Which States Enact Voter ID Laws? The Most Racist Ones

voter-id-bills

PolicyMic nicely sums up recent research on what factors made it likely that a state enacted Voter ID laws in 2011:

According to new research by University of Massachusetts Boston sociologist Keith Bentele and political scientist Erin O’Brien, the states that have enacted tougher voter ID laws in the past few years are also the same states where both minority and lower-income voter turnout had increased in recent years.

Focusing further analysis on just 2011, when the vast majority of voter ID regulations were passed, the researchers found that states which passed the legislation were highly likely to have:

- Republicans in control of both houses of the state legislature and the governorship

- Strong probabilities of being swing states in the 2012 elections

- Minority turnout which was higher in the 2008 election and with high proportions of African-American voters

- Larger numbers of allegations of fraud in 2004, though these had a “much smaller substantive impact relative to partisan and racial factors”

The authors note that the study’s results carry ominous implications and demonstrate voter ID laws have “an uncomfortable relationship to the political activism of blacks and the poor.” Their paper further situates voter ID within a realm of policies that “collectively reduce electoral access among the socially marginalized.”

Related: Republicans Admit Voter ID Laws Are Aimed at Democratic Voters – The Daily Beast

This entry posted in Elections and politics, Race, racism and related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

37 Responses to Which States Enact Voter ID Laws? The Most Racist Ones

  1. 1
    Elusis says:

    Here’s a link to the full text of the Bentele & O’Brien paper.

  2. 2
    Ben David says:

    Amazing – neither this article, or the original study, address whether there was, in fact, voter fraud.

    The linked article could just as well be re-titled as “Democrats admit they are building on illegal alien vote fraud.”

    I understand that after the past 6 years, you are primed to label ANYTHING opposed to the Democratic party as “racist”.

    But was there actual fraud?
    Yes, there was clear evidence in several states that the Democrats used early voting, on-the-spot registration, and other tactics to commit fraud using unsophisticated minority voters and aliens who shouldn’t be voting.

    But when minorities are used this way by Dems, it doesn’t count as “exploitation” – huh?

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    But was there actual fraud?
    Yes, there was clear evidence in several states that the Democrats used early voting, on-the-spot registration, and other tactics to commit fraud using unsophisticated minority voters and aliens who shouldn’t be voting.

    Ben-David, a reminder that you have been banned from “Alas.”

    But as it says in our comments policy, “If you’ve been banned on “Alas,” you can still submit comments, but each comment will need to be individually approved by a moderator. If you impress a mod with how smart, interesting and civil your comments are, they could appear. But they won’t appear right away, and they might not appear at all. And even if some of your comments are approved by moderators, that doesn’t mean we’ll approve any more comments from you.”

    I wanted to ask about this:

    But was there actual fraud?
    Yes, there was clear evidence in several states that the Democrats used early voting, on-the-spot registration, and other tactics to commit fraud using unsophisticated minority voters and aliens who shouldn’t be voting.

    Can you please substantiate these claims with links to reasonable sources? (i.e., something more objective than worldnetdaily). And what scale of “actual fraud” are we discussing?

  4. Pingback: Twitter Is Racist! » Black & Right

  5. 4
    Ben David says:

    So we follow up the circular/insular “if you disagree with us you must be racist” with a Bolshie waggle of the nightstick in my face – and the tired old tactic of making the other party use Google for you.

    http://www.truethevote.org/news/how-widespread-is-voter-fraud-2012-facts-figures

    Over and above the actual numbers is the importance of perception and confidence in our voting system.

    And of course you will attack this as coming from an eeevil conservative organization – even though that article has links to documentation by the Pew Foundation and other well-known mainstream organizations.

    … and now could someone explain how it’s racist to require voters show the same level of ID that is required for every other transaction in this country, including buying beer?

    Can someone explain how “disadvantaged minorities” will have trouble with this – considering that anyone on public assistance can probably rattle off their SS number quicker than most white-collar execs, and are already used to identifying themselves before government agencies to qualify for various programs?

