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

Malor wrote:

Gee, you'd almost think the real goal of the law was to keep people from voting, and not to prevent fraud at all.

#NotAllPeople

Just out of curiosity rather than taking anecdotes. How many people cannot get any form of Id at all? Obviously I mean legal residents because quite frankly I have no problem disenfranchising people who shouldn't be voting to begin with. Obviously they don't drive, cash checks, have credit cards or have jobs. I don't think there are that many of those out there that couldn't be handled on a case by case basis to get those few an Id card (most of which can be obtained for free, and coincidentally would help them be able to do all those things I mentioned )

Nosferatu wrote:

Just out of curiosity rather than taking anecdotes. How many people cannot get any form of Id at all? Obviously I mean legal residents because quite frankly I have no problem disenfranchising people who shouldn't be voting to begin with. Obviously they don't drive, cash checks, have credit cards or have jobs. I don't think there are that many of those out there that couldn't be handled on a case by case basis to get those few an Id card (most of which can be obtained for free, and coincidentally would help them be able to do all those things I mentioned )

It's not about "can't get ID at all". It's about "ID is a pain in the ass, so I guess I won't vote", with the inconvenience being focused in specific populations.

Hints:

1) You don't need state-issued photo-ID to be employed. For example: I had been working full-time for over a decade before I got such ID: I needed it to get on a plane after 9/11. If I didn't have distant family, a need to travel for work, or the money to travel for personal reasons, I'd almost certainly still not have such ID.

2) Many people who don't have much money avoid banks like the plague, because they can't afford to be hit with fees for not maintaining a certain balance. In addition, you don't need state-issued photo-ID to have a bank account. (See above.)

3) You don't need to drive to be a good citizen, to have a job, or anything of the like. People who live in urban areas who don't have the resources to afford a vehicle and don't need one to get around the city, for example. For myself: I could afford a car, but I don't have a license, nor do I particularly want to go through the effort of getting one.

More things: I do have state ID. My state ID, however, does not accurately reflect the name I go by or my appearance, because I'm transgender. I'm working on changing that. It's going to take about three months and cost me several hundred dollars to get my name sorted out. After that, I'll get to see if I have any trouble updating my voter registration. Many people, especially married women, find that the name on their voter registration and their legal name end up not matching, after somebody decides for them that their new middle name must be their maiden name. On the one hand, this should be easy enough for a voting official to recognize as "no big deal". In practice, people have been turned away for this, and for less.

Further: The car thing, in particular, actually [em]adds[/em] to the hassle of getting photo ID. When I needed to get ID, when I got my ID renewed, when I go to have my ID updated, it's been (and will be) an all-day thing. PennDOT photo license centers, it turns out, don't have convenient locations to serve large urban populations. Someone who's working multiple low-income jobs is going to have an even harder time with this--having to trade income against the need for ID. (Hint: In that case, a heck of a lot of people will say "f*ck it, I'd rather be able to pay my rent this week than worry about voting.") (Similarly: To begin my name change, I had to get the state police to fingerprint me. That involved asking a friend to take a half-day off work with me to drive me out there, since public transit wouldn't even get me to the nearest location, and they don't provide this service except 9am-2pm M-W.)

4) In case you had missed it, that "having to get to an inconvenient place and wait around possibly all day" amounts to "not free". There may be no fees involved, but that doesn't mean it doesn't cost anything.

And there are many more things impacting certain individuals. I have more issues because I'm trans. Other people have had serious issues because they're really old and their birth certificates can't be found. etc.

So, to sum up: There are plenty of reasons that it's particularly inconvenient and costly, especially for [em]people who work low-income jobs in urban areas[/em], to get state-issued photo ID.

But being poor and "urban" doesn't mean someone isn't a citizen.

And final note: I have argued for quite a while (in this thread, even) that I'd be totally OK with these voter ID laws... so long as they provided for sufficient time and resources to ensure that everyone entitled to vote receives ID. This would involve probably a few years before the ID requirement goes into effect, along with a few hundred thousand dollars for outreach programs and programs to help people with limited mobility get ID. Instead, these laws have been passed with less than a year before they'll go into effect, and with [em]no[/em] support for either programs to help people get ID or to measure the proportion of the population without ID.

