April 28, 2008

It's not unconstitutional to make voters show a photo ID.

The Supreme Court rules, 6-3, in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board:
The voter ID ruling may turn out to be a significant victory for Republicans at election time, since the requirement for proof of identification is likely to fall most heavily on voters long assumed to be identified with the Democrats — particularly, minority and poor voters. The GOP for years has been actively pursuing a campaign against what it calls “voter fraud,” and the Court’s ruling Monday appears to validate that effort....
The plurality opinion leaves room for an "as-applied" challenge, and I'll have more in a little while about what it would take to succeed in such a case.

UPDATE: There are two opinions with 3 votes each and then 2 dissenting opinions. The first opinion is written by Justice Stevens, joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy. Stevens demands "that burdens on a political party, an individual voter, or a discrete class of voters... however slight... must be justified by relevant and legitimate state interests 'sufficiently weighty to justify the limitation." And the record in this case, which challenged the law on its face, does not show an excessive burden.

What to make of the fact that all the Republicans in the Indiana legislature voted for the law and all the Democrats voted against it?
[I]f a nondiscriminatory law is supported by valid neutral justifications, those justifications should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators.
Since preserving the "integrity and reliability of the electoral process" is a neutral justification for the law, it doesn't matter to constitutional interpretation that Republicans saw partisan advantage in it and Democrats saw the opposite.

The other 3 votes for upholding the law came from Justice Scalia joined by Justices Thomas and Alito. Scalia doesn't approve of the mushiness of Stevens's free-form balancing test, which he thinks invites "endless" litigation:
That sort of detailed judicial supervision of the election process would flout the Constitution’s express commitment of the task to the States.
For Justice Scalia, the "universally applicable requirements of Indiana’s voter-identification law are eminently reasonable," and that is enough. I'm seeing some criticisms of the case that emphasize that Indiana did have enough of a reason to pass such a strict law, but Scalia's point is that the democratic process came up with this law, and there is not enough reason for the courts to overturn it.

I want to look at Justice Breyer's dissent next:
Were I ... to believe, as Justice Stevens believes, that the burden imposed by the Indiana statute on eligible voters who lack photo IDs is indeterminate “on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation,” or were I to believe, as Justice Scalia believes, that the burden the statute imposes is “minimal” or “justified,” then I too would reject the petitioners’ facial attack... I cannot agree, however...

[A]n Indiana nondriver, most likely to be poor, elderly, or disabled, will find it difficult and expensive to travel to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, particularly if he or she resides in one of the many Indiana counties lacking a public transportation system. For another, many of these individuals may be uncertain about how to obtain the underlying documentation, usually a passport or a birth certificate, upon which the statute insists. And some may find the costs associated with these documents unduly burdensome (up to $12 for a copy of a birth certificate; up to $100 for a passport). By way of comparison, this Court previously found unconstitutionally burdensome a poll tax of $1.50 (less than $10 today, inflation-adjusted).
Breyer emphasizes that other states with ID requirements are less demanding. Florida, for example, accepts an "employee badge or ID, a debit or credit card, a student ID, a retirement center ID, a neighborhood association ID, and a public assistance ID." Quite simply, Breyer sees an unjustified burden.

Finally, here's Justice Souter's dissenting opinion, which is joined by Justice Ginsburg:
Without a shred of evidence that in-person voter impersonation is a problem in the State, much less a crisis, Indiana has adopted one of the most restrictive photo identification requirements in the country....

[The law] targets the poor and the weak.... [B]eing poor has nothing to do with being qualified to vote.... [T]he onus of the Indiana law is illegitimate just because it correlates with no state interest so well as it does with the object of deterring poorer residents from exercising the franchise.

157 comments:

Fen said...

likely to fall most heavily on voters long assumed to be identified with the Democrats — particularly, minority and poor voters, and dead people

/fixed

Fen said...

And why did you put voter fraud in scare quotes?

P. Rich said...

The GOP for years has been actively pursuing a campaign against what it calls “voter fraud,”

Love the scare quotes, implying of course there is no voter fraud and this is just another "CarlRovian plot" to "disenfranchize" all those "caring" Dem voters. Legal? We don't need no stinking legal round here!

Bring back the literacy test, I say. That ought to really get Dem knickers in a twist.

Fen said...

Apologies for the tone. I'm grumpy and out of coffee. A brisk walk down to the local 7-11 should fix that.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The problem isn't the logic behind a free photo ID. It's that it functions in reality as a poll tax, because it isn't in fact free.

Tantallonblog said...

There are other interesting constitutional issues here beyond the economic and social considerations that the Court has overridden to make this decision.

One of them might be whether or not a prospective voter can be compelled to show his or her face to allow for comparison with the photo. A September 7, 2007 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news report headed, “... Federal law now allows women wearing niqabs or burkas to vote with their faces concealed,” reported that the Premier of Quebec took strong issue with the regulations and invited a cross-national debate.

