Voter Suppression in Wisconsin?

A Wisconsin DOT official sent out a memo telling DMV staffers not to volunteer the availability of free voter identification cards.

A Wisconsin DOT official sent out a memo telling DMV staffers not to volunteer the availability of free voter identification cards.

Reuters (“Wisconsin official told DMV not to push free voter ID cards“):

A Wisconsin official has discouraged state workers from volunteering information about free IDs available under a controversial voter identification law that critics complain is designed to suppress votes, a memo leaked on Wednesday showed.

The memo, provided to the press by Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, was likely to fan concerns among critics of the Republican-backed law that it aimed to suppress votes of thousands of otherwise eligible Wisconsin voters.

In the memo, a top aide in the state transportation department told staffers in the motor vehicle department, which is responsible for issuing the free IDs, to “refrain from offering” them to customers who do not specifically ask for them. ”Questions on what kind of ID is needed for voting,” the aide, Steven Krieser, wrote in the July 1 memo, “should be directed to the Government Accountability Board.”

The voter ID law was part of a broader conservative program pushed through Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature earlier this year by Governor Scott Walker, who took office in January. That program, which has divided the state along partisan lines and led to a record number of recall elections, has also included curbs on the collective bargaining rights of public workers, deep budget cuts and an easing of restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons.

Krieser, who confirmed the authenticity of the memo, said he was simply trying to make sure DMV employees honored the intent of lawmakers who passed the law, which does not obligate DMV workers to tell applicants they are entitled to a free ID if they plan to use it to vote. ”The DMV is applying the voter ID law that the legislature provided to it,” Krieser told Reuters. ”It says the customer has to request it. So we’ve taken the strict reading of the statute and that’s how we’ve implemented it. That’s all that the memo was getting at.”

My first instinct on seeing this was that Republican protests that they’re simply trying to avoid voting fraud, not suppress voting, are getting harder to believe. My second instinct, though, was that this is simply bureaucratic silliness as usual.

On second read, Krieser isn’t identified as a Republican, so I did some digging to figure out who he was.  It turns out that he is the Executive Assistant at WisDOT and appears to be a career WisDot bureaucrat.

According to a WISN ABC12 report (“Memo To DMV Workers Re-Ignites Voter ID Controversy“),

Kreiser said the law states, “we have to charge people the regular $28 rate (for photo identification) unless customers come in and request it, and certify that they need it for the purpose of voting.”

Kreiser said customers have been purchasing photo identification long before the new law went into effect. He said those looking for the cards for any other reason besides voting need to pay the fee. He also said as long as a customer actively seeks a free photo ID, workers at the DMV will help them.
“If an individual customer approaches a DMV employee and says, ‘I’m here for my free ID for voting, my free voter ID,’ or anything like, that sort of signals to the employee that what they are looking for is that free ID product. The customer service worker is going to work with that person to make sure they get that product for free,” said Krieser.

So, rather than trying to suppress voting, he’s trying to chisel $28 out of unsuspecting saps. And the Republican legislator behind the bill offers a perfectly reasonable explanation as well:

Wisconsin Representative Jeff Stone, who wrote the bill which became law this year, said this is “much ado about nothing.” Stone said not everyone coming in to get an ID should not automatically get it for free because people are getting them for different reasons, like cashing a pay check. He said only those who express that they want it for voting purposes should be getting it for free.

He said the state will continue to educate residents. ”We’ve provided funding for the Government Accountibilty Board. They are going to do a statewide educational effort that is going to talk about the need to have a photo ID for voting,” said Stone. Kreiser said there are signs up in the DMV alerting customers to the change.

Whether a photo ID should be required for voting is up for debate. Having carried one or more photo ID’s since I was 10 years old, I’m hard pressed to see it as a major burden. And common sense tells me that, if people have to show ID to cash a check, maybe they ought to have to do so before voting. On the other hand, it’s undeniable that the poorest and least educated among us are less likely to drive and thus have a ready-made ID card. And there’s next to no evidence of the sort of voter fraud that would be prevented by making people show ID.

