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

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  1. #1
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Default Voter Photo ID -- Is It Really Terrible?

    The left-wing intelligentsia is in an unusual position on the issue of voter ID. Outlets like the New York Times have published editorial after editorial whining about how new state laws requiring photo identification at the polls is a Republican ploy to hurt the Democratic/minority vote.

    Yet most people in the comments of these articles don't buy it, and the laws are otherwise passing without much opposition. I think most of the laws are, in principle, good. At the moment I can legally vote in four different states because of where I registered to vote at a given time. Because I don't need a photo ID, nothing is stopping me from going back and voting in those states again.

    Is there anyone here who thinks requiring photo ID to vote is as bad as it's made out to be and can give some more color to their view?

    October 9, 2011
    The Myth of Voter Fraud

    It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.

    Of course the Republicans passing these laws never acknowledge their real purpose, which is to turn away from the polls people who are more likely to vote Democratic, particularly the young, the poor, the elderly and minorities. They insist that laws requiring government identification cards to vote are only to protect the sanctity of the ballot from unscrupulous voters. Cutting back on early voting, which has been popular among working people who often cannot afford to take off from their jobs on Election Day, will save money, they claim.

    None of these explanations are true. There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.

    The most widespread hurdle has been the demand for photo identification at the polls, a departure from the longstanding practice of using voters’ signatures or household identification like a utility bill. Seven states this year have passed laws requiring strict photo ID to vote, and similar measures were introduced in 27 other states. More than 21 million citizens — 11 percent of the population — do not have government ID cards. Many of them are poor, or elderly, or black and Hispanic and could have a hard time navigating the bureaucracy to get a card.

    In Kansas, the secretary of state, Kris Kobach (who also wrote Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law), pushed for an ID law on the basis of a list of 221 reported instances of voter fraud in Kansas since 1997. Even if that were true, it would be an infinitesimal percentage of the votes cast during that period, but it is not true.

    When The Wichita Eagle looked into the local cases on the list, the newspaper found that almost all were honest mistakes: a parent trying to vote for a student away at college, or signatures on mail-in ballots that didn’t precisely match those on file. In one case of supposed “fraud,” a confused non-citizen was asked at the motor vehicles bureau whether she wanted to fill out a voter registration form, and did so not realizing she was ineligible to vote.

    Some of the desperate Republican attempts to keep college students from voting are almost comical in their transparent partisanship. No college ID card in Wisconsin meets the state’s new stringent requirements (as lawmakers knew full well), so the elections board proposed that colleges add stickers to the cards with expiration dates and signatures. Republican lawmakers protested that the stickers would lead to — yes, voter fraud.

    Other states are beginning to require documentary proof of citizenship to vote, or are finding other ways to make it harder to register. Some are cutting back on programs allowing early voting, or imposing new restrictions on absentee ballots, alarmed that early voting was popular among black voters supporting Barack Obama in 2008. In all cases, they are abusing the trust placed in them by twisting democracy’s machinery to partisan ends.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/op...ter-fraud.html
    Last edited by Dreadnaught; 10-11-2011 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Spelling of intelligentsia

  2. #2
    Combined with the Real ID act its definitely a hurdle to the low income bracket. I'm having to help people all day try to find and track down a birth certificate online through other states (non of the systems are standardized for this). No one provides a birth certificate copy for free, and none of the states have systems that communicate with each other without requiring the citizen to purchase this form of evidence. Not to mention that the systems are usually online and credit card only.
    I have no problem with a more rebust identification system, but it shouldn't be setup in a way thats harming people who don't have the means to keep up. Not that it matters much in keeping elections legit, considering how easy it is becoming to remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines.
    Then you have states that are trying their damnest to charge whatever they can sneak through. Even firing whistle blowers.

    The early voting restrictions are a totally different ball of wax, they were extremely popular down here, especially with the citizens who had the hardest time taking a day off of work.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 10-10-2011 at 12:36 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Where is all this voter fraud requiring such a crack-down? Why isn't a state university photo ID legitimate, but a gun registration is (Texas)?

    I'm concerned about the elderly who probably don't drive or have let their driver's license lapse. For them, trying to get a "voter photo ID" is a hardship. Same thing applies to poor or working poor. Should they not be able to vote because the DMV has whacky hours and they can't take time off work to wait in line for hours in order to be "processed"?

    Do you really think you can vote in four states, because you registered to vote at different times? And now you can go back and forth to vote in all those states? And that's what's going on...people registering to vote in multiple states, on a massive scale, enough to alter elections? Really?