Do American constitutional rights of freedom of religion play into this? Freedom of expression?

Zeb Quinn said...

Me, I've always gotten a kick out of the express assumption that it's mainly just pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow poor and minority Democrat voters who, drat, just can't seem to put their hands on ID that says who they are.

Zeb Quinn said...

The problem isn't the logic behind a free photo ID. It's that it functions in reality as a poll tax, because it isn't in fact free.

People have to wear clothes when they go to the polling place. Clothes aren't free. POLL TAX!!!

kimsch said...

MB - is the cost of amount of gas you use in your vehicle to get to the polling place a poll tax? The amount you spend on a babysitter so you don't have to bring your kids? The bus fare?

IDs are provided free for those who cannot afford them. They even went out to the elderly and others who could not come to the DMV to get one.

In Illinois (no such law at this time) a state ID or driver's license is $8 at its regular price. It's good for four years too, so it really costs $2 a year, payable in 4 year increments. The DMV's revenue comes from selling little stickers for your license plate that cost nearly $80 every year. More if you have a vanity plate or other specialty plate (except handicapped or veterans' plates).

One needs a photo ID for so many purposes other than voting, why wouldn't one have one?

Original Mike said...

Stevens said states have a valid interest “in deterring and detecting voter fraud.”

For the life of me, I've never understood how you can argue against that. I find the ruling heartening.

P. Rich said...

The court's decision says you are wrong, Mortimer. What you assert is an old, and now invalid, popular argument for allowing limitless numbers of illegal voters. Find a new one. You will have plenty of company. Dims can't afford to lose very much of their mythical base.

SteveR said...

Maybe if all these people who spend so much time worrying about these voters who somehow can't get the proper IDs, would go out and gather these huddled masses up and take them to where they could get the proper IDs, we'd have fair elections where justice prevails. Of course that would require getting off your damn computer and out of your office and into the community you so care about.

AllenS said...

I went to a farm auction Saturday, and gave them my drivers license so I could get a bidding number. This country (not to mention some of the commenters on this blog) are getting to be the biggest bunch of whiney crybabies ever assembled. Nobody at the auction complained about having to show their IDs.

Tibore said...

Why is there even any argument over showing an ID to vote? I show ID to write a check or get into a bar. Is this nation so superficial that we have no objection to requiring proof of identity for purchasing alcohol or using a bank check, but we have scads of objections to proving I'm who I say I am for the much more important act of voting?

Original Mike said...

Tibore asked: Why is there even any argument over showing an ID to vote?

Rhetorical question, right Tibore?

MadisonMan said...

I've never been asked (that I remember) for an ID when I vote. So at least here in WI, there does not appear to be a law that requires it. I've never seen anyone asked for an ID at the church school basement where I vote.

Original Mike said...

MM: I believe Gov. Doyle vetoed a voter ID bill.

AllenS said...

MM--

You have to be registered to vote in Wisconsin.

I registered in 2004. They send me a postcard saying: "The official voter registration list shows that you are registered to vote by the name and address appearing on this card. ..."

It also says: "For more election information, see The State Elections Board website: http://elections.wi.gov"

Hogarth said...

$8 poll tax: cry me a river. If you can't invest $2 a year in voting for a pandering legislator that will work to have even more of my money confiscated by the IRS to be redistributed to you, tough nuts.

former law student said...

I like you young whippersnappers who still are getting carded when you buy alcohol. I was seldom carded even when I was 19. And where does kimsch live where s/he has to drive to the polling place? One year I did have to walk a whole 2/3 of a mile, but I walk further than that for my evening constitutional.

Why are my fellow Republicans mandating solutions in the absence of evidence of a problem? I see big government taking away a little more freedom.

John Burgess said...

Tantallonblog: In brief, no. ID laws in the US do not permit people to hide their faces when required to show them.

There have been several cases on the point, including one in FL where a Muslim woman objected to raising her veil for her drivers license photo. Another where a judge refused to hear testimony from a witness who insisted on remaining veiled.

It's 'Religious accommodaton', not observing all rules of all religions at all times.

FL has had a voter photo ID requirement for years. You show your voter registration card (or give your name and address) and then produce photo ID to back it up. Finally, you sign the voter register before being permitted to vote.

Somehow, the system provides easy enough access so that voters who are confounded by butterfly ballots nevertheless had the required ID.

kimsch said...

fls, My polling place is 1.5 miles from my home. I am also disabled and can't walk that distance. I have to drive.

Bissage said...

Purchasing alcohol . . .

Casting ballot . . .

Purchasing alcohol . . .

Casting ballot . . .

Hmmmmmmm . . .

Decision, decisions . . .

[ Continues to stroke chin. ]

Pogo said...

