
@Ken Marrero: “So by your own argument, since there are not massive numbers of people being adversely impacted by Voter ID laws, it’s no big deal.”
You just want to make sure the “wrong” people don’t vote, so it’s kind of a waste of time to argue with you, but just for anyone else following along…
The balance is the impact of Voter ID laws vs. the impact of voter fraud. There is evidence of people being negatively affected by Voter ID laws. There is virtually no evidence of voter fraud, either of any organized efforts or inadvertant mistakes that make any difference in any electoral outcome. If there was any evidence that voter fraud was a serious problem, increased Voter ID requirements might be entirely reasonable. There’s no, so they aren’t.
@Ken Marrero: “If it’s OK for you to argue that threats to voting rights are acceptable in small doses, what other crimes are permissible in small doses?”
We’ve decided that ALL crime is acceptable in small doses.
There are plenty of ways to stop voter “fraud”. How about immediately imprisoning anyone who showed up to vote without the proper ID, or at the wrong precinct, or wasn’t properly registered? I’m fairly confident there would be less voter fraud under that system than ours, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Just because something might reduce the potential for voter fraud, and really that’s all voter ID does, doesn’t mean all the other impacts can be ignored. Voter ID supporters may not wish to disenfranchise legal voters, but the laws they support do, and the sooner they acknowledge that fact and the need to address it, the sooner they will be taken seriously.
@mannning: “You obviously do not believe in “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and such a simple ounce it is at that!”
As already mentioned, it would be quite simple for the government to require all motor vehicles be built so they can’t go faster than 25 miles an hour. That would save countless lives and wouldn’t violate anyone’s Constitutional rights. Are you on board with that?
@Steven L. Taylor: Actually, the law you use as an example is an apple’s to orange’s comparison. Not because you can’t apply a cost/benefit analysis to both but because of the situations involved.
There is nothing inherently moral or immoral about a speed limit. That sort of law is, and should be subject to the sort of analysis you suggest. And, as you see various speed limit laws around the nation and within states and municipalities, it is. No big deal.
Voting, however, is a constitutionally recognized right. Any infringement upon it, as upon your Life, Liberty or Property is and should be opposed by government. As the Declaration notes as one of its 5 self evident truths, the reason government is instituted among men is to secure these rights.
Feel free to treat as inconsequential things that the Founders enshrined as worthy of pledging their lives, fortunes and honor to establish and protect. I choose not to join you there.
And thank you for writing up the opposition to the meaningless voter id laws so forcefully. There’s no evidence there is actually a problem to solve, and plenty of evidence it will cause much more harm than good, so I oppose the current GOP voter disenfranchisement project.
@David M: You keep talking about my need to be taken seriously. I don’t give a flip if you take me seriously or not.
The idea is that you take the rights of all people seriously. Given that problems with Voter ID laws are, by definition public, reportable and have accountability built into them, you should be able to easily prove any instance of disenfranchisement.
We who support Voter ID laws are willing and able to take the heat, questions and challenges to the law and its consequences.
You, on the other hand, seem unwilling to abide by your own values. Voter fraud cannot be proven to be massive so don’t worry about it. But Voter Disenfranchisement isn’t massive either and it’s easier to prove because we’re operating in the open but ANY instance of that must be avoided regardless.
I appreciate your commitment to your cause. I even enjoy the conversation and debate. But demanding one set of values to be applied to me while you refuse to abide by your own values is a disconnect. It makes it difficult if not impossible to have a serious conversation with you because you keep moving all the parts around.
@steve: I actually need to go no further than your own comment. You say there is ALMOST no voter fraud in the US. Then you say if I can find evidence of Voter Fraud you’ll support Voter ID.
Unless my understanding of the definition of “almost” is incorrect, didn’t you just admit that Voter Fraud exists?
@Ken Marrero: You are still isn’t the basic issue : your solution leads to disenfranchisement. You argument is self-negating.
Again: look at the numbers.
(and while I am fond of the Founders, you are rather incorrect about what they were attempting to do with the Declaration vis-a-vis voting. Keep in mind that in the early days of the US, women could not vote and in many places you had to have property to vote. Only free, white, propertied males could vote)
@Ken Marrero: “Voting, however, is a constitutionally recognized right.”
Which means anything that denies or impairs that right must be justified by the most serious of threats. You’ve yet to explain why you care so much more about the largely theoretical impact of voter fraud than you do about real people actually denied their right to vote through ID laws.
@MBunge: You are assuming something not in evidence. For your assertion to be true, there would have to be someone having their rights violated by Voter ID laws.
So far I haven’t seen a single example of that. Not asking for massive amounts of people not being allowed to vote. Just a single one. People have been offered provisional ballots and most of them have taken them. Some have not but that’s their choice. That choice is not being forced upon them.
I’ve seen some reports of events that could turn out to be people not being allowed to vote but haven’t seen all the details. If these folks are offered provisional ballots and their voting rights are protected, then isolated instances of difficulty voting are not sufficient to invalidate Voter ID laws.
Further, this is not some huge expense in either time or money. As I have mentioned up-thread. Only 47 instances took place in over 200,000 opportunities in Tennessee early voting. So far, none of those is reported to have resulted in excluding an intended vote.