  6. 5
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Who here has read the paper? (raises hand.)
    Who here has read and tried to understand the results? (raises hand.)
    Who here actually understood them? (does not raise hand.)

    Seriously: Does anyone here know enough about statistics and econometrics to tell whether or not the author of the paper properly used GMM? Whether GMM was the right measure? Whether the results are clinically, or only statistically, significant? Whether the use of multiple test models is properly accounted for by the GMM equivalent of an ANOVA, to avoid type 1 error?

    I have spent some time and I still can’t be sure how to interpret the result (I’ve tried Google for things like “how to interpret GMM results” but no luck.) Unless you’ve read the paper and can understand it, it doesn’t seem reasonable to reach a conclusion based on it. Sure it’s good press, but is it good science?

  7. 6
    Elusis says:

    I’d put 2 1/2 hands up, I suppose.

    I’ve had PhD-level instruction in stats, seeing as how I have a PhD in a social science. But I can’t say that I retained a lot. Enough to read the results and look at the markers of significance with a reasonably informed eye; not enough to totally deconstruct the methods section.

    The guy who came up with GMM won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2013. So that’s something anyway.

  8. 7
    Ampersand says:

    Ben David, here’s the claim you made:

    Yes, there was clear evidence in several states that the Democrats used early voting, on-the-spot registration, and other tactics to commit fraud using unsophisticated minority voters and aliens who shouldn’t be voting.

    When asked to provide evidence to support your statement, you complained that it’s somehow unfair to expect you to back up your factual claims with facts, and then provided this link, and no other support.

    The link goes to “True The Vote,” where I learn things like “To date, 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud.” But “prosecuted or convicted” is very different from “convicted.”

    What I didn’t find on that page is a single word about early voting, either same-day or “on the spot” registration. No reports of Democrats pulling cons on minority voters or immigrants, or organizing them to make illegal votes. In short, the link you provided doesn’t seem to back up your claims. (It is true that some immigrants have voted when they shouldn’t, but your claim says there’s “clear evidence” of Democrats organizing such a thing.)

    And the link I quoted above, btw, leads to a list of 46 links, one for each of the 46 states they claim. I don’t think you can reasonably expect me to check all of those 46 links for evidence to support your claims.

    I did check the first one (dead link), the second one (absentee ballot fraud, party unidentified), the third one (candidate for sheriff “allegedly running for office in a precinct he didn’t live in”), and the fourth one (local Democrats committing absentee ballot fraud), and the fifth one (dead link).

    I’m not really impressed by the quality of your evidence. It seems pretty clear that you’re unable to provide any facts to prove your claims, Ben-David.

    I have a bit more to say, but my computer is acting like it’s about to crash, so I’ll post this now and then continue in a new comment after I’ve restarted my computer.

  9. 8
    Ampersand says:

    Continuing my response to Ben David… the sixth link is a report apparently written by House Republicans about undocumented immigrants voting, so this is the first link that’s even sort of relevant to your claims. The seventh link is a dead link. The eight link is absentee ballot fraud. Ninth link, absentee ballot fraud (school board members). Tenth link, guy who lost city council election by five votes, sues, claiming that 22 people illegally voted; court found that 16 of those votes were legal, and it’s not clear who the 6 non-legal voters voted for. Whoa, six votes! Except it’s really just one vote, because the Idaho Supreme Court later ruled: “We also hold that the UOCAVA absentee voter requirements did not apply to municipal elections held prior to 2011, but that there is insufficient evidence in the record to conclude that the five disputed votes in this case were illegal.”

    Note that of the ten links I examined, three were dead, and five were about absentee ballot fraud. Not one of them supported your claims about on-the-spot voter registration, early voting, etc..

    So what about all that absentee ballot fraud? Richard Hanson, a political science professor who writes the excellent “Election Law Blog,” writes:

    So you might think that Republicans, newly obsessed with voter fraud, would call for eliminating absentee ballots, or at least requiring that voters who use them show some need, like a medical condition. But Republicans don’t talk much about reining in absentee ballots. Eliminating them would inconvenience some voters and would likely cut back on voting by loyal Republican voters, especially elderly and military voters.

