Voting ID, the problems it purports to solve, and the problems it might create

A lot of the country is still rural areas with no public transportation. In those areas, getting your driver's license at 16 is a right of passage, and highly important.

In the more populous cities with buses, trains, subways, and lots of bike lanes, the driver's license isn't necessary.

I'm sure there are a few people in favor of voting ID that just don't get it. For them, everyone has a license, so what's the problem? But I've seen a couple of cities, and a couple of college campuses specifically, where a large percentage of the students don't even bring a car to campus. They just ride a bike. So while they are over 18 and eligible to vote, they have no need of a driver's license.

It's also that difference between right and privilege that some people don't get. Voting is a right that everyone is guaranteed. Driving is a privilege that you have to work to earn and keep. You have to take a test to drive, and if you break too many traffic laws, you lose your license, and the privilege associated with it.

Yeah. A lot of trans folks have been pretty freaked out about this whole voter ID fad, pretty understandably.

Really, it comes down to "anybody who isn't already in the system or is in an unusual situation is going to have to deal with an undefined amount of bureaucratic pain". So, if you're going to change the rules it needs to be done thoughtfully--to make sure that whatever unexpected things come up for people can easily be dealt with well ahead of time. The Pennsylvania rules will be in effect next year for primaries, and I think that's early. It would be better to provide at least a couple of years to make sure that people are educated, to make sure that people who need ID have been able to get that ID, and to make sure that the procedures and support of the DMV are adequate to handle the people who need new ID.

Of course, people who [em]are[/em] already in the system and have no unusual circumstances don't consider that other people might have problems. (Or don't care, under the principle that "different from me = less important than me.")

I don't think these voter ID laws are needed, but... well... you can't prevent people from laws for bad reasons. What you [em]can[/em] do is make sure that the laws don't have a bad effect. (Of course, when the laws are passed with the apparent intention of creating a bad effect... things get weird.)

My wife had enough issues with changing her name when she got married that I can't imagine any actual implementation of voter ID going well, especially for trans people.

Good thing voter ID laws would fix the voter fraud that was uncovered in Clackamas County, Oregon:

WW[/url]]A Clackamas County elections worker is under criminal investigation for tampering with ballots, WW has learned.

The underlying allegation is that the woman, whose name has not been released, filled in blanks on ballots turned into the county for the Nov. 6 general election.

Sources familiar with the incident say their understanding is that the woman filled in a straight Republican ticket on the ballots where preferences had been left blank by voters.

Oregon primarily votes by mail.

Hypatian wrote:

Nah, you're not wasting time. I think the thing that makes this most confusing to people outside the U.S. is the scale of things, honestly. American states are on a scale with many nations, and by tradition have a number of the same sorts of responsibilities nations frequently handle. But at the same time, they're not independent nations--for example, you must always be able to move from one state to another freely. That relates to why drivers licenses are the most common form of ID here: drivers license laws generally require an old license to be surrendered and a new one for the new state to be gained within a reasonable amount of time after changing your primary residence. (And, of course, the whole concept of a primary residence has some other messy complications.)

Yeah, I do have an intellectual concept of the size of the US, I'm sure it's bigger than I can imagine. Introducing a common ID would probably take decades, and obviously it couldn't be used to prevent voting until roll out is complete. And the current system seems to work mostly fine anyway, so it's not actually needed for the purposes of voting. I'm thinking of it more for someone without a driver's licence or passport.

And the one person I know who had a sex change did find it 'fun' as you put it to get their documentation changed. It didn't help that many people didn't even realise it was possible, never mind something people actually do.

Anyway, thanks for the illumination all, I have a better concept of the issue now and I'll end the digression.

Oh yeah, almost every election here we get officials arrested for stuffing ballots. ID doesn't protect from that.

OG_slinger wrote:

Good thing voter ID laws would fix the voter fraud that was uncovered in Clackamas County, Oregon:

WW[/url]]A Clackamas County elections worker is under criminal investigation for tampering with ballots, WW has learned.

The underlying allegation is that the woman, whose name has not been released, filled in blanks on ballots turned into the county for the Nov. 6 general election.

Sources familiar with the incident say their understanding is that the woman filled in a straight Republican ticket on the ballots where preferences had been left blank by voters.