Nosferatu wrote:

Just out of curiosity rather than taking anecdotes. How many people cannot get any form of Id at all? Obviously I mean legal residents because quite frankly I have no problem disenfranchising people who shouldn't be voting to begin with. Obviously they don't drive, cash checks, have credit cards or have jobs. I don't think there are that many of those out there that couldn't be handled on a case by case basis to get those few an Id card (most of which can be obtained for free, and coincidentally would help them be able to do all those things I mentioned )

Dimmerswitch[/url], in response to a case about Wisconsin's current Voter ID law]The ruling by Judge Adelman in US District court is a good sign.

It somewhat moots the two cases in front of our State Supreme Court (League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network Inc. v. Walker and Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker), as Federal decisions would supercede anything at the state level, in this context.

Judge Adelman's decision wrote:

There is no way to determine exactly how many people Act 23 will prevent or deter from voting without considering the individual circumstances of each of the 300,000 plus citizens who lack an ID. But no matter how imprecise my estimate may be, it is absolutely clear that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes. Cf. Crawford, 472 F.3d at 953–54 (assessing whether “there are fewer impersonations than there are eligible voters whom the [Indiana photo ID] law will prevent from voting”). Thus, Act 23's burdens are not justified by the state’s interest in detecting and preventing in-person voter impersonation. Moreover, because the state’s interest in safeguarding confidence in the electoral process is evenly distributed across both sides of the balance—a law such as Act 23 undermines confidence in the electoral process as much as it promotes it—that interest cannot provide a sufficient justification for the burdens placed on the right to vote. Accordingly, the burdens imposed by Act 23 on those who lack an ID are not justified.

I'd said this (albeit in a slightly stronger formulation) a while ago:

Dimmerswitch[/url]]Given that the upside is zero, my tolerance for even the potential of disenfranchisement is nil.

How many people cannot get any form of Id at all?

Given the extraordinarily low rate of voter fraud, if even one person in a thousand were unable to vote because of these laws, that would be far more harm than the original fraud ever was.

These laws aren't really about fraud, Nosferatu. That's the cover story.

editted.

Then again wanting less voter identification isn't really about protecting the voting right of legitimate voters, it's about getting people who shouldn't be able to vote to vote for the "correct" party, Malor. That's the same rhetorical strawman just coming the other way.

Nosferatu wrote:

editted.

Then again wanting less voter identification isn't really about protecting the voting right of legitimate voters, it's about getting people who shouldn't be able to vote to vote for the "correct" party, Malor.

No, it's really not, unless you really think that lack of an ID means someone should not be allowed to vote. It really is about voter suppression in order to benefit the Republicans.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has weighed in.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a 2011 law backed by Republicans requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The rulings in two separate voter ID cases were released Thursday morning among major decisions issued simultaneously.

The law already was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court judge in Milwaukee this spring, meaning that Thursday's ruling has no immediate effect. That federal court decision is under appeal.

For the law to take effect, both the state Supreme Court and the federal courts would have to find it to be constitutional.

Gov. Scott Walker praised Thursday's ruling and said he was confident voter ID would be upheld in federal court.

"Voter ID is a common-sense reform that protects the integrity of our elections," Walker said. "People need to have confidence in our electoral process and to know their vote has been properly counted. We look forward to the same result from the federal court of appeals."

The voter ID requirement was only in place for one low-turnout primary in spring 2012 before it was blocked by a state judge, who found it unconstitutional. As a result, Wisconsin voters were not required to show photo identification at the polls in the November 2012 presidential election.

Pretty much what I expected - looks like the federal case is going to be the deciding factor here (currently under appeal, no ETA on a decision on that one).

A start.

IMAGE(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Sps4zIX4c1g/U-LZgfmPvOI/AAAAAAAAU_A/A0aB-yqik3c/s528-no/IMG_20140806_154609.jpg)

Schultz announced his retirement. He's out come November.

