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Our country has never solved anything with less democracy
July 23, 2012 7:38 PM   Subscribe

With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws. A solution to a nonproblem. [Previously]

The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification
PA State Secretary Announces New Voter ID Card to act as safety net
National Survey Shows Support for Voter ID Laws Strongest Among Those with Negative Attitudes Toward African Americans
Justice Department Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
State by State Voter ID Laws [Ballotpedia]
posted by cashman (96 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
New York, where I live, does not require ID to vote (except under limited circumstances for the newly registered.) The ID required indicator is by your name in the voting roll book at the polling place. Poll workers are not supposed to ask for your ID unless you have that indicator next to your name, but that didn't stop them last time I voted from asking for my ID before they even turned to that page in the book.

These aren't right-wing nuts trying to suppress turnout. I was me voting in a Republican primary in an election district so blue that I've been the only Republican voter for primaries.

I think they don't bother to wait, because the idea of having to show ID to vote just makes intuitive sense to a lot of people. It makes it hard to argue against, whether you like it or not. If they're being honest (as with the poll workers at my polling place) I think it makes sense to a lot of Democrats until they're told that it will suppress turnout for their party disproportionately (which is what "disenfranchise poor, immigrant, and minority voters" is often code for. They don't mean Cuban immigrants.)
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Our country has never solved anything with less democracy

For the shrinking Republican Party, democracy IS the problem.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:52 PM on July 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


In a Democratic society it is pretty easy to figure out the good guys from the bad. Those that actively attempt to limit sufferage tend heavily to be the bag guys.

That said, I understand the republican predicament: their policies tend to help the wealthy and lately there just are fewer and fewer wealthy people around.
posted by Freen at 7:58 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it makes sense to a lot of Democrats Republicans until they're told because they know that it will suppress turnout for their party disproportionately help them win elections.

This is how I've always seen it anyway.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:59 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


i live in pa. i keep trying to explain to people that voter fraud is not some rampant issue and this law doesn't do anything but make it hard to vote.
posted by sio42 at 8:01 PM on July 23, 2012


I think it makes sense to a lot of Democrats until they're told that it will suppress turnout for their party disproportionately (which is what "disenfranchise poor, immigrant, and minority voters" is often code for. They don't mean Cuban immigrants.)

Actually, it's pretty easy to flip people's opinion of voter ID as long as they're not hard core Republicans (who know they need to suppress turnout), regardless of party affiliation or political persuasion. You appeal to their sense of fairness. Then they don't believe you that getting ID can be an absurdly difficult task, so you walk them through a thought exercise (someone did this spectacularly in a comment in a previous voter ID post) and then you're pretty much done. The only problem is that, on the surface, voter ID sounds like a fine idea, so you have to talk every single damn person round.
posted by hoyland at 8:04 PM on July 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


the idea of having to show ID to vote just makes intuitive sense to a lot of people
No. Democratic authority is the only legitimate authority (see, e.g., the declaration of independence, all 50 state constitutions). Why should I have to submit to the power of a sovereign (getting a drivers license or a voter ID card is intuitively a case of unnecessary submission with respect to voting) in order to vote for my chosen representative when the chances of fraud are so minuscule?

There is plainly no overriding state interest in these programs. The only way they make "intuitive" sense is if you're so inured to being asked for and proffering your ID to uniformed authorities that you've come to think of the routine as something straight out of Rousseau.
posted by anewnadir at 8:06 PM on July 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


Power grabs don't get much more naked than this.
posted by bardic at 8:18 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


“Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, said to the Republican State Committee last month, listing a series of accomplishments by the state’s GOP.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:20 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


...I was me...
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 10:49 PM on July 23


Really now?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:22 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


National Survey Shows Support for Voter ID Laws Strongest Among Those with Negative Attitudes Toward African Americans

This is my shocked face. Anyone with half a brain can follow this line of reasoning: (1) voter ID leads to the poorest people being less able to vote; (2) poor people are disproportionately non-white, and even if they weren't, less likely to vote republican; (3) there is no step three. You don't 'strongly' support voter ID laws without knowing you're being a racist, unless you're a total idiot, in which case you probably don't strongly support much of anything at all.
posted by axiom at 8:24 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait.. you folks in the US can vote without showing any form of ID!?
posted by vidur at 8:27 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes. The closest thing we have to a national ID card is a Social Security card, but it is not supposed to be used for identification purposes.

(I have a funny name and have occasionally voluntarily offered my driver's license as a way to help the poll worker find my name in the rolls. But I don't *have* to in order to vote.)
posted by rtha at 8:34 PM on July 23, 2012


Also, the people who commit voter fraud do it on a grand scale (e.g. caging), and requiring ID at the polls wouldn't stop that from happening.
posted by rtha at 8:35 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


You need ID or a current bill to REGISTER to vote. But you can walk into a polling place in places that don't have ID laws, and simply say "I'm Joe Blow, I'm here to cast my vote" -- they check for a Blow, Joe on the registration list, and that's that.
posted by axiom at 8:35 PM on July 23, 2012


vidur, it help to know about the ways that "voter qualification" laws have been used in the past in the US. [Hint: it relates to skin color.] The other thing to know is that voting laws are set at the state level, not at the federal level. Although there are some states that have a federal ruling that says the federal justice department must review *all* laws they pass regarding voting, due to some laws they've previously passed. [Hint: they related to skin color.]

For me, I am sympathetic to the idea of requiring ID to vote. But once I was reminded that not everybody has the same things I do, and how that can make it incredibly hard for other Americans to exercise their right to vote, I was like "dhoy, of course it's a bad idea".
posted by benito.strauss at 8:40 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Same day voter registration is one of the greatest things about Minnesota, and if our legislature fucks that up I'm going to be very disappointed.
posted by graventy at 8:51 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow! I don't really know how I managed to miss this important aspect of American democracy. Amazing.