Checking the ID at the polls takes no more time than checking a Voter Registration card so time is out as a factor.
Driver’s licenses and state issued ID cards are free in Tennessee so getting one is not a problem or an expense.
I’m hard pressed to find any substance to your contention that Voter ID laws disenfranchise anyone or are expensive in either time or money. On what are you basing your assertions?
The subject of the original post, Paul Carrol. The meaningless voter ID law prevented him from voting, period.
That most certainly is not true, several hours at the DMV is definitely a problem and an expense.
That most certainly is not true, as checking a single voter registration card will be quicker than checking multiple types of ID that not everyone may have.
The 25 million or so people that probably don’t have the correct voter ID.
@Ken Marrero: “You are assuming something not in evidence. For your assertion to be true, there would have to be someone having their rights violated by Voter ID laws.”
There are numerous stories all over the place of both perfectly valid voters who’ve been caught up in new voter ID laws and of factually-based fears that more people will be affected in the future. Could you work harder at proving that you don’t really care about reality?
@MBunge: For me to respond to a question of what other rights need to be trampled on, you will have to provide even a single verified instance of a voter’s rights being trampled on by Voter ID laws.
There have been many instances of problems, records being incorrect, people not having a valid form of ID, folks voting at the wrong location and so on. I have yet to find a single instance where this resulted in a voter not being allowed to vote.
Because the purpose of Voter ID laws is not to prevent votes but to ensure that the person voting is a properly registered voter. Where there are questions, we have provisional balloting with a clear understanding of how those ballots will be handled.
Here’s a question for you. Given there are no massive instances of fraud taking place by what seems to be the general consensus of those opposing Voter ID requirements, and given that such a consensus, by definition, apply to the entire electorate – which means that Democrats and Republicans alike are equally trustworthy and responsible, why even have voter registration at all?
People are trustworthy. Voter fraud doesn’t exist in any significant amount. Any law that requires anything from a citizen in order to vote constitutes a poll tax designed to disenfranchise the poor and the elderly and Democrats. Let’s just do away with voter registration altogether, then!
If you can show up at a polling place, you should be able to vote. After all, think how much time and money we’d actually save if we didn’t bother with election commissions and voter lists and verifying them and so on.
How do you oppose Voter ID laws, which only require you to prove you are who you claim to be but not equally oppose the notion of voter registration which also require you to be someone you claim to be?
Good question, as I support automatic voter registration upon turning 18.
Would the GOP be all about these voting ID laws if they did not help them electorally? Nope, not at all. For example, why are the Republicans against early voting? Where is the push to register all Americans automatically?
This is a clever and cagey way to win elections and I am OK with that but let us not pretend these laws are about something else, especially “fraud.”
@Steven Taylor: Ummm, no …
1. No – You have not documented a single instance of disenfranchisement. Just the possibility and we all know of the plans in place to prevent it. Pick a metric. Either the potential for an event is to be used or the actual occurrence of the event is to be used. But not one where it benefits you and the other when it benefits you. I choose actual occurrence. We have actual occurrences of fraud. We have, so far, no actual occurrences of disenfranchisement.
2 No – Fraud and Disenfranchisement are equally threatening to the right to vote. The direction from which they attack are different. I oppose all threats to voting rights. You only oppose the potential of Voter IDs I’m consistent and basing my objections to real threats. You’re advocating a double standard.
3 – You agree with me. Your objection is to an unproven potential. My objection is to a proven fact. If you continue to insist that it is valid to then maintain your objection on the basis of the actual number of proven fraud cases (feel free to set a number here that represents an acceptable threshold), then it is also valid for me to ignore your potential or real threats unless and until they exceed that threshold.
@Ken Marrero: You have not linked to actual cases resulting in convictions for voter fraud, specifically convictions for actions that would have been prevented by voter id laws.
@MBunge: Ummm … no …
How you know what is present in my heart is an interesting question. I have set out my reasons here over and over. You are free to assign me motives that fit with your world view but you have no way to magically grant them any basis in reality any more than you have been able to demonstrate a single instance of disenfranchisement. Or do you know more about my heart and mind than I do?
Again, you insist on making voter fraud a problem only if it reaches an unspecified and unmeasurable target number of “massive” or “serious.” Because you do, you are free to dismiss any discussion of that threat via the same flawed logic that permits you to tell me what is in my heart.
What level of fraud is acceptable? Why is any fraud not to be opposed? Why do you assume bad intentions and motivations on my part, given that we are total strangers apart from this thread? It would seem to be simply because I disagree with you. How is anyone to have a serious and profitable debate on an issue clearly important to all of us when your default position is that I have no integrity, morals or character?
And if I am, indeed, that sort of man, why would you deal with me at all? Wouldn’t my heinous morality and lack of integrity and character be so in evidence that all would see and know that I am evil?
Just wondering …
@MBunge: Ummm, no …
Perhaps you have so decided. I have not.
And if you have, please list your address so that criminals can target you since you are OK with being a crime victim in small quantities and leave the rest of us, who are certain to object to their crimes, alone in favor of your easy pickings.
Or, retract your notion that small amounts of crime are acceptable.