"solutions in the absence of evidence of a problem"

ACORN: 7 charged with voter registration fraud
"Story Published: Jul 26, 2007 Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) - King County prosecutors filed felony charges Thursday against seven people in what a top official described as the worst case of voter-registration fraud in state history, while the organization they worked for agreed to keep a better eye on its employees and pay $25,000 to defray costs of the investigation.

The seven submitted about 1,800 registration cards last fall on behalf of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which had hired them at $8 an hour to sign people up to vote, according to charging documents filed in Superior Court.

Secretary of State Sam Reed told a news conference it was clearly Washington's most serious instance of voter registration fraud.

The Washington state probe began after King County election workers in October spotted apparently forged voter-registration cards among about 1,800 that were turned in by ACORN. The cards arrived a day after they were due for the November election.

Election officials feared that tossing all of the registrations could inadvertently disenfranchise any potentially legitimate voters in the batch. So they allowed the names to appear on the rolls for subsequent elections, including an advisory vote on replacing Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct in March.

But they flagged those names and tried to verify them using other state databases. Only six turned out to be legitimate voters, Satterberg said. The King County canvassing board agreed to remove many of the rest - 1,762 - from the rolls Thursday, satisfied they were fraudulent.

Investigators determined that no votes were cast from the fraudulent voter registrations.

Original Mike said...

FLS said: I see big government taking away a little more freedom.

Freedom to do what?

Salamandyr said...

Here in Missouri, one must register to vote ahead of time, and present your registration card at the polls at voting time. I wonder how much it costs to have such duplication of effort instead of requiring a simple driver's license or state ID?

As for the dreaded "Poll Tax" argument, how is it that other constitutionally protected activities and items, like newspapers, printing presses, and firearms, are still subject to normal taxation?

SGT Ted said...

So, someone will have to buy 2 less packs of cigarettes to vote.

How come people who bitch about having to purcahse an ID to vote never get around to objecting to the tobacco tax, which takes much more money away from the poor, everyday, than a once every 6 to 8 years requirement to purchace an ID card for 10 bucks?

MadisonMan said...

Freedom to do what?

Freedom to be anonymous. Not in the constitution, you'll say, but I do love it.

Pogo: I believe we're talking voter fraud. Not voter registration fraud. So the most serious case was one that was detected and resulted in no votes being cast. Did I read that right?

save_the_rustbelt said...

I guess the illegal aliens won't be able to vote for Democrats, darn it.

But they can still depress blue collar wages.

Original Mike said...

Freedom to be anonymous.

To whom? You have to declare who you are at the polling place, so you're only anonymous if you lie.

former law student said...

Freedom to do what?

Freedom to vote.

I registered to vote, and as a regular voter, that should be all I need do till I move.

Original Mike said...

Freedom to vote.

Sorry, this does not remove your freedom to vote.

former law student said...

I'm sorry to hear that, kimsch. During a lifetime in suburbia, my polling place has always been within easy walking distance.

My polling places have included VFW halls, restaurant banquet rooms, public schools, and fire houses, but for some reason lately they've been in church halls -- so much for the separation of church and state, I reckon.

Pogo said...

MadisonMan said "I believe we're talking voter fraud. Not voter registration fraud."

I very much doubt the voter registration fraud was meant for anything other than voter fraud.


How to Steal an Election
John Fund
"Election fraud is expanding. This past March, in just one of many recent cases, Texas representative Ciro Rodriguez, chairman of the congressional Hispanic Caucus, lost a close Democratic primary after a missing ballot box suddenly showed up in South Texas, stuffed with votes for his opponent. Rodriguez charged fraud but could never definitively prove it. The circumstances were eerily similar to those that tipped a 1948 Senate race to Lyndon Johnson.

Among the many abuses it has spawned, the Motor Voter law seems to have enabled illegal aliens to vote—for Democrats, evidence suggests. A 1996 INS investigation into alleged Motor Voter fraud in California's 46th congressional district discovered that "4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in the disputed election between Republican Robert Dornan and Democrat Loretta Sanchez." Dornan lost by fewer than 1,000 votes. In 2002, Dean Gardner, a losing GOP candidate for California's state legislature, sent out a survey to 14,000 first-time voters. A total of 1,691 surveys came back. The results were startling: 76 people admitted that they weren't citizens but had voted, while 49 claimed not to have registered at their correct residence, as the law requires. Gardner lost by only 266 votes.

In the 2000 election, as the Missouri secretary of state later discovered, 56,000 St. Louis-area voters held multiple voter registrations. No one knows how much actual fraud took place, but it may have played a role in the Democratic defeats of incumbent Republican senator John Ashcroft, who lost his seat by 49,000 votes, and gubernatorial candidate Jim Talent, who lost by 21,000 votes.
... But both the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post found that, if anything, election officials were too permissive in whom they allowed to cast ballots. A Post analysis discovered that 5,600 people voted whose names matched those of convicted felons. "These illegal voters almost certainly influenced the down-to-the-wire presidential election," the Post reported. "Of the likely felons identified by the Post, 68 percent were registered Democrats."