India has far more poor people, but not being able to register doesn't seem to be a big problem at all. Once you are registered to vote, you need to get a (free) Voter ID to vote, though at present they accept other forms of ID as well (it will be phased out, is my understanding). Voter Registration is done in a massive drive (door to door voter enumeration) once in 5 years, though you can get your name in by filling up a form at any time. Voter IDs are made (for free) before national elections (and IIRC, at some other intervals as well).

I obviously need to educate myself a lot more about this issue, but it seems to me that voter registration and voter ID ought to be free or close-to-free (in terms of time/money required) as possible for a country to be a functional democracy.

Thank you, MeFi, for my continuing education.
posted by vidur at 8:53 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But voter fraud/ ballot box stuffing etc have been huge issues in India . So it would make sense to try and work things out ( or at least make it seem like the Election commission is taking it seriously ) .
posted by asra at 8:59 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not just an issue of whether it's free, because even a nominally free voter ID takes time and effort to get; time you may not be able to spare if you are working 3 jobs and still living in poverty. Read the comment that benito.strauss linked to above.

I don't understand why anyone is worried about the kind of voter fraud that voter ID is prima facie meant to address, because nobody seems to be able to produce much evidence that it exists... probably because it doesn't. If you're going to commit voter fraud, you're not going to do it by sending fraudulent voters to the polls in person (at least, not in this century in America).
posted by axiom at 9:00 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


you may not be able to spare if you are working 3 jobs and still living in poverty.

But you need a picture ID to get food stamps, cash a payroll check, and in some states, to verify your eligibility for employment. Rather than whining about how unfair this is, why don't Dems or other groups go out and set up mobile units to issue photo ID?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:14 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rather than whining about how unfair this is, why don't Dems or other groups go out and set up mobile units to issue photo ID?

Yeah, rather than fight Republican attempts to disenfranchise voters, why don't the Dems just go along with it and try to minimize the damage?

Christ.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:19 PM on July 23, 2012 [43 favorites]


The fact that most states (I'm thinking of Wisconsin here) that have voter ID laws, but also charge for an ID (with barely-known, even to DMV workers, free IDs for people below a specific income) is tantamount to a Poll tax, which is unconstitutional.

In my opinion, any locale which has a voter ID law (which I am philosophically not opposed to, but all current attempts are pretty shameless attempts at discouragement and suppression) must provide IDs to ALL citizens free of charge, have business hours at ID facilities 7 days a week, and all voter registration forms must advertize that the IDs are free of charge prominently.

But as said above, this is a solution for a non-problem.
posted by chimaera at 9:19 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's not just an issue of whether it's free, because even a nominally free voter ID takes time and effort to get; time you may not be able to spare if you are working 3 jobs and still living in poverty. Read the comment that benito.strauss linked to above.

I read it, thanks. And I think that a system that makes it so hard to get a voter registration/ID is insane and totally undemocratic.
posted by vidur at 9:21 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vidur, I find that an interesting comparison to what's happening in the US. Here, there's no such effort to register people to vote. In fact, organizations which try to register the poor and minorities are at risk of being viciously attacked by partisan hacks. (Everyone remember ACORN?)

Here is a summary of who lacks the right ID or access to supporting documents needed in order to get such an ID. Warning: PDF. This post on Sociological Images, from January, contains a lot more links to information.

I just don't think that anyone who is paying attention to this issue can honestly think it's not about making it harder for certain people to vote. These laws are being pushed in advance of the presidential election for a reason.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:30 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


But you need a picture ID to get food stamps, cash a payroll check, and in some states, to verify your eligibility for employment.

Those things are not rights, voting is.
posted by D_I at 9:51 PM on July 23, 2012 [19 favorites]


Now that voter ID laws have made the knowledge of how difficult it can be to get ID is more widespread, it seems like a great opportunity to really push to make it free and easy to get an official photo ID AND to make sure everyone has one (rather than just using the difficulty as outrage ammo in this political controversy). Not having ID is a huge disadvantage to many people, in more areas than just voting. If that can be fixed, maybe some good can come out of this.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:02 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Kutsuwamushi. Very informative links.

I've been reading up. One question that I haven't been able to find an answer to is this - how do you prevent double voting in the US? I mean, if you don't require ID then someone could come and vote in my name. Am I then out of a vote? What if I can prove that I am the real voter? And can that impersonator then go and vote under his own name?

Also, any sources for reading up on the logistical side of US elections?
posted by vidur at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2012


Ideefixe: “Rather than whining about how unfair this is, why don't Dems or other groups go out and set up mobile units to issue photo ID?”

Mobile units? What, like people in vans with photocopiers and laminating machines, making up 'federal' photo IDs for people? Unless by 'other groups' you mean state governments, I'm not actually sure why in the world you think this would be legal at all. Were you aware that you can't actually just buy a permit to issue state IDs?
posted by koeselitz at 10:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


If that can be fixed, maybe some good can come out of this.

If I may quote a great man:
Yeah, rather than fight Republican attempts to disenfranchise voters, why don't the Dems just go along with it and try to minimize the damage?

Christ.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:12 PM on July 23, 2012


But you can walk into a polling place in places that don't have ID laws, and simply say "I'm Joe Blow, I'm here to cast my vote" -- they check for a Blow, Joe on the registration list, and that's that.