How about THE ENTIRE ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN QUESTION?
Why you support “voter ID’ basically doesn’t matter. You support laws written to disenfranchise voters, to keep the wrong people from voting. It’s probably because the GOP has created the “voter fraud” myth and you’ve bought into it, not realizing it’s complete BS and they are using it to try and win elections.
Committing voter fraud using an absentee ballot? Voter ID does not solve this.
Want to vote when you are registered but not eligible? Voter ID does not solve this.
Want to commit voter fraud by casting multiple votes in person? Voter ID does not solve this.
Want to prevent voters that may lean Democratic from voting? Voter ID solves this.
I have yet to see anyone advocating “voter fraud” laws prove there is fraud going on. You have been doing a lot of typing, but like most Republicans, you just won’t address this very simple request. Show us the fraud. Not people on Fox talking about fraud, something real world.
You keep saying this in the comment section of a post about a citizen who was denied the right to vote because of a voter ID law.
This makes me think that trying to argue with you via the application of empirical evidence is a pointless exercise.
@David M: Ummm, no …
Showing up without the proper ID, improper registration or being at the wrong voting place are not instances of voter fraud. The law does not make those things crimes because they are not.
Trying to pass yourself off as someone else and vote more than one time is voter fraud and that is at least one sort of voter fraud that Voter ID laws help to prevent.
Again with feeling, your examples are not crimes or fraud. Mine are. Applying your argument to irrelevant material is equally irrelevant. The issue here is voter fraud. Kindly stick to the argument.
You and your fellows here seem fixated on the notion that voter fraud is only a potential problem. But really, when you are called on it, you are forced to admit that some fraud does exist so it’s not really a potential problem, it’s just not a “massive” or “serious” problem.
That is problematic, too, since you provide no measuring stick by which you are willing to abide outlining just how much fraud is acceptable and how much is unacceptable. I, on the other hand, oppose all of it.
You offer not a single case of documented disenfranchisement but insist that the potential for disenfranchisement is valid but the potential for fraud is not. A few instances of fraud are OK but not one instance of disenfranchisement is to be tolerated.
Do you all have classes to teach me which rules, rights and laws are the ones I should obey and under what circumstances? Are there refresher courses and continuing education that keeps up with developments in each field to keep you up to date with changes in what’s legal and acceptable and what’s not?
It actually seems that way, sometimes. The Voter ID opponents all sound alike. They all use the same terms: massive, serious, solution in search of a problem. It’s like you all are working off a set of talking points as though saying the same thing over and over again will make illogical, contradictory and hypocritical double standards all nice, acceptable and sound.
It does not.
On this point I would note that of course we have insofar as we do not have a zero crime policy (which would require a nearly ubiquitous police presence, if not every household having its own personal police officer 24 hours a day).
There will be crime. There will be traffic deaths. We know this and we do not do everything in our power to stop it because it would be too costly, too impractical, and too invasive to do so.
You may claim this is apples/oranges, but life is full of cost/benefit analysis and choices. It has to be.
@David M: Ummmmm, no …
Perhaps you have not read the discussion up-thread. There is, indeed, evidence that voter fraud has and does take place. That much is not in question for those dealing with reality.
What you and your fellows seem intent on doing is minimizing the seriousness of however much of it does take place. You can’t deny it happens so you revert to the notion that it should be opposed only if it takes place in “massive” or “serious” amounts. Conveniently, you fail to define what those terms would mean thereby reserving for yourself the determination of when and if to respond.
Then, you flip your argument to the potential for disenfranchisement and rail against that. You cannot provide a single verified example of a person who was prevented from voting because of voter ID laws. But just the potential is sufficient to oppose Voter ID laws.
In the likely event that one day, sooner or later, there will be a voter kept from voting under the guise of a Voter ID law, you will trumpet that single event to the planet as evidence of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’s ill intent towards you. Gone will be any mention of “massive” or “serious” … all that matters is ONE time.
What you miss is that I am there already. I don’t want a single instance of disenfranchisement OR a single instance of fraud. Prove to me a single person has been disenfranchised because of Voter ID and I’ll work to fix things so it doesn’t happen again.
I ask the same in return from you. We all know voter fraud has happened in the past and I’m advocating for fixing things so it doesn’t happen again.
@Steven Taylor et al.:
I think I finally get the underlying rational driving proponents of voter ID acts and how they can logically support these acts while complaining about excessive governmental regulation of things like cell phones in cars.
For a number of people on this thread, any possibility of voter fraud – no matter how small – fundamentally disenfranchises them. This is about *their rights* — not those of other voters.
And their theoretical disenfranchisement is enough to start the moral panic that goes after the simplest fix that will have the least effect on their lives. Of course since rights and morality are so bound up, it’s easy to understand why they advocate for a position that promises to only pushing criminals and those folks who are too lazy to deserve the vote anyway.
what’s up with the “ummmmm, no” thing?
Ummmm, no …
Gratuitously asserting that Voter ID laws produce disenfranchisement is not the same thing as producing a single instance of voter disenfranchisement! So far you have not done so.
I saw your comment that wondered at my continuing assertion that there have been no documented disenfranchisements in a comment thread on a post about disenfranchisement.
