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Thread: Voter Photo ID -- Is It Really Terrible?

  1. #31
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    I don't know about should, just poking fun at the notion that 60% of the people shouldn't vote because they're likely to make worse voting decisions than the voting 40% and thus bring about a worse outcome I suppose I can buy that sort of reasoning when it comes to something like, I dunno, trial before a jury.
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  2. #32
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Is it a terrible thing? No. Is it a waste of resources, attempting to fight a very small and largely irrelevant problems? Yes. Is it potentially problematic for a subset of legitimate current voters? Yes, that can almost be taken as a given for any additional requirements on anything. Are people taking positions on it for partisan reasons? Again yes, though those reasons should not be considered necessarily exclusive.

    If we really wanted to combat voter fraud via id, while not disenfranchising any legitimate voters, then we should grant everyone in the country citizenship for the duration of a fairly extended implementation period, work WITH the public to get everyone their ids during that implementation period, and then move forward.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    If 60% of eligible voters in a highly advanced modern Western democracy don't vote because they don't want to vote, at all, then you have a strange and possibly messed-up society. I'm guessing it's likely that many of those 60% would vote if it were more convenient for them. Whether or not that would be a GOOD thing is an important question to explore. I believe the Ancient Greeks have already given it a go
    Nonsense, voter turnout isn't going down because people find it harder to vote. Turnout is going down because most normal people simply don't care as much as they used to.

    Since the end of the Cold War a lot of old left/right questions have been resolved and as much as there is hot air between the parties, very often that's all there is. On the great issues that matter to people, the real divisions are not so major anymore. So outside of political geeks its less interesting, so there's less voting.

    When real divisions arise that grab peoples interests, then turnout can go up.

    What are the big issues?
    Abortion? That's settled in Roe v Wade for the US, and settled the rest of the world over pretty much. Arguments over this are phony. The liberals have won this.
    Taxes? We no longer have the dramatic extremes that we used to. As much fire and fury there is from fanatics, the changes in the last 20 years are insignificant compared to the decades prior.
    Communism/extreme socialism? Defeated, the right won this argument.
    War or peace? We mostly have peace, especially against any nations that actually could threaten us in the way the USSR or the Germans once could. Wars now are nothing compared to what they were.
    Drugs? All politicians act the same on this.

    What is out there really to make non-political people care more about voting in a political election than voting in the X-Factor?

  4. #34
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Then again, here in Germany it's not a problem. You get a card in your post box stating where and when you can go to vote and then you turn up with your ID.

    Of course there's this irrational fear of identity cards in the US.
    We also get a card where and when to vote, and the card you get is personal. You only need to sign it, no need for ID.

    Which is funny as I really don't know anyone without ID here. Unlike the US you only register in your administration once, not for every voting. Which would be a to much paperwork as we easily go to the polls around 4 times a year.
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  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by earthJoker View Post
    We also get a card where and when to vote, and the card you get is personal. You only need to sign it, no need for ID.
    Thats how it works here for the moment. Plus the polling station has a listing of who is supposed to vote at that location.

    Problem nowadays is getting that original card. The process to get a valid ID is not cheap, or easy.
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  6. #36
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    Registering is mandatory here, so everyone legally living in the country with Swiss citizenship will get the card.

    A ID cost here around US$ 50 (for 10 years) I think thats a value that everyone can afford.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  7. #37
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Is it a terrible thing? No. Is it a waste of resources, attempting to fight a very small and largely irrelevant problems? Yes. Is it potentially problematic for a subset of legitimate current voters? Yes, that can almost be taken as a given for any additional requirements on anything. Are people taking positions on it for partisan reasons? Again yes, though those reasons should not be considered necessarily exclusive.

    If we really wanted to combat voter fraud via id, while not disenfranchising any legitimate voters, then we should grant everyone in the country citizenship for the duration of a fairly extended implementation period, work WITH the public to get everyone their ids during that implementation period, and then move forward.
    Problem solving isn't just about problem solving, but about preventing problems. The validation processes in many states is shot to hell. The bar for proving voter eligibility is a bit shallow. Simply showing a utility bill is a pretty low standard (and I've never even had to do that, authorities in several states have just taken me at my word that I'm a US citizen).