    If only Republicans would apply that same logic to voter-identification laws. The only kind of fraud such ID laws prevent is impersonation: a person registered under a false name or claiming to be someone else on the voter rolls.

    I have not found a single election over the last few decades in which impersonation fraud had the slightest chance of changing an election outcome — unlike absentee-ballot fraud, which changes election outcomes regularly. (Let’s face it: impersonation fraud is an exceedingly dumb way to try to steal an election.)

    On the subject of what the evidence shows, News21 did a thorough investigation:

    In an exhaustive public records search, reporters from the investigative reporting projecdt News21 sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation.

    Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters. [...]

    In-person voter-impersonation fraud is rare. The database shows 207 cases of other types of fraud for every case of voter impersonation. “The fraud that matters is the fraud that is organized. That’s why voter impersonation is practically non-existent because it is difficult to do and it is difficult to pull people into conspiracies to do it,” said Lorraine Minnite, professor of public policy and administration at Rutgers University.

    There is more fraud in absentee ballots and voter registration than any other categories. The analysis shows 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases of registration fraud. A required photo ID at the polls would not have prevented these cases. [...]

    Felons or noncitizens sometimes register to vote or cast votes because they are confused about their eligibility. The database shows 74 cases of felons voting and 56 cases of noncitizens voting.[...]

    But what about when Republicans compile big lists of links to news reports of what they claim are real cases? (Like the link you provided, Ben-David.)

    …the Republican National Lawyers Association [...] has compiled a list of 375 election fraud cases, based mostly on news reports of alleged fraud.

    News21 examined the RNLA cases in the database and found only 77 were alleged fraud by voters. Of those, News21 could verify convictions or guilty pleas in only 33 cases. The database shows no RNLA cases of voter-impersonation fraud.

    There is no credible case that in-person voting, early voting, or same-day registration are linked to a significant amount of fraud. What they are linked to is a significant number of Black people and poor people voting.

  10. 9
    Ampersand says:

    Also, regarding those absentee ballot cases: Many of them aren’t voter fraud. They’re election fraud, committed by the candidates, not by the voters. From a discussion of another case:

    Earlier this week, Villamaino pleaded guilty to felony charges of stealing ballots and changing the party affiliation of 280 Democrats during his campaign for state representative.

    [...]This case — just so you know, in the event that Fox “News” does end up running something on it — does not actually involve voter fraud at all. The voters here did nothing wrong. It’s election fraud. As usual, election fraud cases most often involve insiders manipulating votes, most frequently via absentee ballot. [...] Photo ID laws do nothing to prevent absentee ballot fraud, despite the fact that it is the most common type of election fraud.

    Anyone genuinely concerned about preventing fraud in US elections, would focus first on absentee ballots. On the other hand, anyone who just wants to try and keep likely Democratic voters (Blacks, latin@s, students, etc) from voting, would focus on things like voter ID laws and early voting.

    No surprise which route the GOP has taken.

  11. 10
    Ben David says:

    Ampersand:

    They’re election fraud, committed by the candidates, not by the voters.

    A distinction without a difference – nobody is saying that poor/minority voters are committing fraud on their own – we are talking about fraud by Democratic political operatives, sometimes using unsophisticated voters. And the example you cite is exactly that – and done by a local Dem machine. Thanks!

    Further Ampersand:

    anyone who just wants to try and keep likely Democratic voters (Blacks, latin@s, students, etc) from voting, would focus on things like voter ID laws and early voting.

    1. Not much practical difference between early voting and absentee ballots when it comes to avoiding election fraud.

    2. Can you address my second point:
    How does tightening ID requirements discriminate against these people?

    If they are inner-city poor or students, they are certainly used to providing their SS number and other ID to qualify for various programs – or even to make everyday purchases.

    If they are aliens – they shouldn’t be voting, should they?

  12. 11
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Elusis says:
    January 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I’d put 2 1/2 hands up, I suppose.

    I’ve had PhD-level instruction in stats, seeing as how I have a PhD in a social science. But I can’t say that I retained a lot. Enough to read the results and look at the markers of significance with a reasonably informed eye; not enough to totally deconstruct the methods section.