I’ll try once again to address you with logic and reality. The post we are discussing admits the problems that face the initial implementation of a Voter ID law. As I have noted, here in Tennessee we had 47 such incidents in 200,000 early voting ballots cast.
But so far, not here in TN or in the case of the gentleman above, was anyone refused the right to cast a vote. The man in the story above was offered a provisional ballot and refused it. That is not disenfranchisement. Nothing you can say can make it disenfranchisement. There is no twisting or mangling of logic or reality that can make it disenfranchisement.
Only your continued insistence that it is disenfranchisement makes it “true” to you and your fellows. To the rest of us, it is an isolated problem that was foreseen with steps taken to ensure no one was disenfranchised.
You are free to continue to confuse apples and oranges. I am under no requirement to allow you to do so without pointing out your error. I get that you don’t like it when I do. But to win the argument, you have to demonstrate you are right and I am not.
To date, neither you or any of your fellows have been able to do so.
It also strikes me how the pro-id rational mirrors pro-death penalty rational:
“it’s better to disenfranchise one person than risk the entire system”
“it’s ok to occasionally execute people who are not guilty of the crime they committed because without the death penalty, our society would fall apart”
Evils are always necessary so long as I don’t think they’ll ever effect me. Because I’m not lazy or a criminal.
Ummmm, yes and then no …
Voting rights are to be protected as you say.
But you don’t define what you consider to be a serious threat. Yet you do allow that threats to those rights do exist.
“Largely theoretical” does mean, does it not, that some amount are not theoretical but actual. We’re back to you and your fellows making the “Only massive or serious threats” should be addressed as if only the number determines the depth of the threat.
I, on the other hand, begin from the position that says an actual occurrence of voter fraud establishes that means as a serious threat to the right, regardless of how many times it happens.
Mine is easily quantifiable – one time. Yours is the muddy one. No one knows and I suspect even you and your fellows would not agree on what constitutes “massive” or “serious.” Presumably, you would at some time, agree that the threat is sufficient and you would fight against voter fraud.
Thus our discussion is not on IF voter fraud exists and should be fought. It is about when it should be fought. If you will please provide a metric by which we can all define “massive” and “serious” then we can get down to the issue. Which, by your own argument is not SHOULD voter fraud be opposed but AT WHAT POINT should it be opposed.
As to your assertion that I have not explained why I care “largely theortetical” fraud but not “actual” disenfranchisement it’s because there is no argument to make. I oppose them both equally.
The trouble is that you have failed to provide a single instance of actual disenfranchisement based on a Voter ID law. Not one. Oh, there’s a lot of potential for it out there. But, as your fellows are quick to point out, theoretical and potential things are not to be discussed.
I think you hit on a key observation here.
Ummm, no … I up-thread incorrectly attributed this misconception to Steven Taylor. My apologies to Steven. To reiterate, though. Paul Carroll was not disenfranchised. He was offered a provisional ballot and refused it. That is not disenfranchisement. You’re claiming that it is does not make it so.
You’re seriously going to make the argument that Voter ID laws are bad because you have to stand in line to get a free ID? Really? Of all the “problems” with Voter ID laws, this is the one I actually admit might have some merit.
So, as soon as you find someone who says they really wanted to get up, go to the polls, stand in line, vote and go back home but DOESN’T want to get up, go to the DMV, stand in line, get a license or ID and go back home because one is an acceptable activity but the other is a basis to claim disenfranchisement – get back to me.
Please don’t mix your arguments. We just held a statewide election here in TN and I voted. There was no appreciable delay in voting. In fact, it took me longer to find my Voter Registration card in my wallet than it did my driver’s license. Probably because, like most folks, I use my license all the time while I use my Voter Registration card once every couple of years or so. So the time argument is out.
The “Not everyone may have” it argument is a straw man. First, you say “may” which alludes to the “potential” argument your side has been offering as a non-starter. Secondly, you have yet to offer a single case where not having an ID prevented anyone from voting. Finally, the vast majority of people who showed up at the polls did have an appropriate ID. We are dealing with a small number.
That small number and the challenges they would present were foreseen and steps put in place to address those specific problems. Different states chose different solutions which dictated the terms of the problems they would face. Here in TN, for example, Mr Carroll would not have had the slightest problem as TN’s law allows expired licenses to be used as a form of ID even though they cannot be used as a driver’s license.
Since Mr Carroll was given the opportunity to vote, the best you could argue is that OH might want to consider tweaks to their law to address problems which instances like Mr Carroll’s have brought to light. That is both prudent and wise. But Paul Carroll was not disenfranchised. Nor have you or anyone else provided a single instance where anyone anywhere was kept from voting because of a Voter ID law.
I’ll keep appealing to reality and logic for as long as it takes. You say there are 25 million people out there without a valid form of ID. Perhaps there are. Please provide a single example of one of them who came to vote without that ID and were prevented from doing so. As your side of this argument has continued to trumpet … potential problems are not actual problems. You are the ones with an objection looking for a reality to hang it on. For all your worrying about what might have been, so far, you have no examples of your concerns manifesting themselves in reality.