By all accounts, Dale Schultz has been a moderate Republican, faithfully serving the people of his district.

He did not support the controversial and hugely-divisive 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, and was the lone GOP 'no' vote in the State Senate when that passed (with the less-than-legally-mandated two hours notice). It's always been a bit of a mystery why the GOP didn't simply pass the bill again with the appropriate notice, given they had the votes - I'm still convinced they most-likely option is that they weren't confident they had the votes to pass it again in the senate (if two more GOP senators had joined the Schultz and the Democrats, it would have defeated the bill).

Other Dale Schultz highlights:

Dimmerswitch[/url]]State Sen. Dale Schultz claims he was tricked by Governor Walker into missing the chance to amend 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 back in February.

Also noteworthy: Senator Schultz backpedaled his criticism somewhat after getting calls this week from Governor Walker, Senate President Ellis, and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald.

Wonder what was said to bring him back into line?

Dimmerswitch[/url]]

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel[/url]]In what some call a brazen, unprecedented power play, a key Republican wants quick passage of a bill that would immediately implement new districts in the state Senate while keeping current districts in the Assembly, giving the GOP a better chance at retaining control of both houses.

A bill by Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), chairwoman of the Senate's elections committee, would put into effect new districts for senators in less than two weeks, instead of November 2012 as current law requires. Republicans who control both houses approved new lines this summer that favor Republicans, and putting them into place before any recall elections would help them in the Senate.

Keeping in place the current Assembly maps would ensure special elections aren't required early next year to fill 10 seats where no incumbent lives under the new districts. Republicans want to avoid holding special elections because it would give Democrats a chance at capturing some of those seats before the regular November 2012 elections.

Given that the GOP was able to ram through the redistricting efforts earlier this year, it should have been a slam dunk. State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) brought the bill to a dead stop when he announced that he would vote against it, if the bill came to the floor. You might remember Senator Schultz from his lone dissenting GOP vote in the Senate against 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, being tricked into missing his opportunity to amend 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 back in February, or hopes that Senator Schultz would be a critical moderating influence on the most radical of Governor Walker's legislative agenda.

After Senator Schultz's announcement, voting on the bill was postponed indefinitely. Since the legislature has now adjourned until January, it seems likely that any additional Senate recalls will proceed with the current districts in place. Also, Senator Schultz's office was egged. No word yet on how many millions of dollars in damage the eggs did, though.

Dimmerswitch[/url]]The Wisconsin GOP, using the oft-repeated claim that onerous regulations were preventing growth, decided to gut the environmental protections. It was almost immediately apparent that the goal was to allow Gogebic Taconite to create a strip mine in Ashland County. The bill was even more contentious than might be expected for an environmental issue, because Gogebic Taconite's mine would be sited in an area adjacent to tribal lands belonging to the Bad River Tribe (among others). Those tribes are legally sovereign nations, which raises a host of legal questions the Assembly turned a blind eye to.

Among other problems with the bill (which became AB 426):

* limits the amount a mining company has to pay for the cost of reviewing a mining permit and reclamation plan to $2 million. Taxpayers are responsible for covering any review costs exceeding that amount.
* sets a shorter timeline for DNR permit reviews, and changes the law so that any permit review not completed in time is automatically approved.
* eliminates contested case hearings, normally used by the DNR or citizens to challenge the information submitted by the mining company
* declares that AB 426 trumps any other environmental laws if there is a conflict. This impacts water & air quality, and even wholesale dumping of hazardous waste

Nasty stuff. So nasty, in fact, that no member of the Assembly was willing to declare themselves an author for this bill. The Democratic members of the Assembly began to get traction with the suggestion that perhaps the actual author of the bill was Gogebic Taconite, at which point Jeff Fitzgerald (Scott's brother) pulled a "Spartacus" and bullied the entire GOP membership of the Assembly into *all* being listed as authors. I'd still like to know what the actual authoring process was for this bill, especially given some of the misbehavior that's come to light in the redistricting process.