    OK, help me out:
    1) Do you know if GMM is generally designed to either account for multiple attempts at significance, or, somehow, not to be affected by them? I see a lot of things where he had to run multiple samples in multiple ways in order to find significance. It looks like fishing, though presumably it isn’t. Can you explain?

    2) What are the reported numbers (like I said, I really don’t know much about GMM)? Differences from mean? Correlation? Are they measured in percentahges, standard deviations, something else…? I see that (as usual for statistics reports) there isn’t an instantly obvious link between the number itself and whether it is pegged as significant–and of course, I don’t know enough about them to judge clinical as opposed to statistical significance.

  13. 12
    mythago says:

    How does tightening ID requirements discriminate against these people?

    Are state-issued IDs free where you live?

    Also, no, showing ID is not a “requirement” for buying beer. You must be, or look, very young indeed if you believe it is illegal to sell someone alcohol unless they show a state-issued identification card. What is illegal is to sell alcohol to someone under a certain age, so most businesses rely on state-issued identification to confirm that.

  14. 13
    Ampersand says:

    Ben David:

    A distinction without a difference – nobody is saying that poor/minority voters are committing fraud on their own – we are talking about fraud by Democratic political operatives, sometimes using unsophisticated voters. And the example you cite is exactly that – and done by a local Dem machine.

    The example I cited was Jack Villamaino and his wife’s conviction for election fraud. Villamaino was a Republican candidate for office. From a news story about their arrest:

    …the couple fraudulently filled out absentee ballot requests in the name of unsuspecting East Longmeadow residents in the hopes of stealing those ballots and casting votes in his favor during his run in the GOP primary election against Longmeadow Selectman Marie Angelides.

    So there’s nothing there about minority voters or “unsophisticated” voters. They just forged absentee ballot requests of people they apparently had no contact with, and then got caught because (face it) it wasn’t a very smart scheme.

    You also claimed there’s no important distinction between absentee ballots and early voting. Of course there is – in virtually all states that have it, early voting must be done in person, making it far less attractive than absentee voting for election fraud schemes.

    (There is one type of absentee ballot – same-day absentee voting – which does have to be turned in, in person, and so is similar to early voting. But the vast majority of absentee voting is done through the mail, a crucial difference from early voting.)

  15. 14
    Charles S says:

    The main flaw with mythago and Amp’s response to Ben David is that by only responding to some of the stupid and dishonest things that Ben David said, they may give the impression that there was something Ben David said that wasn’t stupid or dishonest.

    I don’t think Ben David’s last comment contained a single true statement. Let’s check:

    Ampersand:

    They’re election fraud, committed by the candidates, not by the voters.

    A distinction without a difference
    [False. Voter ID laws are relevant to in-person vote fraud, not to any other form of election fraud.]

    – nobody is saying that poor/minority voters are committing fraud on their own
    [False. Actually, since there is little election fraud going on, accidental illegal voting is probably the most common form of fraud, it just is a trivial phenomenon. Plenty of it is committed by poor or minority voters. Also, really nice racist/classist denial of agency. Of course those benighted people are mere tools, not active agents.]

    – we are talking about fraud by Democratic political operatives, sometimes using unsophisticated voters.
    [False, he just added the "sometimes" to obscure his original baseless lie.]

    And the example you cite is exactly that – and done by a local Dem machine.
    [Not vote fraud, not done by a Dem, not involving early voting, not involving poor or minority voters.]

    Thanks!
    [If we take this as a statement of gratitude, it might be true, but I doubt it.]

    Further Ampersand:

    anyone who just wants to try and keep likely Democratic voters (Blacks, latin@s, students, etc) from voting, would focus on things like voter ID laws and early voting.

    1. Not much practical difference between early voting and absentee ballots when it comes to avoiding election fraud.
    [Ridiculous non-responsive nonsense. Also, false. For instance, voter IDs, you know, the subject of the thread, can't prevent absentee vote fraud.]

    2. Can you address my second point:
    How does tightening ID requirements discriminate against these people?
    [not a statement. Also, a question where a moments googling would lead to plenty of research explaining the answer, if he actually cared.]