Do the ID thing, but make getting ID easy & cost nothing out of pocket (obviously, nothing is free – we’ll fund via taxation/borrowing as usual).
For the Right, this addresses their concern. Maybe the concern is overblown (I tend to think it is), but speaking personally, it would be worth it just to get rid of this issue. Since the Right sees this as such a big deal, surely they have no problem spending the additional $ required to provide the bend-over-backwards ID service for eligible voters.
For the Left, this defuses what many see as a ridiculous issue without disenfranchising people.
Then we can move on… to the next manufactured outrage. 😉
I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the combination of Ken’s 1) lack of any evidence of voter fraud with 2) lack of any concern for the 25 million people that could be excluded has convinced me you were right here.
Ummm, no …
Being “caught up in new voter ID laws” means what exactly? For it to be valid for you to introduce here it would have to mean that you could produce a single instance of a person being kept from voting by Voter ID laws. You cannot or, at least, have not so far.
The numerous stories all over the place” which you reference, are indeed, out there. They are for people who tried to vote without the proper ID and were required to vote a provisional ballot because they did. The point? They were allowed to vote. I’ve widely noted there were 47 instances of that here in TN’s early voting out of 200,000 votes cast. So far, no reports of people being prevented from voting.
That’s hard-core reality, my friend. It’s where I’m living on this one.
You, however, move from non-existent problems to “factually based fears.” But I’m the one who doesn’t care about reality? I understand that people are strongly wed to their ideas and resist change even when confronted with facts and reality.
You are taking that to a new level. Not only are you refusing to deal with the facts and reality that I am presenting over and over. You are then offering “potential” and irrelevant facts in order to try to convert me and seem to be considering those to be factual and based in reality.
Who doesn’t care about reality, my friend?
@David M: Automatic registration is not the same as NO registration. Even automatic registration would likely be subject to some sort of verification.
My point was that since many on your side of this issue continue to assert that there is no real threat posed by fraud, that would mean both Democrats and Republicans are basically decent people who wouldn’t engage in voter fraud.
Of course, there would be a few who might engage in it now and then but not in “massive” or “serious” amounts. People just don’t behave like that.
So why have registration at all? Anyone who shows up to vote at any polling place should just be pointed to the nearest machine and allowed to vote. We can trust that no one under 18 would vote. We can trust that everyone would vote in their own precincts only. We can trust that no one would vote more than once.
People are basically good and fraud is just an unpleasant potential. It’s a fascinating discussion from a theoretical perspective but since it’s not based in reality, we can save all manner of time and money by simply doing away with any process for voting whatsoever.
BTW, since Ken doesn’t want to read the link I provided above, let me provide some quotes. First., some numbers on the scope of the fraud problem:
And on the scope of the potential disenfranchisement issue:
This is fascinating stuff, Mac. Where on earth did you find proof that the GOP is all about this because it helps them and hurts Democrats? Or does that fall into the category of things that “everybody knows!”?
You mention registering all people. Why bother doing that? If there is no real fraud out there, why have registration at all? Everyone will just show up on election day and vote properly and with no fraud because fraud is just a potential, not a reality.
How exactly did you get into the minds of legislators all across the nation, both Democrat and Republican, who voted for Voter ID laws and/or support them to be able to state with confidence that this is all about fraud under the guise of preventing fraud?
Your gratuitous assertions as to the motives of any man other than yourself are problematic. You can SAY whatever you like. Whether or not you can prove it or even if your words even have a basis in reality is another thing entirely.
Look at the numbers I just posted and tell me which party’s potential voters are most disproportionately affected by such rules. It is really rather straightforward.
The funny thing is, I remember previous Voting ID threads, and I don’t think very many people object to the idea of Voter ID, just the currently preferred GOP implementation. For all Ken’s talk about reality, he really doesn’t appear to understand what the disagreement is about. The GOP is passing Voter ID laws that make voting more difficult and will disenfranchise legal voters (that happen to lean Democratic) at the same time the laws do little or nothing to make voting more secure.
I don’t oppose Voter ID in general, I oppose disenfranchising other American citizens for no good reason.
Whoa, being 13 time zones away from the US east coast means I wake up to a lot of missed discussion. Wading through this, it seems:
1) Ken’s 50 cases of voter fraud turned over for prosecution seems to consist of clerical errors and 8 cases of people not changing their residence of record when their houses were flooded and they were forced to move out.
2) We have therefore moved into this surreal shadow argument of whether some case of fraud ever occurred anywhere, completely side stepping the arguments that fuel this in the winger fever swamp – that socialists and brown skinned people have organized massive fraud on the scale of millions of votes nationwide.
3) No one is addressing the idea that we could accept a reasonable set of documents AT THE POLLS themselves, rather than forcing them to go to the DMV.
4) That those people who are equating going to your local polling place to vote with getting to a state DMV and negotiating the process there have either never gone to an urban DMV or have never voted.
Are we changing the terms of the discussion here? Now it is not sufficient for me to have referred you to an election official who personally filed over 50 charges of voter fraud with the DA?