Yes. And in order to steal Joe Blow's vote, you need to know that Joe is registered in that jurisdiction and hasn't already voted.
posted by gingerest at 10:13 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Basically, getting an extra vote for yourself is not worth the risk of getting caught. Maybe sme crazy person might try every once in a while, but just the fact that people who are registered to vote are pretty likely to come in and vote makes it really hard to conduct voter fraud by walking in and saying that you're someone else on a large enough scale for it to matter. And anyway, if it was a concern, all you'd need nowadays to I.D. voters by their face is a cellphone at each polling station and a picture on file (easily taken with said cellphone upon registration.)
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:22 PM on July 23, 2012


Didn't Iraq use purple-dyed thumbs to stop people from double-dipping? I seem to recall some photographic propaganda from the Bush years along those lines. If voter fraud is a real issue, it seems easy enough to stop, when the Iraqis can manage it with a simple, lo-tech solution.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:33 PM on July 23, 2012


the idea of having to show ID to vote just makes intuitive sense to a lot of people
It makes intuitive sense to people who have ids, along with everyone else in their family, and drive everywhere, or are young enough to get carded at bars.

There was actually an article recently about a WWII vet whose primary vote didn't count because he didn't have ID. He didn't even know he needed it, and this was for the republican primary (He was going to vote for Romney).

So that's another big issue with this. A lot of people who have been registered to vote for ages are being disenfranchised.
You need ID or a current bill to REGISTER to vote. But you can walk into a polling place in places that don't have ID laws, and simply say "I'm Joe Blow, I'm here to cast my vote" -- they check for a Blow, Joe on the registration list, and that's that.
Okay people, it's different in every state. In a lot of places, you just need to fill out a form. In fact, prior to elections campaign workers will actually go out with the forms and get people to fill them out and register. I don't know if they need to check IDs or not.
But you need a picture ID to get food stamps, cash a payroll check, and in some states, to verify your eligibility for employment. Rather than whining about how unfair this is, why don't Dems or other groups go out and set up mobile units to issue photo ID?
I'm sure the democrats would love it if the same governments that setup voter ID laws would also pay to go around with vans and create photo IDs for everyone so they could vote. But that's not what's happening. They're also not going to accept IDs printed by random non-government groups, it has to be an official state ID (although they're not allowed to charge for the ID)


Someone working 3 jobs probably has a photo ID, since they're likely driving to those jobs. The biggest problem group is elderly people who obviously don't need to be driving, and aren't working. I've never needed a photo ID to cash a check (like for social security or retirement). These people may have had accounts at the same financial institution for decades.
posted by delmoi at 10:40 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the wisdom of @LOLGOP is applicable here:

"GOP: You need an ID to vote but you can donate millions to any candidate completely anonymously. "

It's all about priorities, you know. If people want to vote they can buy their own Congress.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:41 PM on July 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


But you can walk into a polling place in places that don't have ID laws, and simply say "I'm Joe Blow, I'm here to cast my vote" -- they check for a Blow, Joe on the registration list, and that's that.
You'll need to be able to forge their signature as well.

The thing is, there is no evidence that this is actually happening in the US, other then, literally, four known cases of people actually getting caught voting as other people.

Part of the reason is that the penalties for getting caught are extremely high, it's unlikely that anyone would actually risk long jail times and fines in order to do something that's extremely unlikely to have any impact.

Interestingly James O'Keefe seems to have committed a felony by trying to "expose" how easy it is to vote fraudulently. It would be interesting to see what happens.
posted by delmoi at 10:47 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's very little point in trying to vote twice, because your extra vote isn't going to change the results. In order for this kind of fraud to have an effect, large numbers of people would have to participate, and it would quickly be discovered.

(For one thing, a lot of voters would be showing up only to discover that they have already voted. To prevent this, you'd have to commit massive voter registration fraud, which would open its own can of worms given modern record-keeping. )

If you're a corrupt politician or party and you want to change the result of an election in the US, there are safer, more effective ways to do it. The most obvious (since we're discussing it here) is to to change voting laws to make it more difficult for significant numbers of your opponents' constituents to vote. Other tactics include things like disseminating false information about where/how/when to vote, gerrymandering, intimidation of voters or voter registration organizations, closing polling stations in certain areas, and things like that. Most of those things actually have occurred, unlike the double-voting thing.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:42 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most obvious is to to change voting laws to make it more difficult for significant numbers of your opponents' constituents to vote.

Even more obvious is to redraw the districts, as Maryland has done, to eliminate any possibility that anyone not part of Maryland's Democrat Machine could get elected. Having no Voter ID in Maryland helps too.

Even The Washington Post calls foul.
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:14 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's the point in trying to vote fraudulently when it's so much easier just to rig the voting machines?
posted by ardgedee at 2:25 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why worry about the vote when you can just bribe both sides?
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:05 AM on July 24, 2012


I don't have any money to bribe anyone, therefore I vote.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 3:24 AM on July 24, 2012


Wait, so gerrymandering is largely a democratic strategy? I needed a laugh before I went to bed, thanks.
posted by maxwelton at 3:43 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been an election judge in NY and now serve as an election site coordinator for the state, and the Board of Elections training for poll workers stresses the HAVA laws and (lack of) voter ID requirements. The only case in which it is required to show ID is if the registration list reads "SHOW ID" instead of a signature. If that is too much of a hurdle, voters are still permitted to cast an affidavit ballot that will be verified by the board.

What's the point in trying to vote fraudulently when it's so much easier just to rig the voting machines? -- ardgedee

New York's optical-scan ballot is one of the better systems in that regard. It provides near instant counts for the nightly news, but also preserves a record of voter intent for recounts. If there are any discrepencies between a hand count of a few randomly selected election districts and what the computer tally shows, then the entire computer count can be thrown out. The scanners can also be made by multiple vendors since the format is very simple.
posted by autopilot at 4:08 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


If democracy is so important why do elections have to finish in one day?
posted by srboisvert at 4:24 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


If democracy is so important why do elections have to finish in one day?

And for that matter, why is that day not a federal holiday, but instead a work day with polls open mostly during work and commute hours?
posted by zombieflanders at 4:33 AM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Democrats claiming voter suppression and Republican claiming fraud really just distract from the larger issue with these laws which is that the fight over them calls into question the result of EVERY election.

