[Discussion] Voting ID, the problems it purports to solve, and the problems it might create, Part 2

Discussion about voting ID laws, as a continuation of this thread.

Wisconsin Is Systematically Failing to Provide the Photo IDs Required to Vote in November.

This is absolutely maddening: Wisconsin appears to be paying lip service what the judge has ordered, while doing its damnedest to keep black people out of the polls.

Sounds like you should recreate the Voter ID thread.

There are also two racism threads.

Excellent idea, I'd forgotten that thread. Adjusted.

Hmm, I never pondered the issue. In Australia we have compulsory voting for over everyone over 18. It seems all you need to do is turn up, cite your name and address and declare you haven't already participated in the voting. At least, that's what the electoral commission website states. I always turn up with my drivers license but I can see how that could get tricky for many people.

The Wisconsin GOP has undertaken a variety of actions like this in the past several years - they seem to be relying on a politicized state Supreme Court, which has shown itself to be a strong ally to the Walker administration (and the GOP-controlled legislature).

So far, this strategy has largely worked.

And, to the extent that this gets challenged by the Federal courts, it sets up a states' rights case which could go either way (depending on the next appointment), and would be a powerful way for the GOP to turn out their vote in November, in spite of a weak candidate at the top of the ticket.

It's been widely reported that the recent Portland school shooter, Arcan Cetin, voted in 3 US elections in spite of not being a US citizen. Just so you know, this is incorrect. He's a nationalized US citizen. (This is being used on the Right to argue for proof of citizenship papers requirements at the polls.)

I did hear one disturbing discussion on the Diane Rehm show this week. Many states have a law permitting absentee voting, and many of those allow voters to request a ballot to be sent to them. The request can be made by email.

The fraud involves a person requesting ballots for hundreds of individuals, filling them out and sending them in. And this has happened. One woman in Miami-Dade County, Deisy Cabrera, took a plea bargain on a felony charge of submitting "at least" 31 fraudulent absentee ballots in the course of her activities as a "balloteria", a person who helps those who can't get to the polls themselves vote. And the chief of staff to a Democratic Congressman in, where else, Miami-Dade County went to jail for requesting hundreds, possibly several thousand, of absentee ballots for voters without their knowledge. Note well that both cases uncovered multiple reports of *other* absentee ballot fraud instances that were incidental or related to the cases themselves.

DR Show wrote:

GREENBERGER
And it's very hard for somebody to get into the system. But what we're seeing is the use of absentee ballots being used to sway elections. Now, you can an absentee ballot and it's a paper ballot. But in some states, you can on email request the absentee ballot, and the absentee ballot can be sent to any email address that you choose. And then, you fill it out and you send it back as paper ballot and we've got a paper ballot, 70 percent, great audit trail, but it's not the real voter's ballot.
10:49:01
GREENBERGER
And stealing information is who's registered to vote but doesn't vote. Well, I'll have -- I'll request an absentee ballot for that person and in many states, you can get an absentee ballot on that information.
10:49:15
REHM
Do we have any information that gives us absolute numbers as to how often that may have been done?
10:49:26
GREENBERGER
Well, we know that someone in Florida was indicted for stealing 1500 absentee ballots. Now, when you think, remember, in 2000, Florida was decided by 500 votes.
10:49:38
REHM
I do remember.
10:49:39
GREENBERGER
So you don't need a massive attack to alter an election. You go to a battleground state. You go to a county, maybe even just to a voting booth, and you -- by the way, these absentee ballots are often sent in and they have to be transcribed on another ballot. And so the whole secret ballot system goes down the system.
10:50:04
REHM
All right.
10:50:05
GREENBERGER
And my -- finally, I would just say my experience was that is the election officials say, it's never happened. You're worrying too much.

Michael Greenberger JD is founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. He's involved in cybersecurity teaching, research and emergency response initiatives. He's not a right-wing crank to the best of my knowledge; he's a security professional.

The one thing about all this is that it's easily fixed by changing voting procedures, NOT by forcing additional documentation on to voters. However - and this is the big concern - we have demonstrably had occasions where people deliberately committed vote fraud in Miami-Dade in quantities that would have changed the course of the 2000 national election... Think about that.

And there are likely thousands of counties with small voting budgets and populations that are unwittingly vulnerable to this kind of fraud. Local fraud, potentially national effects. This, by the way, is why DHS is now involved in election security for this year's election.

I think this is the first real voting fraud system I've seen that is likely to be active (and have been active for at least a decade or so). It's a real concern. Removing faith in the accuracy of just a few important counties and cities could break the entire election system in the US and easily throw the election into Congress this year.

That's kind of a big deal. That's the real, actual thing... and note how the voter ID laws don't help at all.

The big problem there is that the fraud is centralized, happening by partisan insiders, not by normal voters. That makes it much harder to detect and correct.

This is part of why I think, so very very very intensely, that electronic voting is such a dismal idea. It's trivial to adjust a total in a database. It's not so easy to modify hundreds or thousands of paper ballots, and it leaves evidence behind when you do.

Two additional links of historical interest: I found the initial discussion of the Wisconsin Voter ID law (which became 2011 Wisconsin Act 23).

Also potentially of interest, a 2012 New Yorker piece on the gentleman who produced the voter-fraud myth, which I hadn't realized only dated to 2000 (it really does feel like I've been debunking this nonsense for a lot longer than that).

A 90-Year-Old Woman Who’s Voted Since 1948 Was Disenfranchised by Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law

Christine Krucki was born in Lublin, Wisconsin, in 1925. She first voted in the 1948 presidential election and has voted ever since. She’s an independent who has voted for John F. Kennedy but also Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But after Wisconsin passed its strict voter-ID law in 2011, Krucki lost her right to vote. She made three trips to the DMV, bringing an Illinois photo ID, proof of residence in Wisconsin, a birth certificate and her marriage certificate but could not get a Wisconsin photo ID for voting.