...But both the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post found that, if anything, election officials were too permissive in whom they allowed to cast ballots. A Post analysis discovered that 5,600 people voted whose names matched those of convicted felons. "These illegal voters almost certainly influenced the down-to-the-wire presidential election," the Post reported. "Of the likely felons identified by the Post, 68 percent were registered Democrats."

kimsch said...

fls, mine is in the new village Cultural Center. In the past it has been at the village hall, a "men's social club" (more like a VFW hall than anything else, not a strip club), and a bank. Where I grew up, the polling place was in the firehouse at the end of the street, 2 blocks away. That was convenient.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not anonymous to the Poll worker, true. And the government does know that I registered to vote, and that I voted.

There's a difference between that and proving who I am every time I vote.

madawaskan said...

Oh Mortimer and former law student-

How much you want to bet that in Florida when the Democratic Party was challenging the votes of absentee military because they were MISSING STAMPS-

Stamp Act!

You weren't all worried about the Dems pushing for that POLL TAX-

All of a sudden that argument would be ridiculous right?

You'd lose your empathy for that sooner than your appetite after reading a titus blowout...

I mean you even had the judicious Bob Kerrey snarling down in Florida-

The military knows the damn rules-they ought to follow the rules!

Bastards-the Democrats that tried that loophole.

[it turns out that the military mail system doesn't use stamps something Bob Kerrey should have figured out before he shot his mouth off as a military "expert".]

kimsch said...

MM,

What if, when you go to vote, the election judge tells you that you have already voted? That someone who did not need to prove who he was voted in your name?

madawaskan said...

Gawd I know, I know I gotta get over it-but damn you pikers!

MadisonMan said...

And yet this case you cite -- the worst case in Washington -- resulted in no votes cast! That's not a very strong argument.

In the 2000 election, as the Missouri secretary of state later discovered, 56,000 St. Louis-area voters held multiple voter registrations. No one knows how much actual fraud took place, but it may have played a role in the Democratic defeats of incumbent Republican senator John Ashcroft, who lost his seat by 49,000 votes, and gubernatorial candidate Jim Talent, who lost by 21,000 votes.

No one knows how much actual fraud took place, but feel free to speculate! I will speculate that many of those 56000 duplicate registrations arise from people moving.

Has there ever been a narrow victory in a state-wide election that didn't result in someone crying about fraud? Why don't the politicians blame themselves and their lame messages that don't make people want to vote for them?

Methadras said...

How about we just ask voters to dip there fingers in purple ink. If it's good for the Iraqi's surely it can be good for us as well.

Original Mike said...

MM said: There's a difference between that and proving who I am every time I vote.

I don't see the difference. I really don't.

MadisonMan said...

What if, when you go to vote, the election judge tells you that you have already voted?

The underlying assumption in this question is that such a thing is routinely happening. It's not. Should I worry about something that doesn't happen? No.

If it did happen to me, well, I'd tell the poll workers and I assume things would work out. It would be interesting (for me) to see how things played out -- but then I'm the type of guy who once went to court for a speeding ticket just to see the process. (The excuses one hears! The judge seemed relieved when I said I was guilty and I just wanted to see how things worked).

former law student said...

madawaskan -- the Gore forces acted disgracefully in Florida in 2000, from pushing for a preposterous "do-over" in Palm Beach County to discarding service members' absentee ballots as you point out. I have zero support for them, although it was instructive to see Gore acting like a whiny little bitch.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

MM- Maybe there were no votes cast on those 1700 invalid registrations because of the focus on them prior to the election?

I think our friends on the left are losing sight of the idea that we have to protect everyones right to not only vote, but have that vote COUNT, and not just be counted.

madawaskan said...

former law student-

OK sorry I put you within the confines of that Venn diagram-

As in Democrats that were all for that, but against this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"There's a difference between that and proving who I am every time I vote."

BFD. You have to prove who you are every time you want to cash a check. Waaahhh. When you want to use your ATM card option you have to use your super secret code EVERY TIME!! OMG unfair.....

Just the other day, I had to show my driver's license and give my vehicle license plate when I was checking into a hotel. Wow...my freedom to scam the hotel with a bad credit card and do lots of anonymous damage is being taken away. I think this must be Bush's fault
When you open a brokerage account with me, apply for life insurance, bring in stock certificates you have identify yourself to me with valid driver's license, or other ID, which I will take a copy of and keep in your permanent record. You also have to provide me with a valid social security number and my firm will match the SS number with your ID. If there is no match, you account will be promptly closed. If you want me to notarize your documents I will also positively identify you and in many cases take your thumbprint. Wooooaaaah so intrusive. You know what I tell people who don't or if I suspect that their ID isn't valid ??? Sorry, can't and won't do business with you. (Don't let the door hit you on the way out.)