But this particular controversy seems overblown. The law says people who request a free ID to vote get a free ID to vote. There is some sort of statewide advertising campaign and there are signs up at the DMV to that effect. But people coming in to get a non-driver’s license ID card, which most likely is going to be used for purposes other than or in addition to voting, are charged $28 unless they say they want it for voting and/or use the word “free.”

FILED UNDER: US Politics, Voter Suppression,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mac G says:

    Kinda appears like a poll tax

  2. Jay Tea says:

    My first reaction on the headline was “this guy needs to be smacked down, and smacked down hard.” But the details make me want to ease up a little.

    The law is clear: it’s $28.00 UNLESS the applicant asks for it as a voter ID card, in which case it’s free. This looks to be a case of a bureaucrat doing things I normally think are good things: following the letter of the law and looking out for the state’s financial best interests.

    I’d split the difference and put up a poster in the DMV offices explaining the law. Sure, a lot of people who want the ID for other purposes will fib and say it’s for voting to save the money, but that’s a small price to pay. (Especially for someone from another state, like me.) And the bureaucrat in question would get a pass from any kind of disciplinary action.

    J.

  3. @Mac G:

    If they’re giving out free ID’s how can it possibly be a “poll tax”?

  4. John Burgess says:

    Kinda like a poll tax, but utterly different.

    1
  5. rodney dill says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If they’re giving out free ID’s how can it possibly be a “poll tax”?

    He did say ‘like’ a poll tax, which was another mechanism used to suppress voting, He didn’t say it was a tax, by my interpretation.

    It sounds to me more like a way to a way to save the State money by preserving the $28.00 dollar ID fee, and not telling anyone looking for an ID that they can have one free if they just say the magic words.

  6. snarky bastard says:

    On the other hand, it’s undeniable that the poorest and least educated among us are less likely to drive and thus have a ready-made ID card. And there’s next to no evidence of the sort of voter fraud that would be prevented by making people show ID.

    And guess which party gets a disproprortionate number of votes from people who are heavily impacted by this law that does not solve a problem that actually exists —- think James, think… as I know you can.

  7. samwide says:

    @Mac G:

    Kinda appears like a poll tax

    It would be a poll tax if (and only if) the state required the $28 for the voter id. This seems ripe for a bunch of public service announcements on TV to the effect that…

  8. Jay Tea says:

    @samwide: This seems ripe for a bunch of public service announcements on TV to the effect that…

    More specifically, announcements produced and paid for by all these public advocacy groups, not the state. If ACORN hadn’t scammed its way into oblivion, this is precisely the sort of thing that they should do.

    But while the name ACORN is gone, the scum are still around, just under new names. It’d be nice to see them doing something valid for a change…

    J.

  9. Eric Florack says:

    And here’s the thing; That the thing hadda be mentioned to the workers, suggests a change in the normal way of doing things, regardless of the law in question. So, the question becomes, do they push the free voter cards when Democrats are not in very obvious electoral trouble?

  10. @Jay Tea:

    Speaking of which, whatever happened to the League of Women Voters? They used to do non-partisan voter registration drives all the time.

  11. Jay Tea says:

    @Doug Mataconis: They got married to the Democratic Party and became housewives, giving up their non-partisan career to raise a bushel of young Democrats.

    J.

  12. rodney dill says:

    Why would someone (not able to afford the $28.00 fee for a photo ID), even be at the DMV to begin with, unless it would be to obtain the free ID. This just prevents (more inhibits) those coming in to get the $28.00 ID from finding out they can get one for free.

    Needing a photo ID to begin with, to vote, is a different topic than this post seems to be about.

  13. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jay Tea:

    I’d split the difference and put up a poster in the DMV offices explaining the law.

    Seems pretty reasonable, easy, and efficient to me.

  14. Sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Because unless anyone and their illegal brother can vote, it is suppression to the open voting booth crowd. The same crowd who wants open borders

  15. Jay Tea says:

    @Rick Almeida: Careful, Rick. Calling anything I say “reasonable” can get you shot at around these parts. Or, at least, voted down.

    J.

  16. Tano says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    They used to do non-partisan voter registration drives all the time.

    There is no such thing as a non-partisan voter registration drive. If you seek to expand the pool of registered voters, you will be perceived as an enemy by the Republican Party.