Now I have to provide charges that someone decides to prosecute which also result in convictions? Ooops, I did that, too …
Not sure on whether or not the convictions were for fraud that would have been prevented by Voter ID laws, frankly. All your side of the discussion has been saying is that fraud is not a problem, just a potential. No one really does it or there would be documented cases.
Rather than expect you to do some real research to see if your position is valid, I provided you proof from just one county in one state. Surely you can do the extension of the math.
Now you want convictions? I gave you those, too. And I’m sure you’ll dismiss any trials that didn’t result in a conviction because we all learned from the OJ trial how it’s not possible for a guilty person to escape conviction, right?
And now you want convictions that were specifically tied to a case that would have been prevented by Voter ID. While it’s possible some of the convictions I gave you sources for might be of that sort, it’s also possible that they might not. But I’ll let you do the digging. I believe I’ve provided sufficient evidence that your position is fatally flawed and mine is not that I see no need to dig any deeper for you.
Unless you’re willing to make me a deal. Show me a single example of a person being prevented from voting due to Voter ID laws and I’ll find you a number of convictions for fraud preventable by Voter ID equal to the number of documented disenfranchisements that you pony up.
No need to yell, Neil … unless you think yelling will compensate for your lack of facts.
As I have pointed out in this thread on several occasions, the subject of the original article, Paul Carroll, was not disenfranchised. He was not prevented from voting.
When a discrepancy arose surrounding his identity, a type of discrepancy which was foreseen and addressed by those who crafted OH’s Voter ID law, he was offered a provisional ballot to ENSURE that he could vote while the matter was resolved.
Please explain to me how that can be construed as disenfranchisement?
At last, we are getting somewhere. I cannot be a man of character and integrity who supports Voter ID because it addresses the notion of voter fraud which I oppose regardless of from where it arises.
I have bought the GOP line because I’m not smart enough to see through it OR I am intentionally colluding with the GOP to perpetrate my OWN version of fraud.
Of course, that raises all sorts of questions. There is the original question I asked and to which you responded with your comment above. Namely, how do you know what is in my heart? It appears your answer is that my support for Voter ID makes me a Republican, a hater of Democrat voters, both or something else you haven’t listed but is known by you to such a certainty that it gives you absolute confidence in your evaluation of my thought processes and motives. I think that’s sufficiently weak to let you keep arguing the merits of that with thoughtful people …
As to your other points, I never said that Voter ID laws would not prevent all fraud. Just the sort of fraud that Voter ID laws would prevent. If you have proposed legislation that would protect against Absentee fraud or fraud based in ineligibility, I’m supportive of those, too. Of course, you can’t actually believe me when I say that because I’m a GOP supporting, Democrat voter hating pig of a Voter ID law supporter. But I thought it worth sharing with you, nonetheless.
One question I do have for you is on your contention that “voter fraud [committed] by casting multiple votes in person” would not be prevented by Voter ID laws. Seems to me that is exactly the sort of fraud it would prevent. Since you are asked to show an ID with your picture and address on it, and your entry on voter lists is then checked off, and your address and name would not be valid in any other precinct or poll, checking your ID would seem to be definitely prevented by Voter ID laws.
Or am I missing something?
Please scroll up. I provided you with contact information to our election official here who personally has sent 50 cases to our DA for prosecution.
That would seem to be addressing your very simple request. Not mere typing by a Republican … real life, hard evidence that is easily verifiable.
Ball’s in your court.
And while you’re contemplating how to return my volley, please put a little english on it in the form of returning the favor.
I’ve given you 50 examples from just my CITY. Please provide a SINGLE example from the entire COUNTRY where a person was prevented from voting due to a Voter ID law.
@Steven L. Taylor: Ummmm, no …
I keep saying this in the comment section of a post about a citizen who had a discrepancy concerning his ID and was given a provisional ballot to vote with. He refused.
Read the article again. That point is very and empirically clear. I’m not the one refusing to deal with the real nature of this post, my friend. You are.
And, in addition, you still have not provided a SINGLE example of a person who was prevented from voting by a Voter ID law.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Dude! Not the best way to make your argument. I have stated repeatedly that I am supportive of eliminating all fraud and all disenfranchisement.
Now you come along and say that a little of all sort of crime is acceptable to you and give your reasons why. If I take you at your word and accept your own explanation of your own position, I have to ask why you are fussing at me.
I’m being consistent and advocating for working to rid us of all fraud and disenfranchisement. You on the other hand would seem to comfortable with some little amount of disenfranchisement. As with the terms “massive” and “serious” you have not told us now much is acceptable and where we cross the line.
But given that no one here has been able to provide a single example of a person being prevented from voting due to Voter ID laws we’re not in danger of busting your undefined disenfranchisement limit.
I have to ask, then – what is your beef with me. You don’t care if we have some disenfranchisement and I’m not producing it. I’m looking to reduce fraud with laws that are in concert with people’s rights to vote. They may not reduce all fraud but they will reduce some fraud.
I get that you don’t consider the fraud to be so rampant that we need more laws to fight it. I’m willing to agree to disagree with you on that. But it seems to me you see me as wasting my time since fraud is below your limit for concern. Ditto disenfranchisement.
Why are you bothering to engage me?
@Ken Marrero: “No one takes me seriously? Seriously? You’re part of this thread and you can say that with a straight face?”