People who whine about having to prove their identity to vote (the biggest responsibility we have as citizens) are big freaking babies who haven't had anything REAL to whine about in their lives......or they WANT to facilitate voter fraud.

AllenS said...

MM, do you remember what you had to do to register to vote in WI? Let me refresh your memory. You would need this: From elections.wi.gov


1. a current and valid operator’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation
2. an official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
3. an official identification card or license issued by an employer that includes a photograph of the cardholder or license holder, excluding a business card.
4. a property tax bill or receipt for the current or preceding year.
5. a current utility bill,
6. a bank statement,
7. a pay check, or
8. a government check or document.
9. a college identification card that includes a photograph of the cardholder. This may be used as an identifying document even if it does not contain the cardholder’s address, if the educational institution provides a certified student list for use at the polling place.

Did you object to any of this? Did this bother you?

Der Hahn said...

MadisonMan said... And the government does know that I registered to vote, and that I voted.

The government doesn't know *you* voted. They just know that someone *claiming* to be you voted.

I guess kimsch already pointed that out to you. You're probably right that fraud like this is rare, though with our low voter participation rates I doubt that many people would notice and the explanation of human error is likely believable. But it's also not very necessary to capture actual voter ids when voter registration isn't rigorous, either. It's much easier to create false registrations (dead man voting) when there is no requirement to match the registration to a standard form of identification.

former law student said...

People who whine about having to prove their identity to vote (the biggest responsibility we have as citizens) are big freaking babies who haven't had anything REAL to whine about in their lives......or they WANT to facilitate voter fraud.

This is the same "argument" used by gun controllers pushing handgun registration, except the feared consequence is murderers going free, and gun controllers usually throw "cry me a river" in there somewhere. People shouldn't have to jump through hoops to exercise a fundamental right.

AJ Lynch said...

Mort:

When you swallow those Dem talking points like "Poll Tax", do you find them tasty?

Pogo said...

Building Confidence in U.S. Elections
Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform
September 2005
ORGANIZED BY
Center for Democracy and Election Management
American University

SUPPORTED BY
Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Ford Foundation
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Omidyar Network


RESEARCH
Electionline.org/The Pew Charitable Trusts

"There is no evidence of extensive fraud in U.S. elections or of multiple voting, but both occur, and it could affect the outcome of a close election. The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.

We rejected the first option — eliminating any requirements — because we believe that citizens should identify themselves as the correct person on the registration list when they vote. While the Commission is divided on the magnitude of voter fraud — with some believing the problem is widespread and others believing that it is minor — there is no doubt that it occurs. The problem, however, is not the magnitude of the fraud. In close or disputed elections, and there are many, a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference. And second, the perception of possible fraud contributes to low confidence in the system. A good ID system could deter, detect, or eliminate several potential avenues of fraud— such as multiple voting or voting by individuals using the identities of others or those who are deceased — and thus it can enhance confidence. We view the other concerns about IDs — that they could disenfranchise eligible voters, have an adverse effect on minorities, or be used to monitor behavior — as serious and legitimate, and our proposal below aims to address each concern.

...In its deliberations, our Commission considered the best practices of election systems around the world. Many other democracies achieve significantly higher levels of voter participation due, in part, to more effective voter registration. Election authorities take the initiative to contact and register voters and conduct audits of voter registration lists to assure that they are accurate. In addition, voter registration in many countries is often tied directly to a voter ID, so that voter identification can enhance ballot integrity without raising barriers to voting. Voters in nearly 100 democracies use a photo identification card without fear of infringement on their rights."

Pogo said...

MadisonMan said...
The underlying assumption in this question is that such a thing is routinely happening. It's not. Should I worry about something that doesn't happen? No.

Why "routinely"?
It should never, ever happen.

You seem to have missed the salient part of that paragraph. It DID happen already,, and affected the results.
Post analysis discovered that 5,600 people voted whose names matched those of convicted felons. "These illegal voters almost certainly influenced the down-to-the-wire presidential election," the Post reported. "Of the likely felons identified by the Post, 68 percent were registered Democrats."

Trooper York said...

If you have to show picture ID to get into a strip club is that a
pole dance tax?

MadisonMan said...

My recollection is that when I registered (the day of voting, and in the wrong precinct, as it turned out -- I foolishly went to the voting place closet to my house), I think I took the gas bill. I probably showed them my driver's license too (this was in 1995, so the memory is sketchy), but the address was, of course, wrong, as I'd just moved. (But we're not arguing about having to show ID when you register are we? Of course you should have to do that.)