When Democrats win without voter ID, Republicans believe it's fraud and so they don't have to support the person elected.

When Republicans win with voter ID, Democrats believe it's because of voter suppression so they don't have to support the person elected.

And the result is always a government which more or less half of the electorate believes is illegitimate.

All of this focus on Democracy is really no way to run a Republic.
posted by three blind mice at 4:33 AM on July 24, 2012


It's interesting, and quite opposite to vidur's experience, because in England there are no ID requirements. You can register and vote without showing any form of ID. The instructions on the poll card are, "At the polling station, go to the desk and tell the staff your name and address. They will give you your ballot papers." That's it. Although I think they can ask for some kind of ID (and it is a good idea to take your poll card), it's never happened to me, and guess it is rather seldom done. The only fraud we really have is to do with postal votes, and I can't think there is a significant discussion about bringing in ID requirements for in-person voting. I think we get around the worry by having a "technically" non-secret ballot, so that fraud can be cleared up if necessary.
posted by Jehan at 5:23 AM on July 24, 2012


When Democrats win without voter ID, Republicans believe it's fraud and so they don't have to support the person elected.

When Republicans win with voter ID, Democrats believe it's because of voter suppression so they don't have to support the person elected.


Except vote fraud is close to non-existent and voter suppression is very very real.
posted by PenDevil at 5:33 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Except vote fraud is close to non-existent and voter suppression is very very real.

Tell it to most right-wingers, who believe ACORN and two black panthers with a billy club stole the election for Obama in 2008.

Oh, and those same right-wingers have no idea that Kenneth Blackwell (serving double duty as the Secretary of State of Ohio as well as co-chair of Bush's re-election campaign) shitcanned hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots and won the state for Bush in 2004.

Funny how selective people's perception of these matters are.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 5:41 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


If people were actually worried about voter fraud, they'd be taking issue with electronic voting machines, which have been publicly demonstrated to be easily compromised, and whose software is mysteriously unpublished and oh by the way is written by people who are openly in the pocket of one of the major political parties.

And yet, to a man, the folks frothing at the mouth about the notion of 'undesirables' voting without ID don't seem too worried about this much larger, actually-existent vector for electoral fraud. I wonder why that could be.
posted by Mayor West at 5:44 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do We Need a New Voting Rights Act?

Key grafs pointing out how it's more about inconvenience, choking the system, and blocking certain demographics than fixing fraud; including racial bias:
While the Bush administration's Department of Justice approved Georgia's strict voter-ID law—which became a national model—under Obama, the DOJ has blocked Texas and South Carolina from implementing theirs, finding them to have a discriminatory effect. (Decisions on Mississippi and Alabama's laws are still pending.) Thanks to the proceedings, we've learned a lot more about the impact of these laws. Documents from Texas revealed that Hispanic registered voters were between 47 and 120 percent more likely to lack the necessary ID, while in South Carolina, minorities were almost 20 percent more likely to have no government-issued identification.
Preclearance:
In recent years, ten states have passed strict voter-ID laws which require a voter to show government-issued identification to vote and will likely prevent hundreds of thousands from voting. But of those ten, only five require preclearance. Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin all got to enact their versions of these laws without any say from the feds. Across all of them, the impacts are similarly devastating for poor and non-white populations.
More racial bias and costs/lies about "free" ID:
Nationwide, 11 percent of eligible voters lack the required ID; among African Americans, that number skyrockets to one in four eligible voters. Hispanics and seniors also disproportionately lack a government-issued photo ID. The Center's report focuses on two key factors: the cost of acquiring the necessary documents, and the difficulties of getting to an office that issues IDs. Even in states that offer free IDs for voting, most still charge people to obtain the documents necessary to get that ID—and the costs are not insignificant. Birth certificates can run anywhere from $8 to $25. In Mississippi, there's a special Catch-22: You need a birth certificate to get a government-issued ID, but you need a government-issued ID to get a birth certificate.
And accessibility:
Meanwhile, 10 million eligible voters live more than 10 miles away from a government office that can issue an ID—and in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Wisconsin, those ID issuing offices are closed on weekends[...]In Wisconsin, which does not have to preclear its election laws, more than 30 percent of the voting-age population lives more than 10 miles from an ID office. In Kansas, which also isn't listed in Section 5, the voter-ID law shows similar problems with discrimination. Outside of Wichita, there's one office that issues IDs for every 22,000 eligible voters; in downtown Wichita, there is one office for every 160,000. Twenty-two percent of Kansas' black population lives in downtown Wichita where, in order to get their free IDs, they must wait much longer than their neighbors outside the city. In Tennessee, another state that doesn't need preclearance, three rural regions have large populations but no offices that issue IDs.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:48 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: The Dog That Voted and Other Election Fraud Yarns
Statistics tell part of this story: According to a survey by the Brennan Center, 8 percent of voting-age whites lack a photo ID, compared to 25 percent of blacks. Getting an ID card from the state usually requires you to produce a birth certificate, and Barbara Zia of the South Carolina League of Women Voters recently explained what this means in her state: "Many South Carolinians, especially citizens of color, were born at home and lack birth certificates, and so to obtain those birth certificates is a very costly endeavor and also an administrative nightmare."

In St. Louis, where our story opened, Kit Bond's outrage about dogs and dead people has a long pedigree. It is, a local official told the American Prospect's Art Levine, "code for black people." This kind of racial dog whistling, which relentlessly paints ethnic minorities as corrupt and dishonest, is corrosive not just to our political discourse, but to democracy itself.

The scandal of the photo ID laws, then, isn't so much that they give one party an advantage, or even that they affect minorities disproportionately. The scandal is that they knowingly target minorities. So even if the real-life effects of these laws are small, they're impairing civil rights that African Americans and others have spent decades fighting, and sometimes dying, for. This in turn means that something most of us thought was finally taboo—active suppression of minority votes—isn't really taboo after all. As Eric Holder put it in a speech earlier this year, there are those who fear that "some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance."
posted by zombieflanders at 5:52 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do We Need a New Voting Rights Act?