I take it back. It’s clear that you take yourself very seriously. But perhaps you might consider listening to a voice other than your own once in a while.
@Ken Marrero: “Dear sir … we regret to inform you that we’ll not be doing anything about your loss because, quite frankly, there isn’t a massive amount of that particular loss in our county and your unfortunate circumstances don’t meet our minimum standards for prosecution or even addressing the issue.”
Clearly you have never lived in a big city. Or anywhere in the real world. If you car is broken into and you call the cops, they will graciously allow you to come into the station to fill out a report for your insurance claim. Aside from that they will do nothing, because there are far more serious crimes that need to be investigated and they don’t have the resources to handle everything. Similarly if you walk into an emergency room with a hangnail, they will probably suggest you buy some nail scissors while they work to save the life of the car crash victim.
It’s always going to be a trade off between benefit and cost. What you refuse to consider is that the cost of disenfranchising potentially many legitimate voters outweighs the benefit of stopping voter fraud for which you can provide no evidence.
And in all this intellectual snobbery not a single reference to the rather pertinent points brought up by MarkedMan.
@Ken Marrero: “I have to ask, then – what is your beef with me.”
Right now, that you’ve become incredibly boring. I begin to long for the relative novelty of Superdestroyer’s “one party nation” posts.
It seems my work here is done.
1) You all have stopped arguing that there is voter disenfranchisement because you cannot prove a single instance of it.
2) You have moved to a discussion of how there is no real problem with voter fraud except the voter fraud that impacts Republicans. I’m not sure how that jives with your earlier assertions that there really isn’t voter fraud. Unless I missed the comment that says there is no Democrat voter fraud while GOP voter fraud is rampant!
3) I’m a Republican so I must be evil and want to hurt you while protecting my side. As a Republican I can have no character or integrity. I just hate brown people and black people and poor people. But you really have no idea who I am or what my background is or anything about me. You are content to devolve to the “I can’t beat you on the facts so I’ll smear your character and integrity!” approach.
4) You continue to insist I abide by criteria in the argument that you will not yourself abide by – things like “A little fraud is OK but a single instance of disenfranchisement cannot be permitted!”
5) You’ve started talking about me and not to me. Nothing says you’ve lost the argument more clearly than refusing to engage in it.
I leave my words for those who might follow along later and try to find facts and rational discussion of the events. If you want to engage me apart from here, Google me. You’ll easily find me and I welcome true discussion based in fact.
For those of you here, thank you for the enlightening and spirited comment swap! I learned a lot about your position, the basis for it, how you advocate for it and the terms in which you frame it. I found passion and activism – always a good thing.
However, since this has devolved into a personal discussion as opposed to a discussion of the issue, I’m off to other things. I hope to see you here again. Should any of you find that example of disenfranchisement, look me up and get me the information! I’d appreciate knowing about it.
Mate, you have simply ignored every single rational and measured post on the topic (ignoring all factual links). Instead you made a sport out of bashing the more emotional posts as well as engaging with selected strawmen of your choice (and some bad faith discussion strategy).
After ignoring all salient discussion by employing selective reading, you have now declared victory and are off, apparently considering yourself a true intellectual giant.
Garner all that with a generous dose of self-pity and sneering intellectual condescension. And you wonder why people consider you a republican ;-)?
Should any of you find that example of disenfranchisement, look me up and get me the information!
What for? You’ll just deny reality.
The reality is Republican motivations are quite clear, and they have nothing to do with combating fraud. Again, from Steven’s link:
Other studies on demographic disparities in photo identification focus largely on particular areas and localities. According to the Georgia chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, for example, 36% of Georgians over age seventy-five lack a driver’s license. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Justice found that African- Americans in Louisiana were four to five times less likely than white residents to have government-sanctioned photo identification. Of the forty million Americans with disabilities, nearly 10% lack identification issued by the government (Overton 659).
Common sense says that requiring something to vote that around 25 million people do not have will disenfranchise voters. First you were unaware of the scope of the problem, but since then you’ve simply ignored it.
Not sure what you mean, as most of the talk has been about how actual voter fraud is a extremely small problem.
That’s pretty much what you get when you defend the laws the GOP passed. I really don’t care whether you personally want to keep the wrong people from voting, or just support laws that keep the wrong people from voting. Is there really a difference?
Most of the complaints are about massive, systemic disenfranchisement, or you know the opposite of a single instance.
Address the actual responses rather than strawmen and you might get a response.
Actually, that is probably the best question of the thread, as this “Ummm, no …” person lives in his own little world and seems to be incapable of acknowledging any facts that diverge from that little world…
I find it interesting that, during this whole thread, no one appears to have made any attempt to define the various possible kinds of vote fraud and to then figure out whether or not photo ID at the polls would solve any or all of the various kinds.
For example, if people voting twice was the dominant mode of voter fraud, doing what the Iraqis did would solve the problem – paint a finger of each voter with indelible ink. Photo ID is not the only solution, nor is it the simplest or least intrusive. I’ve always found it surprising that conservatives have so much faith in the government’s ability to keep accurate records about millions of people and their current addresses when their faith in government to do much else is so small.