  17. Sam says:

    @Tano:

    That is just a lie!

  18. Polaris says:

    In today’s climate, I am inclined to agree that there is no such thing as a ‘nonpartisan’ voter drive although they used to exist.

    These days when a group goes out to recruit voters, they invariably concentrate in groups that will be the most friendly to those sponsering the group. We all know about ACORN but they were hardly unique.

    I have no problem with the directive. It simply a bureaucratic reforcement that essentially states that the DMV is not in the business of registering voters. That’s all. It in no way restricts the needed IDs for those that need them and asks for them in order to vote.

    -Polaris

  19. Tano says:

    @Sam:

    No it is not.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sec 1; 14th Amendment:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

    19th Amendment:
    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

    Sec1; 26th Amendment:
    The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

    I keep looking and looking, but I just can’t find “Photo ID” in the constitution…. I guess that means one’s voting fights can be abridged on account of a lack thereof?

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Polaris:

    It simply a bureaucratic reforcement that essentially states that the DMV is not in the business of registering voters.

    Motor Voter.

  22. samwide says:

    @Jay Tea:

    More specifically, announcements produced and paid for by all these public advocacy groups, not the state.

    Uh, sorry, but no. It is the state that has put this condition on the exercise of the franchise. It is the state that should bear the cost of the announcements.

  23. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    They still do quite a few registration drives, but in a lot of places the laws have become too burdensome to do VR drives without quite a bushel of money. The last time I headed up a large VR drive, we had to have a paid professional team vetting new applications to weed out duplicates, fake forms (contrary to popular opinion, not all “Mickey Mouse” applicants are due to shady operatives–sometimes people signing up to vote can just be real dicks), etc.

    Now, that isn’t to say a proper VR drive shouldnt’ be examining applications to weed out problems, but the amount of people we needed to check, recheck, and triple check were more to cover our own ass from lawsuits than to actually clean up the forms. Four years ago–before ACORN blew up–city clerk offices often had a pretty genial relationship with VR drives. You have a few bad forms slip through, they caught them and informed you and that was that. If it was due to negligence, you tightened your controls. If it was due to poor employees, you fired them.

    Now when a city clerk’s office catches bad forms, you’re threatened with a lawsuit or prosecution, no matter what the reason behind it.

    It’s scared people like LWV away. They now mostly go to schools to sign up newly 18 year olds, and to INS ceremonies to sign up new citizens.

  24. liberty60 says:

    The DMV is not is the business of registering voters.

    Except the only way to be eligible to vote is…to have a photo I’d given by the DMV.

    And yes, the info absolutely should be given by ACORN or other groups, not the government.
    I mean, what interest does the government have in encouraging people to vote?

  25. James in LA says:

    Poll tax or no, the directive is intended to deliberately not help people.

    Polaris thinks the govt should not be in the business of voter registration. Just who do we leave it to? The Koch brothers?

    My conservative friends do not like voters. It causes them to have to explain their policy positions, and justify their actions. With an increasing reliance on Belief over all else, it comes as no surprise that rather than face the music, my conservative friends will do everything in their power to see that fewer people vote.

    This will not stop the coming demographic wall. It will only accelerate it.

  26. Ron Beasley says:

    It’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The Republicans do believe that people voting is a problem. Paul Weyrich from 1980:

    Paul Weyrich, “father” of the right-wing movement and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority and various other groups tells his flock that he doesn’t want people to vote. He complains that fellow Christians have “Goo-Goo Syndrome”: Good Government. Classic clip from 1980. This guy still gives weekly strategy sessions to Republicans nowadays. The entire dialog from the clip:

    “Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

  27. Polaris says:

    James in LA,

    I have no issues with legal voters. I have issues, however, with people voting that aren’t supposed to. If I have to show my ID just to walk into a bar as proof of age, then I do not see the barrier (provided it is free) to show ID to vote. I have an issue with people who think that cemetaries and pet stores are merely undercounted exploited potential voters (see Daley’s Chicago)

    -Polaris

  28. James in LA says:

    @Ron Beasley: Too many of our conservative friends still believe it’s 1980. They think that what they say cannot then be debunked by a smart phone in 3.5 seconds from anywhere on earth, and that THIS is the face of what is coming.