DBQueen, I actually don't show my ID at the bank when I cash checks. They know me. (And I'm usually just depositing anyway -- why have money in your wallet? That just invites a daughter to "borrow" it?)

AllenS said...

MM--

Your memory is very sketchy. 2004 was the first time that you had to be registered. Before that (2000 election), in Alden Township, Polk County, WI, all I had to do was give them my name and address, which they (2 different people) wrote down. No ID. No preregistration.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQueen, I actually don't show my ID at the bank when I cash checks. They know me. (And I'm usually just depositing anyway -- why have money in your wallet? That just invites a daughter to "borrow" it?)

LOL> The last part does make sense. I mean when you are purchasing things with a check as I do so I can have concrete records for the IRS showing my business deductions. The clerk is going to ask for your ID.

Just showing up to vote (provisional ballots are allowed in many areas) with a utility bill and showing NO ID to prove who you are is just asking for more voter fraud. Anyone can "borrow" a utility bill and use it over and over in more than one precinct.

There is no excuse for not being properly registered to vote. Moving isn't an excuse unless you moved the day before the election. People need to take some personal responsibility to get their affairs in order. If they can't do this, then maybe they should be voting, driving or reproducing.

MadisonMan said...

Hey give me a break! 1995 was a dozen+ years ago! That was before kid #2, and in house #1.

former law student said...

Voters in nearly 100 democracies use a photo identification card

These same democracies have eliminated the death penalty for its barbarism, mandate socialized medicine, prohibit handgun ownership, have religious indoctrination in public schools, and limit freedom of speech and press compared to the US. So be careful when you try to justify a new American practice based on its acceptability elsewhere.

Windbag said...

Maybe common sense isn't as dead as I thought.

I have to show my Dollywood ID card to the kindly senior citizen at the turnstile before I'm allowed in to celebrate cracker culture. That ID costs less than $100 (with the Gold Pass upgrade). I'm not inconvenienced to carry it, since I get 20% off all my purchases while in the park (and FREE! parking). Pretty good deal, considering the privileges that ID allows me.

The privilege I have to vote cost a hell of a lot more than $100, paid by people whom I have never met. To require that I offer minimal evidence that I'm eligible to enjoy that privilege in the form of flashing some ID isn't inconvenient. It's respectful to the people who have sacrificed to guarantee that privilege.

Windbag said...

DBQueen, I actually don't show my ID at the bank when I cash checks. They know me.

The joys of small town living.

One of the precinct workers chastised me for not voting one day, as I accompanied my wife while she voted. I assured him that I had stopped by earlier and voted, but he hadn't noticed me. He double-checked the book to be sure I wasn't lying, and that I had, in fact, voted. And he's the opposite party from me.

One day in the bank, my signature was required on a form my wife was turning in, but I wasn't there. The girl (new to the bank) didn't know what to do, so she called and talked to someone. Then she told my wife, "They told me I'm supposed to turn my back, and you're supposed to sign his name," which they both did.

(Other anecdotes available, but not offered, since I already sound old, boring, and stodgy by sharing these.)

Ger said...

Great!!

The government has now check marked one more item on its list.

We are one step closer to the day when we'll have to respond to any government minion when they utter the phrase "Papers please!!"

John Stodder said...

MM,

What if, when you go to vote, the election judge tells you that you have already voted? That someone who did not need to prove who he was voted in your name?


Since the voter rolls are right out in the open, and if you can read upside down, you can see who has voted yet and who hasn't, this is an easy scam.

Both sides need to be honest about this.

Democrats don't like ID requirements not because they condone fraud, but because the GOTV process increasingly involves rounding up people who otherwise would not vote, registering them and taking them to the polls. That's what Florida 2000 was really about. Confused voters who couldn't figure out a simple ballot, because they hadn't seen one in years. These are people who tend to be disorganized in every facet of their lives -- that's why they're poor. So a lot of them don't have IDs. These might not be people who ought to be voting, i.e. who are paying attention to the elections. But they have a right to vote, and the Dems are free to encourage them to exercise it, however incompetently.

The Dems' GOTV tactics will have to change in states that require IDs.

Republicans know this. So it's a tactical victory now if they can use this ruling to persuade state legislatures to pass ID requirements. It will cost Dems votes, pure and simple.

However, in states where Dems have an edge, ID requirements won't pass, so this won't matter. Or, I figure they'll hit up Geo. Soros for some money for a "get your ID" campaign, and will ask some states for automatic IDs to be printed at polling places.

They'll bemoan this decision for about 20 minutes, then figure out a way around it.

As for the idea that this decision is a bad one because it solves a non-existent problem: Please. Don't insult our intelligence. If someone shows up without an ID and votes when they shouldn't have done so, how would that fraud be detected? We really don't know the scope of the problem, but the hypothetical risk is real, so the regulation is reasonable.

Maguro said...