Our State Senate convened a special Mining Jobs Committee to work through their version of the bill. Republican Senatpr Neal Kedzie's draft attempted to pacify some of the most strident objections through a series of compromises, but instead managed the impressive feat of inflaming both supporters and opponents of AB 426. Nonetheless, it was a compromise, and the committee was working to find a constructive path forward.

Senator Scott Fitzgerald's response? Disband the committee, and instead introduce a copy of AB 426 for voting. Eleven of the seventeen GOP senators co-introduced Senate Bill 488, which is their clone of the Assembly bill.

Scott Fitzgerald's plan to railroad the Assembly bill through ran into a problem when Republican Senator Dale Schultz (remember him?) declared he would not support SB 488. Perhaps worth mentioning: Schultz was a member of the now-disbanded Mining Committee. Schultz is working with Democratic Senator Bob Jauch on an alternative mining bill, but with the legislative session wrapping up soon, it's not clear whether anything will be passed before the legislature goes on recess.

I'm sure there are others scattered in the various Wisconsin threads, but those are the ones I could find relatively quickly.

One Billion Votes. 31 Cases of voter ID fraud.

Loyola University law professor Justin Levitt tried to quantify the epidemic of voter ID fraud that's forcing so many states to pass restrictive voter ID laws. He looked for not only cases where someone was convicted, but tracked "any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix."

Out of roughly a billion votes cast, he found 31 credible cases of voter ID fraud. And that is, he thinks, an overestimate. At the same time, thousands of people really are being turned away from polling places because they don't have the right ID. So voter ID laws fix a fake problem by creating a very real one.

farley3k wrote:

One Billion Votes. 31 Cases of voter ID fraud.

Loyola University law professor Justin Levitt tried to quantify the epidemic of voter ID fraud that's forcing so many states to pass restrictive voter ID laws. He looked for not only cases where someone was convicted, but tracked "any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix."

Out of roughly a billion votes cast, he found 31 credible cases of voter ID fraud. And that is, he thinks, an overestimate. At the same time, thousands of people really are being turned away from polling places because they don't have the right ID. So voter ID laws fix a fake problem by creating a very real one.

Yeah. No surprise there. What would be more interesting is a study that shows how many citizens actually believe that voter fraud is an issue. You'd obviously have a higher percentage due to people swallowing the BS they're fed but I wonder how many you would actually end up with.

My guess is that you'd identify another issue that republicans are flogging to death despite the fact that it isn't an issue and they only want to suppress competition.

JC wrote:
farley3k wrote:

One Billion Votes. 31 Cases of voter ID fraud.

Loyola University law professor Justin Levitt tried to quantify the epidemic of voter ID fraud that's forcing so many states to pass restrictive voter ID laws. He looked for not only cases where someone was convicted, but tracked "any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix."

Out of roughly a billion votes cast, he found 31 credible cases of voter ID fraud. And that is, he thinks, an overestimate. At the same time, thousands of people really are being turned away from polling places because they don't have the right ID. So voter ID laws fix a fake problem by creating a very real one.

Yeah. No surprise there. What would be more interesting is a study that shows how many citizens actually believe that voter fraud is an issue. You'd obviously have a higher percentage due to people swallowing the BS they're fed but I wonder how many you would actually end up with.

My guess is that you'd identify another issue that republicans are flogging to death despite the fact that it isn't an issue and they only want to suppress competition.

One dipsh*t I know from another site, who we're pretty sure is a paid conservative shill/troll, has told me that the IRS investigating 2 liberal groups (that I could find in a quick search) is an insignificant percentage in that "scandal". 31 out of a billion is totally significant, though. He believes voter fraud is a real problem and that there's nothing racist about Voter ID. Then again, he also believes there's no War on Women because Congress hasn't declared one.

wait that doesn't make sense 31 cases are credible... but he thinks that number is overestimated?

The link through to the Washington Post

Look at the individual cases near the bottom, most of them are either poll workers commiting fraud (which is irrelevant to Voter ID as it's a different sort of crime.) or they simply didn't bother to follow up on the possible fraud. Hell in Minnesota there are a bunch of people that they concede voted illegally, but declined to press charges or to pursue because they felt they couldn't prove the voter knowingly cast the ballot.