Considering that court challenges to the old Voting Rights Act have made their way to the Supreme Court, it's likely that our choice will be either to make a new one or not have one at all after they rule.
posted by hippybear at 5:58 AM on July 24, 2012


Voter ID laws are a solution to a very real problem: sometimes Republicans don't win elections
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ugh - I just moved back to PA from CT and got my voter ID when I switched my driver's license. The law is ridiculous - our local DMV is difficult to get to via public transportation, has bizarre hours and rules, and once you're there you need your birth certificate, an existing state-issued picture ID, and 2 pieces of mail with a current address. I went 2 times before I had everything I needed to get the ID and at the time I was not working, and I had a car and the extra money needed to order a copy of my birth certificate.

It's so frustrating because whenever I hear people speak up in favor of the voter ID laws here, it's in statements like "Those people have IDs to get their Access Cards and food stamps". It's such overt racism and classism designed to keep the poor in their place, it's hard to believe.

Then the PA state majority leader makes a statement like this , and it makes me not want to live on this planet anymore.
posted by elvissa at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Minnesota version going up for referendum is so very sloppily written that there is an exceedingly good chance that if it passes it will be difficult to enact as it requires follow-on (vetoable) legislation to fund and run it, AND it is very likely to fail in the courts because the ballot question actually asks two questions, not one. 1) Should ID be required to vote and 2) Should MN pay to universally issue a state ID. I forget the term (something like irreducibility), but essentially courts have traditionally looked unfavorably at a ballot question that ask more than one question which people may reasonably support one question but not the other. (in other words there may be plenty of people who support having to show ID to vote, but who believe the State should not pay for it. Or that there may be some who believe the State should pay to ensure everyone has ID but that it should not be required to vote)

Frankly, this is just another indication of how incredibly fucked up the last legislative session has been. Not only where the Republicans outright pursuing an agenda of social fuckery (meanwhile two of their top leaders resigned because of a) fiscal ineptitude, and b) adultery, in the second case resulting in an ongoing lawsuit that the State has to pay legal fees for, already in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So wait, what? The party of moral values and fiscal responsibility?) ... but they where so rushed at their agenda they couldn't even be bothered to craft a referendum question that stood a decent chance at standing before the courts.
posted by edgeways at 6:06 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ahead Of Voter ID Trial, Pennsylvania Admits There’s No In-Person Voter Fraud
The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs [in Applewhite et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al.] which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

Additionally, the agreement states Pennsylvania “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere” or even argue “that in person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absense of the Photo ID law.”
posted by zombieflanders at 6:19 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't remember does the Minnesota version (I can't actually find the text anywhere) get rid of same day registration or just get rid of vouching? When I moved here, I was surprised to find that Minnesotans really care that they have such absurdly high turnout (I think they haven't noticed that the other states don't think it's a competition), but people don't seem to realise the link between the absurdly high turnout and same day registration. Of course, getting rid of vouching is entirely about voter suppression, because what is vouching but a way of ensuring everyone can register?

(In Minnesota, if you can't provide the documents needed to register to vote, someone who knows you who is registered in the same precinct can vouch for you. Why does this not open the door to rampant fraud, you ask? Because the your neighbour had to swear that you were eligible to vote, so now they're on the hook too.)

Of course, they're in court today arguing over whether Richie is allowed to amend the wording of the ballot question so that it actually describes what we're voting on. Because the Republicans definitely don't want us to know.
posted by hoyland at 6:31 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er... Ritchie, not Richie, who is the Secretary of State.
posted by hoyland at 6:33 AM on July 24, 2012


This makes me angrier than just about anything, and I'm pretty much pissed off at everything these days. This is the one thing that can get me into the streets. Fortunately, as much as I have issues with Obama, his campaign is really on top of this - for what it's worth (not much in Republican-controlled state legislatures.)

Even if the Voting Rights Act did not apply, this is a government action that is without rational basis (violating the Due Process Clause), has a disparate impact on protected classes (violating the Equal Protection Clause), amounts to a poll tax (violating the 24th Amendment), and disproportionately restricts the right to vote of minorities (violating the 15th Amendment.)

We've amended the Constitution no less than three times to expand the right to vote. This is the right that spawns all other rights. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, who was obsessed with a much less relevant individual right, you can take away my vote from my cold dead hands.

Fuck these people who want to dismantle democracy, and shame on those who put them in power.
posted by moammargaret at 7:28 AM on July 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


I would hate to try to get my state ID in Texas if I had to rely on public transit to do it. And I live in Austin, which has good public transit. I recently read a story on FB about a friend in Houston who took 4 hours to get her destination (20-30 minutes by car) on the Houston bus system.
posted by immlass at 8:16 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


hoyland, as far as I can remember it does not really touch the same day registration aspect. I imagine though if fully implemented it would seriously curtail the documentation you can present to register though. I've been an election judge for 3 federal elections now and there has been only one time we had to turn someone away from registering, and frankly that had more to do with the fellow's timing then anything else. He showed up 2 mins before polls closed and didn't have any documentation, and no one to vouch for him and given the amount of time that we where left open he was unable to go get anything and come back.

2010 is the year that radicalized me as far as elections go. Prior to that there where Republicans I may have considered voting for (say if Arnie Carlson ran against a particularly obnoxious Democrat). But 2010 turned the entire GOP toxic to me. Short of an outright evil MoFo I will always vote for whomever is most likely to prevail against the running Republican, and in the case of an outright evil mofo running against said republican I will either not vote or vote 3rd party.
posted by edgeways at 8:16 AM on July 24, 2012


To paraphrase Charlton Heston, who was obsessed with a much less relevant individual right, you can take away my vote from my cold dead hands.