    If they are inner-city poor or students, they are certainly used to providing their SS number and other ID to qualify for various programs – or even to make everyday purchases.
    [False. Also, freighted with ignorant anti-poor bigotry and an ignorant and inaccurate view of social services in the US.]

    If they are aliens – they shouldn’t be voting, should they?
    [Not a statement.]

    So the only possibly true statement was the statement of gratitude. And given what an asshole Ben David has always been, I doubt the truth of his gratitude as well, particularly since he had to lie in order to claim to have something to be grateful for.

  16. 15
    Ben David says:

    Mythago addresses the issue with:

    How does tightening ID requirements discriminate against these people? Are state-issued IDs free where you live?

    Also, no, showing ID is not a “requirement” for buying beer. You must be, or look, very young indeed if you believe it is illegal to sell someone alcohol unless they show a state-issued identification card. What is illegal is to sell alcohol to someone under a certain age, so most businesses rely on state-issued identification to confirm that.

    ( …and my apologies for mushing that all together into one quote.)

    1. Most of the photo IDs I carry are either free or cost way less than other common living expenses. I don’t remember my NY State driver’s license costing enough to be seriously considered a barrier to entry. How much are the states charging for photo ID – if anything? Can you pay for it using EBT?

    You already have “motor voter” registration in a lot of states – what are the fees compared to, say, a Happy Meal? Or are these laws *discriminatory* because they favor voters wealthy enough to own vehicles?

    2. I am photo-ID’d for at least *half* the credit card purchases I make in person – and I am an Orthodox Jewish white male with an American accent (which indicates a lack of guile here in the Middle East – go figure). My clothing clearly indicates that I am upper-middle class, often it’s also clear that I work in hi-tech.

    I am asked for photo ID for *almost every* credit-card purchase I make when I hit the malls on trips back to the States. Is this just because I’m buying in bulk? Don’t know.

    It’s far less intrusive/intimidating than, say, the TSA feel-up to get on a plane in the US. And if you are who you say you are, it’s trivial.

    And Massachusetts has killed several birds with one stone – they now require photo ID on EBT cards. So there’s your voter ID for those who don’t have cars – or are they being raaaacist?

    Link:
    http://news.yahoo.com/mass-lawmakers-agree-photo-ids-125020181.html

    The weakness of the “discrimination” angle rankles those of us already weary of the ceaseless, politicized charges of racism over the past 6 years. It makes me wonder if the Dems doth protest too much – and why.

  17. 16
    acm says:

    I don’t know what to make of the fact that Pennsylvania is white on that map — we passed restrictive voting laws a couple of years go, although they’ve been challenged continuously and have yet to go into effect. Still, yes on “new legislation.”

  18. 17
    closetpuritan says:

    Ben-David, did you forget to sign your credit card? That’s the only time that I get asked for photo ID to make a credit card purchase–if it’s a new card and I didn’t remember to sign it yet. There’s usually a little strip underneath the magnetic strip on the back where your signature goes.

  19. 18
    Ampersand says:

    In addition to what Closetpuritan said: Ben-David, did you forgot that not everyone has credit cards? Or takes plane trips?

    It’s also frustrating that you’ve been proven wrong in this thread on factual claim after factual claim, but you never address your demonstrably false claims once they’ve been shown to be false, either to defend them or to say “my bad.” It gives the impression that you don’t care if what you say is true or not.

  20. 19
    mythago says:

    Ben David @15: you seem to have developed RonF’s allergy to Google. Setting aside the costs of driver’s ed and so forth because we’re just looking at the ID angle, a here are the fees for an original New York State driver’s license. Of course, you also have to have proof of identity, such as a birth certificate. I don’t know about New York, but my state doesn’t hand those out for free, either.

    Maybe you’re in favor of a poll tax? I mean, heck, $10 a head isn’t that much, right? Are people serious about voting or what?