I'm willing to concede that it might but a smaller issue than I first thought, then again Minnesota is crazy lax in voting rules. (Basically I can vouch for a bunch of people that they are legit voters, regardless of what their ID says and there is not a way to check up on it.)

Nosferatu wrote:

wait that doesn't make sense 31 cases are credible... but he thinks that number is overestimated?

From the article:

Some of these 31 incidents have been thoroughly investigated (including some prosecutions). But many have not. Based on how other claims have turned out, I’d bet that some of the 31 will end up debunked: a problem with matching people from one big computer list to another, or a data entry error, or confusion between two different people with the same name, or someone signing in on the wrong line of a pollbook.
I'm willing to concede that it might but a smaller issue than I first thought

But now consider how many people are being turned away from the polls because they haven't jumped through the hoops the politicians insist they must. Do you see that this is the exact same kind of problem? Keeping legitimate voters away from the polls is just as bad as letting them vote more than once.

If the policies keep many legitimate people from voting, but prevent a few bad ballots, aren't they doing more damage to the democratic process, not less?

If it's even +1 vote being turned away, over number of bad ballots rejected, then we're already losing.

So, what you're saying is that the voting public has more to worry about from deadly lawn mower accidents than voter fraud.

Malor wrote:
I'm willing to concede that it might but a smaller issue than I first thought

But now consider how many people are being turned away from the polls because they haven't jumped through the hoops the politicians insist they must. Do you see that this is the exact same kind of problem? Keeping legitimate voters away from the polls is just as bad as letting them vote more than once.

If the policies keep many legitimate people from voting, but prevent a few bad ballots, aren't they doing more damage to the democratic process, not less?

If it's even +1 vote being turned away, over number of bad ballots rejected, then we're already losing.

To be fair I was more in favor of getting people informed about it the first year, and have resources on how to get said ID available at the polling place. Enforcement of the new rules would be a year or two (or three) out (preferably the next presidental election wouldn't require the ID, but the one after that probably would). There has to be a comprimise between the two extremes of crazy strict laws and crazy lax laws... hell I might lean toward the finger dye method as its quick and easy to identify.

I guess I'm leary because of how silly easy it would have been for me to commit voter fraud when I moved. I was still registered at my old address, but ended up voting at my new residence. I could have theoretically voted in both places and it would have been unlikely that I would have gotten caught since I could always claim it wasn't me that voted at one of the places (since no ID is involved at all, I just had to declare my name and sign the box swearing that I was me).

There has to be a comprimise between the two extremes of crazy strict laws and crazy lax laws...

We already HAVE the balance, Nosferatu, because there is almost zero fraud.

You're introducing a huge error, and a real burden on voting, to fix something that's not a significant problem in any way.

Do you get it, yet? This stuff is about suppressing poor people from the polls. It's not about voter fraud.

Malor wrote:
There has to be a comprimise between the two extremes of crazy strict laws and crazy lax laws...

We already HAVE the balance, Nosferatu, because there is almost zero fraud.

You're introducing a huge error, and a real burden on voting, to fix something that's not a significant problem in any way.

Do you get it, yet? This stuff is about suppressing poor people from the polls. It's not about voter fraud.

It is a bit like banning public transportation because of the sensational threat that mobs of negroes will use it to invade your home.

From another angle, Nosferatu, consider this: the people pushing the voter ID stuff are saying that voting fraud is a big deal, and we need to stop it.

But it's not a big deal. 31 bad votes out a billion. Counting errors are whole orders of magnitude worse.

You are, without a doubt, being told something that's not true.

So think to yourself: why aren't they telling you the truth? What's the actual motivation to make voting difficult for poor people? All the bureaucracy costs a lot of money, and Republicans hate government waste.

They wouldn't want to spend the money unless it was going to accomplish something. We know the stated problem doesn't exist, so what problem are they actually trying to solve?