"This is the same "argument" used by gun controllers pushing handgun registration".

Not only the same argument but the same result as well. As far as I know, handgun registration laws have not been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Martin Gale said...

I suspect the class of people who are motivated to vote, but who can't secure a free state supplied photo ID is close to the null set. But suppose not, why don't the Dems just append a photo ID effort to their annual voter registration drive. For a party that raises more dead than George Romero, this should be easy. Even fun.

Freder Frederson said...

These are people who tend to be disorganized in every facet of their lives -- that's why they're poor.

Say what? Democrats are dumb and poor? I thought Republicans were the ones who were more closely identified with the unwashed masses. I thought Democrats were all elitist snobs. Now you're telling me that Republicans are well-off, educated, together people who read the Wall Street Journal and The National Review and are fully informed about the issues.

I'm so confused.

former law student said...

If someone shows up without an ID and votes when they shouldn't have done so, how would that fraud be detected?

1. Voter doesn't know registered name or street address.
2. None of the poll workers have seen voter before.
3. True voter comes in, finds he has already voted.
4. Random check of precinct binder shows signature does not match one on voter registration card.
4a. In fact, reproducing on the precinct binder the voter's signature from his registration card would do just as much to eliminate fraud as requiring a photo id.

AllenS said...

Freder Frederson said...
"I'm so confused."

No kidding.

Palladian said...

"Say what? Democrats are dumb and poor?"

Well at least you've mastered the dumb part of the equation.

kimsch said...

fls @ 12:57 - 4a. Here in Illinois the signature is on the roll. At least in my county (which is not Cook. Cook County, btw, has 50% of the entire state's population...).
When I go to vote, I have my very own page in the "book". My signature is depicted there. I also show my voter registration card and my photo ID even though those aren't required or asked for. I have a long last name that is hard to spell and it's much easier to just hand the election judge something that has my name written on it.

Trooper York said...

Say what? Democrats are dumb and poor?

No just the Polish ones. That's why they call it a pole tax dummy.

Yachira said...

"The GOP for years has been actively pursuing a campaign against what it calls “voter fraud""

And it's a good thing they have.

The Democrats simply cannot win a national election without calling on the dead and illegal; we all know that.

Enough is enough.

Bruce Hayden said...

The suggestion that the people at the polling place knowing the potential voter being sufficient is belied by a recent article that pointed out that one of the named plaintiffs in one of these voting cases was ineligible to vote because she actually was a resident now in Florida (where she was also registered). It turns out that she had voted there for maybe 50 years and was doing so again through habit. Unfortunately, she now had a Florida driver's license, which is why she was refused voting. It turned out that she was likely ineligible since residency is a legal question, and not one really of intent.

But notably, without her having to show her driver's license, she would have been allowed to vote, as she had always done there, and there would have been one more vote for the candidates she intended to vote for than would have been legal.

Eli Blake said...

Of course, there were no documented cases of voter fraud in Indiana at the time when they passed the law. As it is, casting a vote under false pretenses is a felony, and no one is going to risk prison in order to cast a single vote. If you are really worried about fraud you'd be worried about vote-by-mail fraud, where dozens or even hundreds of votes can be cast fraudulently with a much smaller chance of getting caught, or hacking into voting machines and the computers counting the votes, which could cause election results to be changed. But instead it seems that the GOP would prefer to waste our time making it harder to commit non-existent in-person single vote fraud.

So this is a lot like the flag burning amendment-- Republicans insisting on taking up time and passing laws to address problems that are virtually non-existent, while failing to address bigger issues.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"If someone shows up without an ID and votes when they shouldn't have done so, how would that fraud be detected?"

1. Voter doesn't know registered name or street address.

That happened to me once. The county decided that we needed to have street address numbers in our rural area, where there had been no numbers for decades. They assigned a random 6 digit number to our houses. Really funny when there were mabye 2 to 5 houses on a street. (Big ranches. Each being several sections) No one could remember what their numbers were because we didn't use them for any purpose. Mail delivery is 100% to post offices or to those group mail box stands. Half the people who showed up to vote couldn't give their addresses.

Fortunately, being a small area, the poll workers knew everyone and told us what our adresses are.

2. None of the poll workers have seen voter before.

That would work in a small town, but in Los Angeles the likelihood of being "known" by a poll worker would be slim to none.

3. True voter comes in, finds he has already voted.

Which would not happen if the fake voter had to present identification.

4. Random check of precinct binder shows signature does not match one on voter registration card.
4a. In fact, reproducing on the precinct binder the voter's signature from his registration card would do just as much to eliminate fraud as requiring a photo id.


Why go to all that bother when the simple answer to the problem is to show your freaking ID just like you do hundreds of times in other circumstances.