    What irks me is the idea that this is a partisan conspiracy to suppress minority voters. The idea that minorities are somehow uniquely unable to procure identification is almost offensive. And yes, I would support waiving processing costs for basic state ID cards. That should be part of voter ID legislation. But I think it's simply not constructive for outlets like the NYTimes to rant and scream "racism" at the idea of needing photo ID to vote.

  8. #38
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Okay, you had a voter turnout of just over 40% in 2010.

    What would you say are the pros and cons of having 60% of your eligible voters not vote?
    It was a non-presidential election. Turnout is closer to 55% in presidential ones. The main reason for the low turnout is actually voter registration. The US is the only Western country where you have to register to vote despite being a citizen. In states where people can register to vote at the last second, turnout is significantly higher.
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  9. #39
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    It was a non-presidential election. Turnout is closer to 55% in presidential ones. The main reason for the low turnout is actually voter registration. The US is the only Western country where you have to register to vote despite being a citizen. In states where people can register to vote at the last second, turnout is significantly higher.
    Thanks for the clarification from what I've read, eliminating the registration step or at least allowing election day registration would increase turnout by 5-10%. It's not much but significant enough for me to wonder why all states don't allow election day registration yet.

    I also don't understand why you guys can't just have your elections on a day when most people aren't supposed to be at work.

    But anyway, thanks for the clarification like I said If you or anyone come across any discussion of the consequences and implications of low voter turnout, do let me know. I can't help but feel as if a democracy with low participation is a democracy in trouble.
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    We have elections on working days, too, but over here they are open until 9PM I think, and from 7AM or so. That allows everybody with a job to still vote. I'm sure they have broad opening hours in the US, too.


    Also: while it's not a problem if a minority of the people vote, if the turnout gets too low it takes away legitimacy from a government. How can a democratic government claim to represent the people after all, if only 10% of the population voted for them?
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  11. #41
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The US is the only Western country where you have to register to vote despite being a citizen.
    What!?

    We have to register to vote, and renew the registration annually. Deadline to register is normally a month before polling day.

    How could you remotely avoid fraud without having a registration?

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    The idea that minorities are somehow uniquely unable to procure identification is almost offensive.
    Its not solely assuming minorities based on color, but several factors that favor heavily against minorities.

    Here is some research for you (pdf), since you have this thing against the NYTimes having an opinion on it. That shows how the citizens likely to vote democratic are most likely to be negatively impacted by increased restrictions on voter ID laws.

    So instead of crying about it being offensive, how about some numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    And yes, I would support waiving processing costs for basic state ID cards.
    Even if this is the case, which (as shown earlier) the states try to get around, there are still hurdles and fees in trying to get the correct paperwork in order to get a state ID.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 10-11-2011 at 01:29 PM.
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  13. #43
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    How could you remotely avoid fraud without having a registration?
    Do you suggest countries without registration have a high amount of fraud?
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  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    I'm sure they have broad opening hours in the US, too.
    The norm is 8, some states closing as early as 6. Seeing how we spread across several time zones we can watch where states fall hours before the polls close on the west.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  15. #45
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    What!?

    We have to register to vote, and renew the registration annually. Deadline to register is normally a month before polling day.

    How could you remotely avoid fraud without having a registration?
    Over here you are automatically registered to vote if you are a citizen living in the Netherlands. You simply get your voting card sent to your home two weeks in advance or so. Bring it to the polling station, with an ID, and that's all you need.

    Not sure how it works if you live abroad TBH, I suspect you have to register at the embassy/consulate.

    Do you guys have advertising campaigns reminding people to register?
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  16. #46
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Over here you are automatically registered to vote if you are a citizen living in the Netherlands. You simply get your voting card sent to your home two weeks in advance or so. Bring it to the polling station, with an ID, and that's all you need.

    Not sure how it works if you live abroad TBH, I suspect you have to register at the embassy/consulate.
    If you've not registered, how do they know where you live?
    Do you guys have advertising campaigns reminding people to register?
    Yes.