    Re credit cards, the signature line on mine says SEE ID and I still rarely get asked for ID. In fact, rather a lot of stores in the US don’t even require a signature for charges under a certain amount (usually $50 or so). But, again, as with the beer example you so hastily dropped, there is a difference between a private company choosing to require or not require ID in return for selling you goods, or trusting that you are 21 or over, and the government requiring you to purchase a chit before you are allowed to exercise your right to vote. (Perhaps being in the Middle East for a bit has made you forget this, but buying beer is not actually a right in the US.)

    As for “motor voter”, there was enormous Republican opposition to those laws, again on the pretext that it would increase fraud.

  21. 20
    Chris says:

    I worked at Wal-Mart for three years, and company policy is that you ALWAYS ask to see ID on a credit card purchase, even if the customer doesn’t have to sign (usually for purchases under $50).

    But yeah, gotta love the privilege of Ben David thinking that the type of people likely to be discriminated against by voter ID laws are likely to make a ton of credit card purchases.

    “How much are the states charging for photo ID – if anything? Can you pay for it using EBT?”

    I honestly don’t know if this question is supposed to be serious or in jest, and I’m not sure which would make me angrier.

  22. 21
    Ampersand says:

    I worked at Wal-Mart for three years, and company policy is that you ALWAYS ask to see ID on a credit card purchase, even if the customer doesn’t have to sign (usually for purchases under $50).

    That’s strange. I’ve shopped at Wal-Mart more than once, and I don’t recall ever having to show ID. Could policy vary from store to store?

  23. 22
    Chris says:

    “That’s strange. I’ve shopped at Wal-Mart more than once, and I don’t recall ever having to show ID. Could policy vary from store to store?”

    Possible, but about half of the cashiers at my store just didn’t do this on a regular basis despite the policy, so it could be that you’re getting more laid back cashiers than myself.

  24. 23
    Elusis says:

    It’s also frustrating that you’ve been proven wrong in this thread on factual claim after factual claim, but you never address your demonstrably false claims once they’ve been shown to be false, either to defend them or to say “my bad.” It gives the impression that you don’t care if what you say is true or not.

    It seems to me that anybody who puts 4 As in the word “racist” is possibly not arguing in good faith.

  25. 24
    mythago says:

    Anybody who argues that nobody should talk about racism anymore because it’s so last decade is certainly not arguing in good faith. Also, is probably a racist. I can imagine his reaction would be somewhat different if someone posted a similar can’t-you-people-change-the-subject-already about anti-Semitic criticisms of Israel.

  26. 25
    Ben David says:

    Just to bring the conversation back from your imaginary straw men to what I actually said:

    Ampersand:

    In addition to what Closetpuritan said: Ben-David, did you forgot that not everyone has credit cards? Or takes plane trips?

    We’re talking about people who manage to produce birth certificates and SS numbers to get their welfare and EBT cards – and as I posted, at least one very liberal state has instituted phot0 ID for EBT cards to combat abuse of that bennie.

    Mythago so usefully linked to the NY State DMV – indicating that fees for government issued photo IDs are running around 10-15 dollars. Are you really claiming disenfranchisement based on this – or comparing such a fee to a plane ticket?

    Mythago continues the pearl-clutching outrage at a $10 licensing fee with:

    Maybe you’re in favor of a poll tax? I mean, heck, $10 a head isn’t that much, right? Are people serious about voting or what?

    Are you seriously saying a $10 fee will disenfranchise voters (who as you point out may have already shelled out $10 or more for a birth certificate, transcripts, etc. so they can apply for assistance programs)?

    Mythago:

    as with the beer example you so hastily dropped, there is a difference between a private company choosing to require or not require ID in return for selling you goods, or trusting that you are 21 or over, and the government requiring you to purchase a chit before you are allowed to exercise your right to vote.

    1. I never mentioned beer – I was referring to my own shopping experiences. And I have been confirmed by other posters that many retailers do ask for additional ID.

    2. This sudden opposition to government regulation – so rare on this blog – is a touching, welcome surprise.

    3. Anyone who’s built a house or opened a business can tell you that the government imposes all kinds of regulations – and bills you for its work – that interfere with private contracts, use of private property, and the free exercise of a whole buncha rights. The public good is cited as a justification. In this case the public good is ensuring that the election process remains honest and is perceived as honest by the public.