I wonder what the Tea Party would think if some Democratic constituencies started banding together to use their 2nd Amendment right to protect their right to vote. The cognitive dissonance would be phenomenal.
posted by jonp72 at 8:31 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The freakout over the NBPP "voter intimidation" (non-)scandal gives us a pretty good idea.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:40 AM on July 24, 2012


These days, I think we should just go the Purple Finger route. No voter ID, no age restrictions, no district restrictions. On election day, you get one chance to vote. You want to vote in the neighbouring state? No problem (maybe you work there, so the local election there is more important than the one in your home town). You are a civic minded middle schooler? You can vote if you want. In fact, every public school should have a polling station.

"But that means non-citizen immigrants and even tourists can vote!" Yup. I don't care. If someone cares enough to get to a polling station, let 'em vote.
posted by fings at 8:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not just an issue of whether it's free, because even a nominally free voter ID takes time and effort to get; time you may not be able to spare if you are working 3 jobs and still living in poverty.

It's amazing that such a person would have time to vote or time to complain about the ID requirement.

Every election, there are news reports where electors proudly proclaim that they waited several hours in line, often in inclement weather, in order to vote. I do not understand why that sort of waiting to vote is a source of pride while an ID requirement

You are a civic minded middle schooler? You can vote if you want.

Brilliant. Get ready for the Affordable Ice Cream Act.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:03 AM on July 24, 2012


If you are a registered voter, and your name is in the voter roll book - that IS your identification. These are blatant attempts at voter suppression. Nothing more, nothing less.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:52 AM on July 24, 2012


It's the same as saying "I need to see your license license."
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:54 AM on July 24, 2012


...because the idea of having to show ID to vote a flat Earth just makes intuitive sense to a lot of people.

Intuition is not really the best gauge of what is correct.
posted by edgeways at 10:09 AM on July 24, 2012


"But that means non-citizen immigrants and even tourists can vote!"

It's happened before.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:12 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when I lived in Takoma Park (MD), non-citizens were allowed to vote in town-related elections.
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on July 24, 2012


elvissa: "Ugh - I just moved back to PA from CT and got my voter ID when I switched my driver's license. The law is ridiculous - our local DMV is difficult to get to via public transportation, has bizarre hours and rules, and once you're there you need your birth certificate, an existing state-issued picture ID, and 2 pieces of mail with a current address. I went 2 times before I had everything I needed to get the ID and at the time I was not working, and I had a car and the extra money needed to order a copy of my birth certificate."

New Jersey isn't much better. Renewing my driver's license is an ordeal.

Better yet, though, is the story of the year I had a boat license. Due to an extreme failure to keep up-to-date paperwork (my insurance expired and I didn't notice in time), my driving privileges were suspended for a year (mandatory sentencing, whee!). They took my drivers license away. By which I mean that I had to walk up to a judge and physically hand him my license. It turns out that there are a lot of things you can't do without a state-issued photo id. Indeed, some places won't even take a passport as identification, because then they can't fill out the license number field in their paperwork. So, I took a day off of work and got a friend drive me to Motor Vehicle Services. I filled out the form requesting a non-drivers id, and when I got to the counter, the nice young lady told me that I could not have a non-drivers ID because "you can still drive." "I know a judge that says otherwise," I said, but it turns out that if one's driving privileges are suspended but not revoked then you still count as a driver, just one who is not allowed to have custody of the card proving it. I asked the clerk what I was supposed to do, then, as I needed an ID. She handed me an application for a boat license. Now, I don't own a motorboat, and I wouldn't know how to pilot one if I did. Fortunately, my common sense kicked in before I could point that out and I filled out the stupid form, paid my money, and got an exact replica of my driver's license with "Boat Use Only" printed in small text across the top.

So basically, I was able to take a day off from work, and pay fees, and debate database policy with a bureaucrat, and it still required outright fraud to get me a state-issued ID. If someone in my position got stuck like that, I shudder to think how getting a Voter ID would go for anyone less equipped.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:21 AM on July 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


"But that means non-citizen immigrants and even tourists can vote!"

So, if you're a British citizen living overseas you may or may not be able to vote (you get to vote for 15 years after leaving Britain). I'm a British citizen who's never actually lived in Britain, so I can't vote. But if I were to pitch up in Ireland, I'd be able to vote in the general elections (plus local elections and EU elections). So paradoxically, I could end up with greater voting rights in Ireland where I'm not a citizen, than in Britain, where I am. However, I doubt I'd move to Ireland solely to create this sort of silly situation.
posted by hoyland at 10:22 AM on July 24, 2012


Neo Poll Tax
The poll tax in Alabama was $1.50; it was enacted in 1901. That’s about $40 today, or roughly what you’d have to pay me to spend a few hours getting myself to the DMV, standing in line and getting home to get a state ID. In 1949, seven states had poll taxes (poll taxes had been repealed in NC, LA, FL and GA by this point), all between $1 and $2 ($9-$18 today)[...]defenses of poll taxes were identical to defenses of voter-ID laws today: See here: “the poll tax provision in the Constitution which they framed is the soundest safeguard for honest elections, and [they feel] that its removal would make Alabama subject to the same kind of machine politics found in the Northern cities where no poll tax provision exists.”

Change a few words and you can find Kris Kobach saying the same thing: “The pseudo-election of Al Franken is a case in point. The Minnesota Secretary of State played a pivotal role in the heist—manipulating the process to pacify a leftist mob. … We must enact a statute requiring photo ID to vote. But that is only the first step.”
posted by zombieflanders at 10:23 AM on July 24, 2012


If Republicans really cared about voter fraud, maybe they would investigate the allegations of massive irregularities and fraud, particularly from Diebold electronic voting machines in battleground states.