    OG: You didn't address my point above (or I missed it if you did). What about simply requiring everyone to vote to bring with them a valid passport? Surely voting security is every bit as important as that for air travel?

    I'm going on holiday next week flying from Manchester to London Gatwick, then from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic. When I do I'll be required to bring my passport with me - simply to get some sunshine for a few weeks, but to choose the next government the identity restrictions are so much lighter?

  17. #47
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Thanks for the clarification from what I've read, eliminating the registration step or at least allowing election day registration would increase turnout by 5-10%. It's not much but significant enough for me to wonder why all states don't allow election day registration yet.
    Average turnout in Western European elections is 65-70%, so getting rid of registration would make the American presidential turnout roughly the same as turnout for key European elections.

    I also don't understand why you guys can't just have your elections on a day when most people aren't supposed to be at work.
    Tradition. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes; a lot of people have the day off (it's a national holiday), and the polls are open all day.

    But anyway, thanks for the clarification like I said If you or anyone come across any discussion of the consequences and implications of low voter turnout, do let me know. I can't help but feel as if a democracy with low participation is a democracy in trouble.
    Minorities and the poor are somewhat less likely to vote as a result (they're not as good at making sure they register on time). It probably wouldn't make a wild difference, but might lead to a 1-2% swing in favor of the Democrats.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    What!?

    We have to register to vote, and renew the registration annually. Deadline to register is normally a month before polling day.

    How could you remotely avoid fraud without having a registration?
    I stand corrected, though it's actually 2 weeks for Britain: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/p...10/8625136.stm

    Also, Britain has one of the lowest turnouts in Western Europe.
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  18. #48
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Loki, you didn't respond to my post challenging your claim that yours is the only nation requiring registration.

    Didn't realise it was a national holiday - but many people don't get national holidays off. What matters more IMO is the opening hours, how long are they open for?

    In the UK the polls are traditionally held on a Thursday, while they open at 7am and close at 10pm - it doesn't matter if you're working on that Thursday realistically you'll be able to vote in that 13 hour window.

  19. #49
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    I know I'm supposed to object to voter ID laws based on OG's arguments.

    I don't, though.

    If someone is interacting with society enough that they want to go vote, they are probably interacting with society enough that they need a photo ID for multiple things. I would say that I think that every state should give certified copies of birth certificates for free, and make it as easy and painless as possible to get the photo ID required. Georgia offers a free voter ID card, but it does take a birth certificate.

    It really ought to be possible to walk into your health department or county courthouse and request a certified copy of your birth certificate from any state, and if they can't computerize this safely then the local office should be able to make a phone call and have it sent, by priority mail (signature required) to the location of the requester's choice, free of charge.

    Georgia also allows you to use an expired GA license.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  20. #50
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    I'd agree with everything you wrote Lolli, but switch getting a birth certificate for free to getting a birth certificate cheaply and easily. You really should be able to get it anywhere you mentioned, but I don't see why a small nominal charge (say $10 or $20 tops) to cover reasonable out of pocket expenses shouldn't be levied. That should easily be enough to print/copy a copy and download/email/post it.

  21. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    a lot of people have the day off (it's a national holiday),.
    define "a lot". I don't know of any major businesses that are closed, or even close early on voting day. I've never been given the day off, that I can remember, and I can't recall any of my friends being able to get it off either.
    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    I would say that I think that every state should give certified copies of birth certificates for free, and make it as easy and painless as possible to get the photo ID required. Georgia offers a free voter ID card, but it does take a birth certificate.

    It really ought to be possible to walk into your health department or county courthouse and request a certified copy of your birth certificate from any state, and if they can't computerize this safely then the local office should be able to make a phone call and have it sent, by priority mail (signature required) to the location of the requester's choice, free of charge.
    This is what I'm saying, I have no problem in trying to reduce fraud, but it needs to be done in a manner not to leave anyone behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    but I don't see why a small nominal charge (say $10 or $20 tops)
    and when you're requesting your birth certificate from out of state, how would one go about paying this fee when they don't have credit cards or a banking account?
    This is why I mentioned earlier about the states needing to do better about communicating this information between themselves. Florida has no office that helps the public interface with other state departments.