Nosferatu wrote:

There has to be a comprimise between the two extremes of crazy strict laws and crazy lax laws... hell I might lean toward the finger dye method as its quick and easy to identify.

I guess I'm leary because of how silly easy it would have been for me to commit voter fraud when I moved. I was still registered at my old address, but ended up voting at my new residence. I could have theoretically voted in both places and it would have been unlikely that I would have gotten caught since I could always claim it wasn't me that voted at one of the places (since no ID is involved at all, I just had to declare my name and sign the box swearing that I was me).

Why? Why does there have to be a compromise?

The "crazy lax laws" as you say aren't remotely producing the type of behavior you fear. So the question becomes why should we adopt much more restrictive voting requirements as a "compromise" to solve a problem that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't really exist?

If it ain't broke...

Nosferatu wrote:
Malor wrote:
I'm willing to concede that it might but a smaller issue than I first thought

But now consider how many people are being turned away from the polls because they haven't jumped through the hoops the politicians insist they must. Do you see that this is the exact same kind of problem? Keeping legitimate voters away from the polls is just as bad as letting them vote more than once.

If the policies keep many legitimate people from voting, but prevent a few bad ballots, aren't they doing more damage to the democratic process, not less?

If it's even +1 vote being turned away, over number of bad ballots rejected, then we're already losing.

To be fair I was more in favor of getting people informed about it the first year, and have resources on how to get said ID available at the polling place. Enforcement of the new rules would be a year or two (or three) out (preferably the next presidental election wouldn't require the ID, but the one after that probably would). There has to be a comprimise between the two extremes of crazy strict laws and crazy lax laws... hell I might lean toward the finger dye method as its quick and easy to identify.

I guess I'm leary because of how silly easy it would have been for me to commit voter fraud when I moved. I was still registered at my old address, but ended up voting at my new residence. I could have theoretically voted in both places and it would have been unlikely that I would have gotten caught since I could always claim it wasn't me that voted at one of the places (since no ID is involved at all, I just had to declare my name and sign the box swearing that I was me).

Yes, you *could* commit voter fraud, but you *didn't*. There's no tangible benefit to in-person voter fraud, which is the only kind of fraud voter ID laws would prevent. Nobody would ever try to throw an election by sending several dozen school buses of people to a district to vote as somebody else. It is, from a practical standpoint, an utterly ridiculous idea, and, due to the volume of votes cast, THAT'S THE ONLY WAY IN-PERSON VOTER FRAUD COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

It's been just as easy for other people to commit fraud as it was for you. Thirty-one out of a billion.

Nosferatu wrote:

I'm willing to concede that it might but a smaller issue than I first thought.

Awesome. I'd put it more strongly - the best-case for laws like the ALEC-written 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 seems to be that they do nothing to solve a statistically-nonexistent problem, while requiring additional expenditures to do so, and simultaneously ignoring a larger threat to the accuracy and transparency of our elections (namely, incompetence or malfeasance by poll workers).

Dimmerswitch[/url]]To put it in perspective:

Brennan Center for Justice[/url]]The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%. National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.

The money spent on restrictive voter ID laws could just as profitably be spent on lightning rods for polling stations - and would have the added benefit of not disenfranchising anyone.

[Edit to add: given the rates of in-person voter fraud I'm not sure that a finger-dye law would accomplish much, but since that would be pretty unlikely to disenfranchise someone I'd be a lot less opposed to something like that. (Though I suspect that the lower incidence of disenfranchisement would make it a non-starter for many of the Voter ID zealots).]

How is this for a compromise?

Automatically register folks to vote when they get a driver's license, open early and absentee voting a month before election day, make election day a universally recognized national holiday, offer free public transportation on election day, and make voter suppression a rigidly enforced federal felony with mandatory prison time and you can have your voter ID crap.

But not everyone has driver's license. :p

Stele wrote:

But not everyone has driver's license. :p

Oh, and State issued id's must be free.

Paleocon wrote:
Stele wrote:

But not everyone has driver's license. :p

Oh, and State issued id's must be free.

And available at every post office, county/city government building, and high school office.