I wonder why nobody has looked into that.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:50 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Voter fraud, like most other nonviolent crimes, is no big deal if you're rich, white and Republican. In fact, if you do it on a massive scale, it becomes policy! In case you're still wondering why nobody has looked into that.
posted by moammargaret at 10:59 AM on July 24, 2012


I know it's a rhetorical question, but the last Administration's DOJ scandal undoubtedly had something to do with it (emphasis mine):
The probe, conducted by two watchdog groups within the department, reviewed "allegations that political or ideological affiliations were considered in hiring, transferring and assigning cases to career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice," specifically under former DOJ official Bradley Schlozman, who held an interim post at the head of the division.

According to the report, Schlozman circumvented many of his colleagues and arranged the hiring of lesser-qualified applicants based on their conservative political ideology.

The jobs involved were not political appointments but career positions for which candidates, according to federal law and guidelines, are to be selected for their qualifications, not their political or ideological leanings
[...]
Additionally, in a February 2006 voice mail Schlozman left for a colleague, he said that in hiring volunteer interns, experience relevant to the job should not always work in the candidate's favor.

"[W]hen we start asking, 'What is your commitment to civil rights? ... [H]ow do you prove that? Usually by membership in some crazy liberal organization or by some participation in some crazy cause ? Look, look at my resume -- I didn't have any demonstrated commitment, but I care about the issues.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:04 AM on July 24, 2012


I agree with you Monammargaret, "Voter fraud, like most other nonviolent crimes, is no big deal if you're rich, white and Republican"
posted by DonnaH at 1:34 PM on July 24, 2012


why is that day not a federal holiday, but instead a work day with polls open

In WA state, much (most?) of the voting is done with ballots snail-mailed to the registrant's mailbox. Machine-read ballots are mailed a couple weeks before last-voting day, preceded (by weeks) by booklets outlining the positions of candidates. After voting, ballots are sealed in an inner envelope and mailed. Stamps are provided by voters.

Extraordinarily rational, fairly foolproof and very convenient.
posted by Twang at 2:07 PM on July 24, 2012


Wisconsin Republican Senator Believes Voter ID Will Help Romney ‘In A Close Race’
posted by homunculus at 2:58 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm so pissed that Corbet is pulling this crap in PA. Maybe at least Democrats in PA will wake up to the fact that there are no moderate Republicans like Arlen Spector anymore and that who wins state elections really does matter now.
posted by octothorpe at 6:23 PM on July 24, 2012


Official Won’t Enforce Pennsylvania Voter ID Law:
“To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I am not willing to do,” Broach told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Though there’s the potential he could could face fines or prison Broach said his mind is made up.

“Rosa Parks made the same decision,” he told the paper.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2012


Fla. Republican: We wanted to suppress black votes. Florida's disgraced former GOP chairman says the party had meetings about "keeping blacks from voting"
posted by homunculus at 6:19 PM on July 27, 2012


You Can't Beat Voter ID with Just Facts
One thing that we begin to talk about, but don’t spend enough time on, is the normative argument against voter identification. So far, liberals have devoted their time to showing the rarity of in-person voter fraud—the kind ostensibly prevented by voter ID—and the low likelihood that it would affect the outcome of an election. Tactically, this makes a lot of sense. The push for voter ID includes stories of massive voter fraud that play on public distrust toward government. If you can counter those stories with facts, you can make voters think twice about implementing an additional burden to voting.

Strategically, however, it’s a weak approach. Conservatives benefit from the the fact that their position sounds reasonable—if identification is required to buy beer and drive cars, then why isn’t it required for elections? Everyone agrees that voting is one of the most important things you can do as an ordinary citizen, and the conservative argument is that we should make it more secure from fraud.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:35 AM on July 30, 2012


Actual GOP voter fraud in Arizona:
The problem, of course, is that actual, real-world voter fraud is exceptionally rare, as even most proponents of voter-suppression efforts are willing to admit. But I'm curious: why is it that when legitimate examples come to light, they always seem to come from one party?
A Pinal County supervisor candidate has withdrawn from the race in the wake of voter-fraud allegations involving a former companion who, records show, has continued to vote by absentee ballot in the five years since her death.

John Enright, 66, had been seeking the Republican nomination for county supervisor of District 5, an area that includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.
Enright ended his candidacy last week, but his written statement failed to explain why he allegedly has been voting by absentee ballot for his former girlfriend.

It's also worth noting that voter-ID laws -- the preferred Republican method of cracking down on fraud -- wouldn't have prevented the kind of scheme Enright allegedly used in Arizona.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on August 1, 2012


Supervoters who PA's Voter ID law could disenfranchise. [TPM]
Johnson-Goldwater. Nixon-Humphrey. Nixon-McGovern. Carter-Ford. Reagan-Carter. Reagan-Mondale. Bush-Dukakis. Clinton-Bush. Clinton-Dole. Bush-Gore. Bush-Kerry. Obama-McCain.

There’s a small group of Pennsylvania voters who have cast a ballot in each of those elections — and every November election — the state has held over the past 50 years. But thanks to the new voter ID law passed by Republicans last year, a large chunk of them don’t currently have the means to participate in 2012.

Nearly one-fourth of the senior citizen voters who have cast a ballot in the past 50 consecutive elections (including November 2011) lack a valid state-issued ID and could be prevented from casting a ballot in November, according to a new PA AFL-CIO analysis of data provided by the state.