One idea I’ve not seen mentioned at all in any of the discussions of voter ID is that of a national identity card, ideally with some embedded biometric info. A little too 1984, perhaps – but how far are we from that now? A complete non-starter politically, of course – and I can’t see conservatives being thrilled by it. But it would solve the problem of people voting as other than themselves.
I find it funny that a World War II vet went to vote, they wouldn’t let him vote, but if he filled out a provisional ballet with print too small to read, his vote might be counted, and he walked away and that some apparently don’t think he was disenfranchised.
Also, voter ID laws won’t “fix” the problem of voter fraud. It does nothing in regards to absentee ballots which are inherently more prone to be subject to fraud and it relies on IDs that have a known market for fake ones. This is a fix to an almost non-existent problem (around 0.04% of votes cast) that doesn’t do anything to really fix the problem.
Compound that with using a form of ID that between 10 and 20 million people of voting age do not have and not only are you not fixing a problem, you are making the real problem of low voter turn out even worse.
And lets not forget, a “free” state ID card is not actually free. You have to go to the state office, that is only open during business hours. If you are an hourly wage employee, that time is a cost. Also, except for a social security card, which getting a new one runs into the same problem for hourly wage employees, the necessary documentation costs money.
So, if you are poor and have trouble even putting food on the table, work two jobs to just do that, and now you have to blow half a day or more to get a card that even though free,really does cost you money, are you now more likely or less likely to vote? Might as well just charge everyone $50 bucks at the polling place before you can vote. Oh, wait, then its called a poll tax…
No offense Robert, but I believe I stated a number of times that looking at the data, beyond clerical errors, the most pervasive form of fraud comes from absentee ballots which ID laws have no effect on.
I likewise accept your position as a passionate advocate. But I’d like to raise two points if you’re still watching this thread. First:
The issue is that while this is nice in theory — like wanting to earn more money AND do less work — the two are diametrically opposed. And pragmatist or honest debater should agree that you cannot realistically do one without threatening the other. I think most of us who are *more* concerned about disenfrancishement find your inability to consider the possibility problematic at best. Seriously, in none of your posts did you seem willing to admit to this as a real possibility.
That brings me to the second point… In your own state of Tennessee, there was this recent Lincoln Davis case which — while not specifically about an ID issue — demonstrates the problem with provisional balloting. I’ll except the key part:
I will admit that Davis was offered a provisional ballot — however, that offer was NOT made at the polling location. He — a former congress critter — would never have known that was an option if he didn’t make calls. And even then, confusion about the possibility of voter fraud made him opt not to fill out a provisional ballot.
I’ve noticed that a recent cause de celeb in conservative circles has been the overreach and under training of TSA workers. Basically the idea is that these are under skilled people who are invading our privacy. Given that assumption, I fail to see how one can trust poll workers — who have far less training or practice — to accurately provide information about the provisional ballot option.
I don’t expect that we’re going to find agreement on this issue. And I appreciate the patience you’ve displayed on this thread. I just wish I felt like you — at any point — wrote as if you seriously considered our (loyal) oppositional points (in particular the ones made by Marked Man who point to the larger issues with getting identification).
Ken is right when he says that no one can know his true motivations but himself. For myself, I accept what he is saying. He has not done or said anything that would indicate he is a racist or that his motivation is trying to disenfranchise voters. Disagreeing with my position does not make him evil or even immoral. (Wrong, yes. I KID! I KID!). He has tried to engage rationally and, unlike so many, has bought actual evidence to the table when challenged.
Despite anything I wrote that might seem to the contrary, I wish there were more passionate conservative commentators on this site who argued in his style.
@An Interested Party:
When more than 50% of the voters automatically vote for one party, are elections really relevant. When candidates from Elizabeth Warren, to Tim Kaine to Bob Kerrey are pre-ordained and everyone else drops out of the campaign, then even the primaries are irrelevant.
Look at how quickly Dennis Kucinich became irrelevant when he was redistricted into a heavily Democratic district with another incumbent.
While I’m not quite enamoured by his style (he spent quite some time stepping around posts that might have challenged his views and thus took out some of the potential of the discussion) I totally agree. It was still a huge step up from the usual loon brigade.
In his case one might actually learn something new.
I think to Ken’s credit, and by his own comments, he can effectively argue persuasively. The problem is persuasive arguments only works for salesman when the consumers are not privy to readily available information/facts! Another point – an effective persuasive argument involves getting the other party to believe that you understand their point of view (provided that there is a point of view to be understood). This is the very first thing that should be established. However, I never felt that Ken really understood the other point of views. Or he understood them and still chose to side-step the arguments.
Anyway, it was nice to read a constructive argument for a change!
I will go back through the thread when I have more time. Question – how many prosecutions were there? How many convictions? Does the election official in question have a track record of executing his/her duties in a strictly non partisan manner?
I haven’t reread all of the comments, but I do not remember anyone stating the current situation on ID in each state. A quick Google gave quite a number of references, among which is the summary for all states:
From this survey, it would seem that most states are either in the ID camp now, or are proposing legislation for it now. There seems to be a significant divide between those that require photo ID and those that only require some form of ID.