    We witness a Last Gasp of sorts, as our conservatives friends rely on campaign rhetoric alone, and abjure governing. Everything our conservative friends have hated and despised, from the desegregation of the armed services to New York’s gay marriage decision, has come to pass, and it makes them grumpy.

    Our conservative friends are therefore making a mad grab for everything in sight, looking to Rapture to save them because real life is sooooooooo unpleasant. The deafening “NO!” to everything says it all. Crossed arms and pursed lips will not win elections.

    In real life, we vote, and come together to solve our problems. Luckily, this appears to be the future. The GOP, as constructed, is fading fast.

  29. James in LA says:

    @Polaris: The problem of voter fraud does not match the overheated rhetoric. The actual instances of fraud are tiny compared to the draconian push to deprive people of the vote. Even if you claim this is not your intent personally, it is certainly the intent of many in your party. See the comment from Paul Weyrich via Ron Beasely, above.

    The WI order violates the very basic human concern of WANTING to help people. If you don’t want to help people, it is very easy to create barriers which achieve that purpose. When those barriers deny otherwise legal citizens the right to vote, this is far worse than the largely trumped-up voter fraud meme.

    The only fraud case I am aware of that cost an election was Bush v Gore, but it wasn’t voters committing the fraud.

    If you do not want to help people, you fail the christian entrance exam, by the Bye. Be prepared for the ALEC laws to be tossed.

  30. Polaris says:

    If the right to vote is so important, then the sanctity and security of valid voters should be protected. If we think it’s important enough to ID check a person in order to get a drink, why do we not have at least that amount of importance on the security of our voting rights (which is really a lot more important)?

    I get very, very suspicious of people who claim that voting fraud isn’t a ‘real’ problem, and then want to deny all methods of actually finding out if that’s true, or any means to weed out legal from illegal voters.

    Not everyone has a right to vote nor should they. Dead cats, for example, probably should not be permitted to vote.

    -Polaris

  31. mantis says:

    Through their actions in recent years, it seems very clear that main goal of the Republican Party regarding elections is to make sure fewer citizens are able to vote. This is part and parcel of that effort.

  32. mantis says:

    I get very, very suspicious of people who claim that voting fraud isn’t a ‘real’ problem, and then want to deny all methods of actually finding out if that’s true

    What methods? We already know voter fraud is not a significant problem. The methods are already there.

  33. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    Seems pretty reasonable, easy, and efficient to me.

    No, reasonable, easy and efficient would be “you can have it for free but the ID will be stamped so that it can only be used for voting or you can pay 28$ and use it to drive”.

    That would at least have a chance at not impeding suffrage unnecessarily (in contrast to “you need this to vote but we will only give it to you if you ask in the right way“).

  34. Boyd says:

    Sorry, I don’t see any voter suppression here. I presume (that could be a big mistake, I know) that a potential voter has to register in advance of voting in Wisconsin. With Motor Voter, that can be done at DMV…where you can get your free voter ID.

    So it’s a matter of voter education, i.e., telling people they have to register to vote, and have a government-issued ID, which, by the way, you can get for free at the DMV, which is where you can register to vote. All of the rest of this is addressed during the voter registration drive process of signing up new voters, so these folks need to add that line to their spiel.

    Hey, maybe the compromise (if anyone in Wisconsin were listening to me, which they’re not) would be for the DMV folks to just ask why the person wants the ID. If the answer is some form of “to vote,” then it’s free. Otherwise, fork over your $28.

  35. Console says:

    PHOTO ID TO VOTE!

    Well, unless you get an absentee ballot..

    State governments are stupid.

  36. Polaris says:

    @mantis:

    What methods? We already know voter fraud is not a significant problem. The methods are already there.

    We do? Gov Rossi might want to have a word with you. There are many other suspicous cases, but that’s one of the biggest suspicious ones that immediately comes to mind.

    The fact is we don’t know and there seems to be a lot of people with a vested interest in not finding out (or even protecting against the possibility of it).

    If you need to show ID to cash a check (to prove you are who you say you are) or to get your Birth Certificate, then you certainly should be required to show one to vote.