Pennsylvania’s “Voter Hall of Fame,” organized by the Department of State, is a list of 21,000 inductees who have voted in 50 consecutive general elections. Of the 5,923 of them who are currently registered voters, 1,384 of them either have no valid state ID or have an ID which expired before Nov. 6, 2011, which would make it invalid at the polls under the state’s voter ID law.
posted by cashman at 11:57 AM on August 9, 2012


“On the same day a judge cleared the way for the state’s new voter identification law to take effect, the Corbett administration abandoned plans to allow voters to apply online for absentee ballots for the November election and to register online to vote.”
posted by cashman at 7:46 AM on August 17, 2012


> But you need a picture ID to get food stamps, cash a payroll check, and in some states, to verify your eligibility for employment. Rather than whining about how unfair this is, why don't Dems or other groups go out and set up mobile units to issue photo ID?

Proof of identity is required to apply for a job, apply for food stamps, or cash a check, but the documentation requirements are far more accessible. Besides, only the head of the household has to apply for food stamps, not every member of the household older than 18.

These are the only forms of ID that are valid for voting in PA because of this new law:
- PA driver's license: Must be currently valid or expired less than 12 months
- ID issued by PennDOT: Must be currently valid or expired less than 12 months
- U.S. passport: Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.
- Active duty or retired U.S. military ID, including an ID for members of the PA National Guard: No expiration date required.
- Military dependent’s ID: Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.
- Employee ID issued by federal, PA, PA county or PA municipal government. (A School District employee ID is not acceptable.) Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.
- ID issued by an accredited PA university, college, seminary, community college or two-year college to students, faculty, employees and alumni. Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.
- ID issued by a PA care facility (such as a long-term care nursing facility, assisted living residence or a personal care home). Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.

For those who don't have one of these, go ahead and scroll down to item D through L, starting with "How can voters obtain a photo ID if they don't have one" to see how many forms have to be filled out with how many copies of which documentation. Lacking that documentation, take note of how many other forms need to be requested from which agencies and completed using which other forms of documentation. Note how many visits to how many offices during what hours are required (getting a ride or taking transit, remember).

Remember, every citizen in PA who wants to vote in November is supposed to be able to comply with these requirements within the next 51 calendar days. That's 40 business days. Tick tock.

> Someone working 3 jobs probably has a photo ID, since they're likely driving to those jobs. The biggest problem group is elderly people who obviously don't need to be driving, and aren't working. I've never needed a photo ID to cash a check (like for social security or retirement). These people may have had accounts at the same financial institution for decades.

No, someone working three jobs in Philadelphia is very unlikely to be driving to any of them, they would use public transit. Where would they park for work and how on earth would they afford it? Employers don't pay for that, especially for part-timers.

The statewide percentage of registered voters who are not in PennDOT's system is 9%, but a disproportionate share of these live in Philadelphia, where the citywide rate is 18%. It will probably not surprise you to hear that the percentage of registered voters now lacking valid ID is significantly higher in the poorer city neighborhoods. Which is not to say that there isn't a big problem getting valid state IDs for both rural and urban elderly specifically, there absolutely is, but the biggest problem is the concentration of would-be voters in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia leans very, very, very strongly blue in general, regardless of race. But while the racial demographics of PA as a whole are about 80-20 white/non-white, in Philly it's about 40-60 white/non-white. Are people of color still being paranoid if they really are being chased?
posted by desuetude at 1:15 AM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


- ID issued by an accredited PA university, college, seminary, community college or two-year college to students, faculty, employees and alumni. Must have an expiration date which falls after 11/6/12.

Now, admittedly, I've never lived in Pennsylvania, but I've never had a student ID that had an expiration date. My current one does list the date it was issued. I don't think my undergrad ID even had that.
posted by hoyland at 6:13 AM on August 18, 2012


My student ID had an expiration date that was my presumed graduation date. If I took longer to graduate, I would have had to renew my student ID. That was in New Hampshire.
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on August 18, 2012


Daily Kos: I was denied free voter ID today: Pennsylvania
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:43 AM on August 18, 2012


Daily Kos: I was denied free voter ID today: Pennsylvania

So, unfortunately, it seems the person who wrote the description of events is an idiot. There seem to be two separate issues, only one of which concerns free ID. One is that they're apparently refusing to issue free ID until next week (see the bit about the guy who brought his dad and ended up paying) and the other is that the author has a driver's license valid in another state, but apparently simultaneously want a PA ID. The former (not making it clear anywhere you can't currently get an ID for free) is at best decidedly not helpful and at worst illegal. The latter, that your out-of-state license is cancelled, if not surrendered entirely (depending on the state), is de rigueur, I believe, and I don't understand why this person is surprised.

I've just checked a map. There's a post office two blocks away from that DMV. They could have gone and gotten a money order. Or, you know, read the website.

If it's not apparent, I'm really annoyed at this person. Why? They are not helping show that voter ID is fucked up--it's not helpful to say you were denied ID when there are all manner of holes in your story. You don't tell the internet you expect to get a driver's license for free, for god's sake.
posted by hoyland at 6:25 PM on August 18, 2012


Yeah, I was thinking, uh, go get a money order. It is kind of dumb that government agencies don't accept government-printed cash, as someone said in a comment, but go get a money order and keep it moving.
posted by cashman at 7:37 PM on August 18, 2012


> Now, admittedly, I've never lived in Pennsylvania, but I've never had a student ID that had an expiration date. My current one does list the date it was issued. I don't think my undergrad ID even had that.

All of Pennsylvania's public colleges and universities and many of the private schools are adding expiration dates to their IDs in order to comply with the voter ID requirements. HuffPo article.
posted by desuetude at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2012


So we're left with this: the folks pushing the idea that voter fraud is rampant apparently don't have any examples of in-person voter fraud ever happening in the past decade or so. At a minimum, if this were a serious problem, surely you could dig up, say, one case per state per election cycle. That's not many. Maybe a few hundred since 2000. But they can't. They've passed dozens of laws, making it harder to vote for millions of people, based on a phantasm. In-person voter fraud is an entirely invented problem. What it was invented for is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:42 PM on August 19, 2012


Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear case September 13th.
posted by cashman at 2:56 PM on August 23, 2012


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