    I'd even go as far as to say $20 could be a hardship, Brandy's share of cost for Medicaid is less than that.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 10-11-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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  22. #52
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Average turnout in Western European elections is 65-70%, so getting rid of registration would make the American presidential turnout roughly the same as turnout for key European elections.
    Ah I was hoping they'd aim for the 80%+ you see in Scandinavia

    If I've understood you correctly, turnout is esp. low in elections where you have to vote on senators and representatives. Aren't those the elections where you'd hope for the greatest turnout, given that they're supposed to be more in touch with their constituency?

    Tradition. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes; a lot of people have the day off (it's a national holiday), and the polls are open all day.
    Hmm that's surprising, because according to wikipedia it isn't much of a holiday:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electio...%29#Objections

    Of course there's nothing to say the people who don't get the day off are likely to belong to some particular demographic.

    Minorities and the poor are somewhat less likely to vote as a result (they're not as good at making sure they register on time). It probably wouldn't make a wild difference, but might lead to a 1-2% swing in favor of the Democrats.
    I read that in at least one case (the only one I know of) it led to a slight advantage for Republicans! Regardless of which party benefits, it's nice if more voters benefit.
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  23. #53
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Ah I was hoping they'd aim for the 80%+ you see in Scandinavia

    If I've understood you correctly, turnout is esp. low in elections where you have to vote on senators and representatives. Aren't those the elections where you'd hope for the greatest turnout, given that they're supposed to be more in touch with their constituency?
    A) The federal government usurped most of the state and local powers over the last century, so that's not as true as it once was (when it was true, turnout for local and state elections was higher than for national ones).
    B) People are more knowledgeable about national candidates than local ones due to the media attention given to the former and the amount of ads paid by them.
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  24. #54
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    This is what I'm saying, I have no problem in trying to reduce fraud, but it needs to be done in a manner not to leave anyone behind.
    Well everyone can get a passport, so that's fine then
    and when you're requesting your birth certificate from out of state, how would one go about paying this fee when they don't have credit cards or a banking account?
    This is why I mentioned earlier about the states needing to do better about communicating this information between themselves. Florida has no office that helps the public interface with other state departments.

    I'd even go to say $20 could be a hardship, Brandy's share of cost for Medicaid is less than that.
    A: Get a bank or credit card, ridiculous not to have one in the 21st century. If you don't, fine pay more to get a postal order sent or some other alternative.
    B: $20 may be awkward, but how often do you need to get a new birth certificate issued? Even if you did every year (which you don't) it'd be 5 cents a day.

  25. #55
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    Seriously?

    Your solution is to get a passport that many (if not most) Americans would never actually use? When expense is one of the reasons some people could be conceivably left behind?

    http://travel.state.gov/passport/fees/fees_837.html
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  26. #56
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Is voting less important than air travel to you?

  27. #57
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    I don't need a passport to travel by air in the United States.

    Also, the people we are discussing for whom the cost of ID and any associated costs are too much probably aren't doing a lot of domestic air travel, either.

    The problem with your argument is that I have no objection to voter photo ID laws. I'm not being a very good liberal for saying so, and I know it, but I think they are reasonably easy to obtain with minimal cost. I think it should be no cost (or perhaps no cost with some demonstrable financial hardship, but that opens cans of worms I don't want to play with).

    I even said that, up there somewhere. The idea that a passport is a reasonable alternative is absurd, though.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  28. #58
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Tradition. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes; a lot of people have the day off (it's a national holiday), and the polls are open all day.
    Loki, what country are you talking about?

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  29. #59
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    If you've not registered, how do they know where you live?
    As I said, your register once where you live, each time you move. But you need to do that anyway so it is not related with voting. As I see it you have to renew it each year and in the US AFAIK for each voting. As I see it, this is a big difference.
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  30. #60
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Loki, what country are you talking about?

    Freaking New Yorkers thinking they're the whole of the universe
    "California Elections Code Section 14000 provides that employees otherwise unable to vote must be allowed two hours off with pay, at the beginning or end of a shift."

    More reasons why the vote is on a Tuesday:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electio...tates)#History
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