    -Polaris

  37. James in LA says:

    @Console: Organizations like ALEC distract state governments from actual problems in order to advance an agenda that does not have popular support. Our conservative friends cannot win on ideas or governing success, so this is their approach to elections.

    Their approach to governing once elected is abject failure. “Drowning gub’ment in the bathtub” is not a policy position. It’s a temper tantrum.

  38. James in LA says:

    @Polaris: There are many old people and people on disability who do not drive and therefore only have an SS card. If you must demand papers, this ought to be enough. These people may not be able to get out and conform to your regulations due to physical inability to do so.

    We are talking a substantial number of people that will only grow as the old set expands. They are the least able to defend themselves against these kinds of policies. They are also the least likely to commit the dread fraud with which you are fixated. They are the people who need help from DMV in clear, unequivocal language, not this hide-behinder policy in WI.

    But they do like to vote, they vote their issues (entitlements) and that really irritates some of my conservative friends.

    The right to vote belongs to the voter. Here’s a tip to the GOP: run on ideas which unite the country. Voter fraud is not a policy position. It’s a temper tantrum.

  39. Tano says:

    @Polaris:

    Dead cats, for example, probably should not be permitted to vote.

    How do you imagine a voter ID law would prevent this from happening?

  40. Polaris says:

    James in LA,

    You can get an ID card in the mail. There is no excuse for anyone not to have photo id.

    -Polaris

  41. James in LA says:

    @Polaris: Red herrings:

    “If you need to show ID to cash a check ”

    A relationship with a bank is a private relationship with a company. The regulation is created by the bank; it is not in the Constitution. Voting is a civic duty, and if you want papers, a SS card ought to be enough.

    “or to get your Birth Certificate”

    If you have an SS card, this has already been done. The voter fraud argument is a smokescreen for decades of failed governance, sorry.

  42. Polaris says:

    @Tano:

    How do you imagine a voter ID law would prevent this from happening?

    The same way it prevents (or at least makes it more difficult) for Suzy to buy a beer when she is 16. No ID system is ever perfect but that’s no excuse for not trying.

    The point is that with photo id, it’s one extra check to make sure that the voter is a live, valid, registered voter.

    So what’s the problem (unless you want to make it easy to vote illegally?)

    -Polaris

  43. ponce says:

    Wisconsin needs to join the Confederate states that have their elections run by the federal government.

  44. Polaris says:

    @James in LA:

    If you have an SS card, this has already been done.

    That’s what you think. SS fraud is big business especially in places with a high degree of migrant (and often illegal) labour such as California to name one.

    -Polaris

  45. James in LA says:

    @Polaris: “There is no excuse for anyone not to have photo id.”

    PAPERS, PLEASE!

    This was never a problem until ALEC. Why do you hate old and disabled people?

  46. Polaris says:

    James,

    I don’t. My old and disabled grandmother, had a photo id in her purse the day she died. So did my old and disabled grandfather. BTW, my old and disabled grandmother lived below the poverty line almost her entire life as an independant (and later widowed) dirt farmer that lived far from the city. She still had a photo id….and had no problems voting.

    Papers when used to prove who you are, aren’t an issue. Do I find them intrusive? As a Libertarian, I do, but I also recognize the state’s right to know who I am (along with the same right I grant anyone else who does business with me).

    -Polaris

  47. Tano says:

    @Polaris:

    So what’s the problem (unless you want to make it easy to vote illegally?)

    I think it instructive that you ask this question. The argument over this issue has been going on for a long time. Have you not listened to the concerns of the other side?

    Let me make it simple for you.

    A voter ID requirement might serve to prevent some (hardly all) attempts to cast fraudulent votes.

    A voter ID requirement might serve to prevent some legitimate voters from being able to vote.

    People of good faith should want to minimize both of these things. So the issue can be resolved very simply. Get an accurate assessment of how many attempts there really are at the specific type of fraud that the voter ID law might prevent. Get an accurate assessment of how many legitimate voters might really be dissuaded from voting by this law.

    Hopefully the difference in the two numbers would be sufficiently large to make the best outcome obvious to all.