    When did you become such a conspiracy theorist?

  4. #4
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    If there really is very little voter fraud in the US and you feel you MUST require photo-ID then the least you can do is make sure everyone of voting age gets an acceptable photo-ID. Your voter turnout is atrocious as it is, no need to make it even worse
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    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    ... Your voter turnout is atrocious as it is, no need to make it even worse
    The difficulty to get on the rolls has nothing to do with the low turn out.

    Apathy/not liking your choices does.
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  6. #6
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    The difficulty to get on the rolls has nothing to do with the low turn out.

    Apathy/not liking your choices does.
    There are probably a lot of reasons for your low voter turnout, all I'm saying is there's no reason to add another.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    There are probably a lot of reasons for your low voter turnout, all I'm saying is there's no reason to add another.
    Call me elitist then. I DON'T think everybody should vote.
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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    Call me elitist then. I DON'T think everybody should vote.
    That's not being elitist. That's being anti-constitutional, and anti-American.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Exactly. We should be making it easier to vote, not harder.

  10. #10
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    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.
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    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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  12. #12
    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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  13. #13
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    I find it ridiculous that you can just turn up at the polls in this country, give any name and address and that's it you can vote. We don't even require a signature, any form of bill, anything - just name and address

    Personally I think you should have a photo ID to vote - and no I do not believe in compulsory ID cards

    I don't think Thomas Jefferson thought that 100% of the population should vote. Difference between can and should.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    Really? Rethink that.
    Should vs can not.

    (anit-constitutional...teeheehee)
    Oh, I see. Sure, not everyone who can vote "should" vote, but it's still their right.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I find it ridiculous that you can just turn up at the polls in this country, give any name and address and that's it you can vote. We don't even require a signature, any form of bill, anything - just name and address

    Personally I think you should have a photo ID to vote - and no I do not believe in compulsory ID cards

    I don't think Thomas Jefferson thought that 100% of the population should vote. Difference between can and should.
    Well, duh, back then women couldn't vote. Nor slaves. My history memory fails me, but didn't Jefferson believe only male land holders should be allowed to vote?

  15. #15
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member RandBlade'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?
    I don't think there really are any. Doesn't matter whether its 40% or 80% so long as everyone who wants to vote, and is legally entitled to vote, can legally vote. Once only and so long as those who want to defraud the system can not.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    so long as everyone who wants to vote, and is legally entitled to vote, can legally vote.
    Don't know how much outside knowledge you may have on our Voter ID push, but do you think the current Voter ID system here allows for this?
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  18. #18
    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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  19. #19
    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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  20. #20
    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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  21. #21
    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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  22. #22
    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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    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?

  24. #24
    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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    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Well, I'm sure a certain % of them did not WANT to vote. You gonna make them?

    What % of voter turn out is 'good', knowing that there is an amount of the population that can't even tell you who the bloody VP or Speaker of the House, or what the 3 branches of Government are?
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  26. #26
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    I don't what's going on, or who's so paranoid about getting more people registered to vote. If this kind of shit continues, I'll volunteer my time to go door-to-door with a goddamm digital camera and whatever new-fangled hand-held computer device with a bar code registration, swipe their picture and signature, print it out and laminate their voter ID. I know a few low-income minority nursing homes that would LOVE that service.

  27. #27
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    I don't what's going on, or who's so paranoid about getting more people registered to vote. If this kind of shit continues, I'll volunteer my time to go door-to-door with a goddamm digital camera and whatever new-fangled hand-held computer device with a bar code registration, swipe their picture and signature, print it out and laminate their voter ID. I know a few low-income minority nursing homes that would LOVE that service.
    Great, I have some Ultra-Christian Nursing homes that would love to have the help, so they can vote R all the way down the ballot!
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  28. #28
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    Great, I have some Ultra-Christian Nursing homes that would love to have the help, so they can vote R all the way down the ballot!
    How you think they'll vote is not the point. It's their right to vote that matters.

  29. #29
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    How you think they'll vote is not the point. It's their right to vote that matters.
    Really, the Get out the Vote drives really target both sides of the aisle?

    Either way, not everyone should vote. They can, but in some cases it's just random checking of boxes (in that they have NO idea who/what they are voting for other than a D or an R, and can even begin to understand the issues/questions on the ballot).
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  30. #30
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter. Voting is a Right. There's no conceptual ability or IQ test required. Just citizenship and age eligibility.

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