    Ten bucks will disenfranchise voters?
    Are you folks serious?

    Mythago:

    As for “motor voter”, there was enormous Republican opposition to those laws, again on the pretext that it would increase fraud.

    Yes that’s right – and it probably has. I don’t cite it as a solution. I cite its availability in many states as further evidence that claims of “disenfranchisement” are overblown.

    Mythago unwittingly gives a classic example of why so many of us – who aren’t racists – are fed up with the Obama-era politicized rhetoric in which any disagreement is evidence of racism:

    Anybody who argues that nobody should talk about racism anymore because it’s so last decade is certainly not arguing in good faith. Also, is probably a racist.

    … but that’s not what I said. To make the raaacist slander stick, you have to put words in my mouth – which is what lefties have been doing to shut up criticism for the past six years.

    Which is why many of us are weary and suspicious when “racism” it trundled out yet again as a catchall condemnation of any policy Dems disagree with.

    Nobody here has yet indicated how a 10 buck fee is racist or likely to disenfranchise voters.

  27. 26
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    mythago says:
    February 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm
    Are state-issued IDs free where you live?

    I suspect that folks on the ID side would probably be willing to provide a basic ID for free, if the ID would then be required for voting.

    Would the folks in opposition be OK with the ID requirement if it were free?

  28. 27
    Ampersand says:

    2. This sudden opposition to government regulation – so rare on this blog – is a touching, welcome surprise.

    Yes, other than legalizing drugs, legalizing prostitution, opposing stop and frisk, ending protectionist laws for car dealerships, ending taxi monopolies, copyright law, pain medication, border liberalization, circumcision (both sexes), etc etc, when have we ever opposed government regulations? (Actually, a bunch of times, but I think that’s enough examples to prove my point.)

  29. 28
    Ruchama says:

    Yes that’s right – and it probably has.

    How on earth would motor voter INCREASE fraud? It lets people register to vote when they’re already at the DMV with all the ID required to get a drivers license.

  30. 29
    Ampersand says:

    “Free” is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

    For instance, a free ID that was only available at a handful of government offices, so that many residents live hours away from where they’d have to go to get the ID, would not be “okay,” despite being “free.”

  31. 30
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Ruchama says:
    How on earth would motor voter INCREASE fraud? It lets people register to vote when they’re already at the DMV with all the ID required to get a drivers license.

    Also, DMV professionals are probably much stricter than poll workers. Seriously, have you ever tried to get the DMV to go even an iota beyond the fixed requirements of a document?

    “Your name is spelled wrong.”
    “Yes, I know. I have a long name-eighteen letters as you can see from document #1. The utility company truncates it at 15 letters. But it’s still good ID, becauise…”
    “NEXT!”

  32. 31
    Ruchama says:

    My mother was once denied a drivers license renewal because one of her documents had her middle initial and another one didn’t. They said that, if there had also been a document showing her middle NAME, then having one with an initial would be OK, but they couldn’t take one that had a middle initial without also having one with a middle name because “We don’t know where that letter comes from.” (I was with her at the time, because I was renewing my license at the same time, and I noticed that my birth certificate listed her full middle name, but that wasn’t acceptable, because she wasn’t the primary name on that document.)

  33. 32
    Chris says:

    Anyone who’s built a house or opened a business can tell you that the government imposes all kinds of regulations – and bills you for its work – that interfere with private contracts, use of private property, and the free exercise of a whole buncha rights. The public good is cited as a justification. In this case the public good is ensuring that the election process remains honest and is perceived as honest by the public.

    Of course it’s true, Ben David, that the public good is often cited as a justification for regulations that interfere with rights. But that’s why any time a limitation on rights is suggested, we have to make a rational cost-benefit analysis to see whether the benefit to the public good actually outweighs the limitation on rights.

    Supporters of voter ID laws have not been able to demonstrate this. You made a bunch of claims earlier in which you attempted to show that voter ID laws were necessary, and nearly all of those claims were false. In-person voter fraud simply is not a significant problem. You have yet to acknowledge your false claims.