    So far I have seen almost no evidence that voter fraud, of the type that the ID law would prevent, is a significant problem, in any jurisdiction. The only number I have seen are on the scale of a dozen or so cases out of the hundreds of millions of votes cast in elections over the past decade.

    Similarly, the stories of dissuaded voters are just that – anecdotes. They do seem to outnumber the fraud cases, but I certainly admit that I have never seen any substantial and thorough quantitative analysis of either question.

    Would you agree that if the proven numbers of fraud is smaller than the demonstrated number of dissuaded voters, then the laws should not be passed?

  48. Robert Levine says:

    The Republican Party’s record of vote suppression is so consistent and of such length that anything done by a Republican administration, or an agency under the control of a Republican administration, should be treated as such until proven otherwise.

    If voter ID laws were simply an effort to reduce voter fraud, they would be coupled with efforts to make it far easier for people to obtain the necessary IDs. In Wisconsin, if anything the opposite as occurred. For example, by definition people without IDs can’t drive. But both the hours of DMV offices and bus service to them have been cut back.

    And what about obtaining the necessary documentation for getting the ID in the first place? People do lose their birth certificates, after all. Getting one replaced, especially if one has moved, is not a trivial task – especially if one doesn’t have a government-issued picture ID.

    Estimates are that a substantial percentage of the minority population of Wisconsin do not currently have the ID now required to vote in Wisconsin. Saying that voter ID is not a poll tax when getting such ID would require taking a day off from a minimum-wage job in order to navigate public transit to a DMV office which may or may not be open due to budget cuts simply ignores reality.

  49. James in LA says:

    @Polaris: “I don’t. My old and disabled grandmother…”

    Anecdotal, and does not refer to the group of people I was referencing. You seem to think because they don’t exist in your own family, therefore, they do not exist. And if they do, you think you have the right to inconvenience them and their families — in many cases to the point where voting is not worth the trouble — so you can what? Sleep better at night knowing that you created laws that did not really address actual fraud, which is tiny?

    What is missing from your rhetoric is the civic duty to vote, which includes lowering as many barriers as possible for your fellow citizens to vote.

  50. Rick Almeida says:

    @Ebenezer Arvigenius:

    No, reasonable, easy and efficient would be “you can have it for free but the ID will be stamped so that it can only be used for voting or you can pay 28$ and use it to drive”.

    I’m totally OK with this as well.

  51. Polaris says:

    Guys, you do realize that you can get a photo id in the mail. You don’t have to take any time off save the time it takes to fill out the form.

    -Polaris

  52. Polaris says:

    James in LA,

    Sure I gave an accedotal counter example of what you were claiming, i.e. photo id requirements make it difficult to impossible for old people to vote. In fact they do not, and as such using an annecdote as a counterexample is perfectly valid.

    I have yet to see any substantial data that shows that a free photo id is a meaningful barrier to vote by any legitamate group of voters.

    -Polaris

  53. Tlaloc says:

    If they’re giving out free ID’s how can it possibly be a “poll tax”?

    When you go out of your way to deliberately hide the free ID you are trying to make it cost people in order to vote, i.e. poll tax. how is that in any way unclear? Obviously the free IDs were added as an attempt to skirt the illegality of the move while still keeping it just as potent at disenfranchising voters.

    Voter IDs are never about reducing fraud (which is negligible in the first place).

  54. Boyd says:

    @Polaris: I’m having a problem making a certain logical leap here, Polaris. How does the government get the photo to go on your ID when you’re sending it through the mail? And if it’s not taken by a government representative, how could there be any confidence that it’s not fraudulent?

  55. WR says:

    @Polaris: The set of older Americans is not the same as the set of older Americans who are lucky enough to be related to you. So while it may well be true that the latter set had no problems producing ID, that does nothing to address the broader problem.

  56. rodney dill says:

    @Polaris:

    My old and disabled grandmother, had a photo id in her purse the day she died. So did my old and disabled grandfather.

    This is the crux of your problem Polaris. You just don’t understand cause and effect the way a Liberal does. The presence of the photo ID on your grandparents is obviously what caused their death.

  57. Polaris says:

    @Boyd:

    I’m having a problem making a certain logical leap here, Polaris. How does the government get the photo to go on your ID when you’re sending it through the mail? And if it’s not taken by a government representative, how could there be any confidence that it’s not fraudulent?