Oregon primarily votes by mail.

OG_slinger wrote:

Good thing voter ID laws would fix the voter fraud that was uncovered in Clackamas County, Oregon:

Have I missed something but are there any cases of Democrats committing voter fraud?

edosan wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Good thing voter ID laws would fix the voter fraud that was uncovered in Clackamas County, Oregon:

Have I missed something but are there any cases of Democrats committing voter fraud?

Well there was the whole ACORN fiasco. Except it turns out that it was edited to make it look like ACORN was breaking the law, when in fact they weren't. Kind of like FOX did with Obama's "you didn't build that comment" where they edit out the part where he's talking about roads and infrastructure to make it look like he's badmouthing small business. Kind of like FOX did with the Shirley Sherrod incident.

You know, the kind of "news" they excel at reporting.

SixteenBlue wrote:
kazooka wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Woo, voter fraud.

To be fair, that's not really voter fraud, it's more like the Election Board trying to jump in the way of the King County GOP getting itself into a giant conflict of interest.

I'm curious if we're missing a lot of voter fraud on the Democrat side because of (for the most part) our hippe/commie leanings.

It's crossed my mind but we've had proponents of voter ID in this thread, I think they'd chime in with links. Still, I'd like to see those stories if they exist.

This was the closest I could find to a local voter fraud issue. This one was in Florida.

edosan wrote:

Have I missed something but are there any cases of Democrats committing voter fraud?

These are the examples I'm finding that have been put forward elsewhere (if folks know of others, always happy to read more).

Me, in the (Compulsory) national ID thread[/url]]In fairness, bandit0013 provided two links in the "War on Voting" thread: one for 1982 elections in Chicago, one for 2006 elections in Tennessee. (I remember there being a third one about an Orange County election, but it's possible that was in a different thread).

The links illustrate my point - namely, that when electoral fraud happens, it is far more likely to result from mistakes and fraud on the part of election workers. The kinds of individual vote fraud which would be prevented by ID reform does not appear to happen in statistically significant numbers (I'd support more studies to get a better picture of where we could improve the electoral process, but that's outside the scope of this thread).

There may be good reasons for a national ID, but vote fraud simply isn't one of them.

kazooka wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Woo, voter fraud.

To be fair, that's not really voter fraud, it's more like the Election Board trying to jump in the way of the King County GOP getting itself into a giant conflict of interest.

I'm curious if we're missing a lot of voter fraud on the Democrat side because of (for the most part) our hippe/commie leanings.

I know you were joking about the hippie/commie leanings but Washington is very much libertarian and contrarian.

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

According to Donald Trump this is not a democracy. Because his side lost.

SixteenBlue wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

According to Donald Trump this is not a democracy. Because his side lost.

Funny -- if more people vote for the other guy, that's pretty much the definition of democracy.

edosan wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

According to Donald Trump this is not a democracy. Because his side lost.

Funny -- if more people vote for the other guy, that's pretty much the definition of democracy.

Shut up, you America-hating Muslim terrorist baby-puncher.

Wait, Colorado. Pothead America-hating Muslim terrorist baby-puncher.

edosan wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

According to Donald Trump this is not a democracy. Because his side lost.

Funny -- if more people vote for the other guy, that's pretty much the definition of democracy.

Yup. Also the electoral college is a joke...because the popular vote candidate also won the electoral vote? Makes no f*cking sense.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

Turnout's only high because of all the dead people that are voting.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

Turnout's only high because of all the dead people that are voting.

I think it is because this marks the last time any of you can leave the house until spring.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

Turnout's only high because of all the dead people that are voting.

All I can say is the zombie apocalypse has been surprisingly good for the democratic process.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

Turnout's only high because of all the dead people that are voting.

All I can say is the zombie apocalypse has been surprisingly good for the democratic process.

And, since all they want is hotdish instead of brains, they're not even that big of a nuisance.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Minnesota voted down the Voter ID amendment. Tragically, we will get to continue to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. It's shameful how we want our citizens to participate in their democracy.

/sarcasm

Turnout's only high because of all the dead people that are voting.

All I can say is the zombie apocalypse has been surprisingly good for the democratic process.