This law? Functioning as intended.

Speaking of my adoptive home state, a federal judge last week ordered state officials to investigate the Voter ID system.

Voting rights advocates and state lawyers have sparred for years over whether Wisconsin’s voter ID law is constitutional, but until Peterson’s order Friday, it had seemed as if the landscape for the November election was largely set. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit last month ruled that voters could be required to present an ID, and they could not present an affidavit attesting to their identity instead. The appeals court said, though, its ruling rested on an assurance by state lawyers that voting credentials would be “available to all qualified persons who seek them” and that the state would not refuse to initiate the ID Petition Process.

The appeals court left it to Peterson to monitor compliance.

Peterson wrote that his recent order was sparked by news reports, first in the Nation and then in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, suggesting that “DMV personnel have provided incorrect information to persons who have applied for Wisconsin IDs for voting.”

The review is ordered to be complete tomorrow - I'm sure that regardless of the facts, state officials are going to report that things are fine and that these reported instances are outliers.

No read on how likely Judge Peterson is to rule the state not in compliance with the court order (though it seems very likely that we are indeed failing to comply).

If he rules against the state, expect an October showdown between state and federal courts about jurisdiction.

Relatedly, our state's Government Accountability Board, which would normally be in charge of electoral issues like this, was dissolved by the GOP-led State Legislature. That bill was signed into law by Governor Walker last December, the same day he signed a bill loosening campaign-finance regulations.

Robear wrote:

It's been widely reported that the recent Portland school shooter, Arcan Cetin, voted in 3 US elections in spite of not being a US citizen. Just so you know, this is incorrect. He's a nationalized US citizen. (This is being used on the Right to argue for proof of citizenship papers requirements at the polls.)

Snopes seems to indicate that the KING 5 report in that link is not correct, although it doesn't really do a good job of defending that assertion in Cetin's specific case.

Group accuses Mike Pence of voter suppression after state police raid registration program in Indiana

The Washington Post wrote:

On Oct. 4, one week before the state’s deadline to register to vote, state police raided the Indianapolis office of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, seizing computers, cellphones and records. The state police launched an investigation in late August after elections officials in Hendricks County, a suburb of Indianapolis, alerted authorities to some applications that seemed amiss. A spokesman for the state police told local news media that “at least 10” applications were confirmed to be fraudulent.

Varoga estimates that 45,000 people, most of them African Americans, might not be able to vote on Nov. 8 because their applications were seized during the raid.

So they do a statewide investigation and raid an organization devoted to registering black voters -- because of ten possible bad registrations.

And they even marched someone out of there in handcuffs -- which, the other volunteers point out, was the black guy.

One down. 2,999,999 to go.

Washington Post wrote:

The 2016 election was just a month away when Steve Curtis, a conservative radio host and former Colorado Republican Party chairman, devoted an entire episode of his morning talk show to the heated topic of voter fraud.

“It seems to me,” Curtis said in the 42-minute segment, “that virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.”

On Tuesday, Colorado prosecutors threw a wrench into that already dubious theory, accusing Curtis of voter fraud for allegedly filling out and mailing in his ex-wife’s 2016 ballot for president, Denver’s Fox affiliate reported.

Curtis, 57, was charged in Weld County District Court with one count of misdemeanor voter fraud and one count of forgery, a Class 5 felony, according to local media.

The case is the only voter fraud investigation related to the 2016 election that has resulted in criminal charges in the state, the Colorado secretary of state’s office told Denver’s ABC affiliate.

...

On his Oct. 6 show, Curtis delved into what he called the “sordid history” of voter fraud with guest Kevin Collins, author of “The Dirty Locked Away History of the Democrat Party.”

During the segment, titled “Voter Fraud and Other Democratic Misbehaviors,” Curtis and Collins alleged that the practice was essentially unique to Democrats.

“Voter fraud is not an easy crime to commit,” Collins said at the beginning of the show. “It needs a certain cadre of devoted criminal Democrats to carry it out.”

Curtis agreed. There was “something about being a Democrat,” he said, that made people prone to criminal behavior. At multiple points, the two brought up fraudulent mail-in ballots and “double voting” specifically. They predicted a crackdown on voter fraud if Trump became president but expressed concerns that their votes wouldn’t be counted in the upcoming election.

“I expect any day now that I’m going to be getting my ballot in the mail,” Curtis said. “This is one year I’m gonna jump right on it. I’m gonna make sure that if I get hit by a bus in the next 30 days that my vote for Donald Trump is already in the system.”

So Voter ID accomplished exactly what the GoP wanted

A longer-form piece on the use of Voter ID laws as voter suppression by the Wisconsin GOP.

The voter ID law was one of 33 election changes passed in Wisconsin after Walker took office, and it dovetailed with his signature push to dismantle unions, taking away his opponents’ most effective organizing tool. Wisconsin’s Legislature cut early voting from 30 days to 12, reduced early voting hours on nights and weekends, and restricted early voting to one location per municipality, hampering voters in large urban areas and sprawling rural ones. It also added new residency requirements for voter registration, eliminated staffers who led statewide registration drives, and made it harder to count absentee ballots.

Republicans were explicit about the purposes of these changes as well. On the floor of the state Senate, Grothman said of extended early voting hours in heavily Democratic cities like Madison and Milwaukee, “I want to nip this in the bud before too many other cities get on board.” (Roughly 514,000 Wisconsinites voted early in 2012; they favored Obama over Mitt Romney by 58 to 41 percent, according to exit polls.) The county clerk of conservative Waukesha County said early voting gave “too much access” to voters in Milwaukee and Madison.