    On the costs side, there is proof that voter ID laws have stopped many lawful voters from voting. This number far outweighs the number of people who commit in-person voter fraud because of a lack of voter ID laws. So not only do voter ID laws limit rights–they do so for no discernible purpose to the public good. In fact, they actively go against the public good by disenfranchising lawful voters.

  34. 33
    Elusis says:

    Motor Voter was supposed to “increase fraud” because it was explicitly framed as a way of getting more young people registered to vote (Rolling Stone, Rock the Vote, and other youth-oriented outlets encouraged their constituencies to lobby for it when I was in college). Young people disproportionately vote for Democrats, more Democrat supporters is counter to the interests of Republicans, so the “increase voter fraud” argument came out.

  35. 34
    Charles S says:

    Free ID is required by the courts (since we don’t allow poll taxes), but to get ID you need a birth certificate ($8 to $25) and often a marriage license ($8 to $20), so those would need to be made free as well (and better access to registration offices) for me to not object to an ID requirement. If those were free, I’d probably trade ID requirements for increased early voting (Ben David has still not backed up his earlier lie about early voting being used for fraud, but I’m not holding my breath waiting) and ensuring better wait times at polling stations, but only if the id requirement remained permanently contingent on early voting hours and reasonable wait times at polls.

    Even free required IDs are going to disenfranchise some people. If you don’t drive and you don’t use checks or credit cards, an ID you use only once every two to four years is something that is very likely to get lost in the interim. If ID requirements served an important or necessary purpose, that incidental disenfranchisement would be an unfortunate but necessary loss. Given that they don’t serve any significant purpose, that loss is at best just a pointless harm, and in actuality is a part of a campaign of voter suppression (it’s not racist! No! The Republicans just want to suppress Democratic voters, and if the easiest way to do that happens to disproportionately suppress black and Latino voters, well, I guess that is just a sacrifice Ben David and the Republican party are willing to live with).

    And, yes, $10 is the current value of the poll tax. And, yes, there are plenty of people for whom $10 (or $45) is a significant extra expense.

  36. 35
    mythago says:

    gin-and-whiskey @26: Voter-ID laws are not some theoretical construct, where we can only speculate and ‘suspect’ whether its supporters do or don’t favor free ID. These are actual laws that are being fought over and passed and challenged in the courts in the real world. Therefore, if pro-voter-ID folks genuinely wished to preserve access to the polls, it would be trivial to find provisions abolishing the cost of ID in those laws. Yes? As Amp says, it’s a necessary threshold. It’s not the be-all and end-all

    Ben David @25: You claim to be an Orthodox Jew; if so, you’re surely aware that lashon hara and lying are both prohibited. At a minimum, I would hope that if you’re going to indulge in those things, you would be careful enough to do it a bit more cleverly; for example, when you say you “never mentioned beer” but were only talking about your own shopping experiences, you seem to have forgotten that in @4, you stated that showing photo ID is legally required in the United States to buy beer.

    As for being racist, when you sneer about paying for government-mandated ID with EBT, cannot refer to the term ‘racist’ without sarcasm, and are fully in favor of the poll tax – which, as every schoolchild who made it through sixth-grade American History knows, was explictly intended to prevent blacks from voting – nobody is stuffing those words in your mouth but you.

  37. 36
    Harlequin says:

    Ampersand:

    “Free” is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

    For instance, a free ID that was only available at a handful of government offices, so that many residents live hours away from where they’d have to go to get the ID, would not be “okay,” despite being “free.”

    Indeed, availability of the free ID has been the core reasoning in the multiple court decisions delaying implementation of Pennsylvania’s previously-mentioned voter ID laws (or outright striking them down). Untrained-in-the-new-ID DMV workers in sometimes distant and/or rarely open offices, unclear communication about necessary documentation, incorrect information given to voters without IDs in previous elections, and the free ID program deeply underfunded in any case. (Most recent case, description of testimony from a 2012 case — not an exhaustive source of my comments above, I know, but I don’t quite have time to find more)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>