    Good question. I recently had to get my birth certificate again. I had to fax my proof of identity to do it directly to the govt office in question, but I never once had to leave my computer. In Texas, they have to have your proof of ID and legal residence on file (BC copy and copy of SSN ID) in order to get a renewed DL/ID by mail but you can.

    The point I was trying to make was that a senior might actually need to go to a government office perhaps once in a decade (if that) to get photo ID and thus I don’t see any reasonable bar especially if it’s free (and in WI it is).

    -Polaris

  58. G.A.Phillips says:

    We need some voter I.D. Around here! To many libs with multi pure basements at OTB.They keep voting down the few intelligent comments!

    And if your to stupid to go get a free I.D just like you go get your other free stuff, oh well, less votes for Obama and the rest the abortion party of no growth.

  59. DRE says:

    @Console:

    Any voter id requirement that does not have a comparable absentee ballot confirmation process (and none I have heard of do) can only be explained as an attempt to supress votes. These requirements are enforced at the polling place on election day, when it is too late to get a photo id if you need one. People who are comfortable enough with the voting process to be aware of the rules, whether legitimate voters or not, can get an absentee ballot without an id. The major impact of the rules is on people who aren’t aware of the requirement far enough in advance to get the id. Often these would be first time voters who might well find the experience so frustrating and humiliating that they would be hesitant to vote in the future.

    A better solution to the potential problem of dead cats voting is to train poll workers to recognize the difference between an adult human and a dead cat.

  60. MarkedMan says:

    @Polaris: You can get a photo ID in the mail? Really? Seems highly unlikely to me. And, if true, really makes a farce of the pretense that this is about voter fraud rather than simplly trying to make it difficult to vote.

  61. MarkedMan says:

    Ah, I see. No photo ID to vote by absentee ballot (a tactic many conservative groups have embraced enthusiastically) but one required if an actual human being shows up at the polls. And we are supposed to believe that this law is NOT primarily about vote suppression of non conservative voters?

    And Polaris, you KNOW you can get a WI photo ID by mail or you are just assuming that based on your birth certificat experience? Did your BC have a picture of you? Was it a current one or the one taken when you were born? BTW, I can confirm that if you have a computer, and a scanner and know how to use it and have an Internet connection and know how to access the web and find the state agency and have no non-standard answers to all of the questions and can use a file-to-fax program and have an account set up for the same, you can get a BC without ever leaving your home. What the heck are these poor and elderly people complaining about?

  62. steve says:

    “If we think it’s important enough to ID check a person in order to get a drink, why do we not have at least that amount of importance on the security of our voting rights”

    Because voter fraud is essentially non-existent. Underage kids trying to get alcohol is common.

    “And if your to stupid to go get a free I.D ”

    Nope, I just resent having to spend even 15 minutes of my time when big government is trying to solve a problem that does not exist.

    Steve

  63. Polaris says:

    MarkedMan,

    You can get a photo ID in Texas (either state ID or DL) by mail under certain specific conditions. IIRC you can in Washington State as well.

    -Polaris

  64. Leo says:

    Interestingly enough, in Mass, you need to show a photo ID to get an absentee ballot, at least that’s what’s in the guide for town clerks.

  65. Polaris says:

    Leo,

    I think that’s a good idea (Photo ID for an absentee) regardless.

    -Polaris

  66. Just Me says:

    The government makes me show my ID to buy Sudafed. If I have to have ID to buy an OTC medication I think it isn’t unreasonable to have a photo ID to vote.

    And really I can’t imagine anyone being able to do much of anything in today’s world without a photo ID. ID is required for too many mundane things now.

  67. G.A.Phillips says:

    Voter suppression is big unions and the uber liberal rich coming from out of state into my state and trying to recall good people because they hate them and have been brain washed to do that way.

    LOL give me a freaking break with this voter suppression nonsense…..

    blah… Im-A go watch a Dirty Harry movie…

  68. Argon says:

    @liberty60:

    I mean, what interest does the government have in encouraging people to vote?

    Exactly. The boards of directors find it much easier to do business without shareholders actually exercising their powers.