And, since all they want is hotdish instead of brains, they're not even that big of a nuisance.

True fact--even zombies won't eat lutefisk. OK, Norwegian zombies do, but nobody else.

They *say* they eat lutefisk, but really, it's only at Lutheran church socials where they can't back out.

Former GOP Leaders: Florida Law Passed To Suppress Democratic Votes
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.co...

Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohaio... Didn't we have people arguing that this was all for the good of the electorate, safeguarding us from voting fraud? Seems awfully unfair of the guys involved to say "Well, yeah, it was to stymie voters we don't like."

ARISE!!!

Recently a voter ID law was passed in NC which also eliminates some of the early voting period. *sigh* As if things here weren't screwed up enough.

Now...

Government to sue NC over voter law

The U.S. Justice Department will sue the state of North Carolina for alleged racial discrimination over tough new voting rules, the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight back against a Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed Southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections.

North Carolina has a new law scaling back the period for early voting and imposing stringent voter identification requirements. It is among at least five Southern states adopting stricter voter ID and other election laws. The Justice Department on Aug. 22 sued Texas over that state's voter ID law and is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit over redistricting laws in Texas that minority groups consider to be discriminatory.

Republican lawmakers in Southern states insist the new measures are needed to prevent voter fraud, though such crimes are infrequent. Democrats and civil rights groups argue the tough new laws are intended to make voting more difficult for minorities and students, voting groups that lean toward Democrats, in states with legacies of poll taxes and literacy tests.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce the lawsuit against North Carolina at a news conference Monday, according to a person who has been briefed on the department's plans but is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Holder will be joined at the news conference by the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, Joceyln Samuels, and the three U.S. attorneys from North Carolina, the person said.

Yay! More details are in the linked article. (But for your sake don't read the comments.) It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

Richard Posner, the judge who wrote the majority opinion in Crawford vs. Marion County Election Board - the case that went to the Supreme Court and established the legitimacy of some voter id laws - now says he got it totally wrong. He didn't have enough information about how many people could be disenfranchised by such laws. And he feels the Supremes were in the same boat.

In response to Mike Sacks’s questions about whether Judge Posner and the 7th circuit got it wrong in Crawford case, the one upholding Indiana’s tough voter id law against constitutional challenge: ”Yes. Absolutely. And the problem is that there hadn’t been that much activity with voter identification. And maybe we should have been more imaginative — we weren’t really given strong indications that requiring additional voter identification would actually disfranchise people entitled to vote. There was a dissenting judge, Judge Evans, since deceased, and I think he is right. But at the time I thought what we were doing was right. It is interesting that the majority opinion was written by Justice Stevens, who is very liberal, more liberal than I was or am. But I think we did not have enough information. And of course it illustrates the basic problem that I emphasize in book. We judges and lawyers, we don’t know enough about the subject matters that we regulate, right? And that if the lawyers had provided us with a lot of information about the abuse of voter identification laws, this case would have been decided differently.

Here’s the quote from Posner’s book, which Mike Sacks flashed on the screen: “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo id — a law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.”

*facepalm*

Have they at least proved that this is even necessary with any form of evidence of voter fraud? An anecdote or two at least?

Demosthenes wrote:

Have they at least proved that this is even necessary with any form of evidence of voter fraud? An anecdote or two at least?

The Texas Attorney General has pursued 66 cases of voter fraud since 2004. Eleven of those cases were either dismissed or the defendant was acquitted.

Of the remaining 55 cases, there were only six cases where the voter ID law might have helped: three involving voter impersonation, one involving recruiting a non-citizen to vote, one involving illegally assisting a voter, and one involving an ineligible voter.

Thirty-three of the remaining cases were for mail-in ballot violations, something the new requirement will do absolutely nothing about.

So the new requirement--just as in every state it's been pushed--is a "solution" to a virtually non-existent problem that doesn't even address the largest source of voter fraud.

OG_slinger wrote:

So the new requirement--just as in every state it's been pushed--is a "solution" to a virtually non-existent problem that doesn't even address the largest source of voter fraud.

That's how it's always been. Drum up some imaginary boogey man (oh no people are stuffing ballot boxes) to get some public support on your side, and push through a law that actually does something completely different, disenfranchise legitimate voters.