Pogo said...

former law student said... "These same democracies have eliminated the death penalty ..., mandate socialized medicine, prohibit handgun ownership, ...and limit freedom of speech and press compared to the US. So be careful when you try to justify a new American practice based on its acceptability elsewhere."

I am. But democrats usually support all the crap coming from Europe, so it's funny to hear them now arguing against our betters.

Not just funny, hilarious.

And look at all the folks who signed onto the study that I cited (Carnegie, Ford, Knight, Omidyar, Pew). All left-leaning. They're your kind supporting voter ID. Explain that, if you can.

Martin Gale said...

One of the guilty pleasures of this Dem primary season is watching the Obama and Clinton forces try to game the voting process/count to their advantage. Voter fraud, which apparently never occurs in the general election, seems to be popping up in primary after primary: for example, by Obama in Texas and by Clinton in New York (where predomininently black precincts cast nary a vote for Obama, hmmm . . .). It's like Carlo Gambino insisting that the mafia doesn't exist, and then he get's into a crime war with the Castellano family and blows the whole storyline.

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo:

Did you leave out the biggest leftie of all? Wasn't Jimmy Carter in that group too?

Original Mike said...

4a. In fact, reproducing on the precinct binder the voter's signature from his registration card would do just as much to eliminate fraud as requiring a photo id.

That would be fine by me. Doesn't have to be a photo. Where I vote, however, there is no signature required at the time of voting, no registration card to be displayed, and no signature to compare it to available to the poll worker. There is me saying who I am and that's it. And as John Stodder noted upthread, a whole page of blank names and addresses in front of the poll worker for me to pick from (I would have to read upside down).

FLS, you seem to have a hard time imagining that your situation (e.g. "And where does kimsch live where s/he has to drive to the polling place?") is not universal. Use your imagination.

Trooper York said...

"It's like Carlo Gambino insisting that the mafia doesn't exist, and then he get's into a crime war with the Castellano family and blows the whole storyline."

That would be a strong argument Martin if not for the fact that the Gamibino and Castellano crime families are in fact the same family. Paul Castellano was the brother-in-law and sucessor to Carlo Gambino. Castellano took over the family at the death of Carlo and was removed from the voting roles outside of Sparks Steakhouse by John Gotti. He did not have to show his drivers license at the time.

Original Mike said...

Eli said: If you are really worried about fraud you'd be worried about vote-by-mail fraud, where dozens or even hundreds of votes can be cast fraudulently with a much smaller chance of getting caught, or hacking into voting machines and the computers counting the votes, which could cause election results to be changed.

Agreed. In addition to Voter ID I support rolling back the extensive use of vote-by-mail and the use of voting methods which include a paper trail. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

AJ Lynch said...

Trooper:

Maybe no ID, but surely he had one of those frequent diner cards from Sparks didn't he? :)

Trooper York said...

I claim dibs on all Mafia and underworld trivia knowledge. RH Hardin gets dogs and living alone as a Uni-bomber impersonator role. Bissage has the James Tiberious Kirk chair of Sexual Congress with Alien Women. And of course Freder has the Jerry Rivers chair of Sexual Congress with Illegal Alien Woman.

Trooper York said...

Actually that was the first time he was in Sparks. He actually liked to eat Mexican.

Or maybe Guatemalan, I forget the nationality of his maid.

Original Mike said...

Jerry Rivers. HEH!

Kevin said...

Eli Blake said... Of course, there were no documented cases of voter fraud in Indiana at the time when they passed the law.

A couple of years ago I was talking to someone who had been a staff attorney in the Minnesota Secretary of State about elections. I asked how much voter fraud they had found, and he replied "None, but we never looked for it".

Freeman Hunt said...

This is the same "argument" used by gun controllers pushing handgun registration, except the feared consequence is murderers going free, and gun controllers usually throw "cry me a river" in there somewhere. People shouldn't have to jump through hoops to exercise a fundamental right.

You do have to show an ID to buy a gun. Not only that but they call law enforcement to check you out, make a copy of your ID, and tag everything to the serial number on the gun and put it in a file. At least that's how it works in Arkansas. This voter ID is quite a bit less onerous than that.

The Drill SGT said...

Trooper,

Who gets the James Kirk endowed chair for sexual congress with aliens?

Revenant said...

This is the greatest news I've heard in months.

Martin Gale said...

Trooper,

I'm posting from work and don't have my mafia genealogy chart handy, but you can see where a photo ID would come in handy for sorting out the o's and i's before you pull the trigger.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is interesting to read Justice Breyer's take on the burden on rural voters to get ID. However, I think he exagerates....a lot. Just because you live in a rural area is still no excuse for not having proper identification and getting registered to vote. People who live in the country open bank accounts, occasionally go to the "big city". Heck, we even get on 'that them thar internet thingy'. Rural voters also tend to move less often so re-registering to vote shouldn't be a burden.

An Indiana nondriver, most likely to be poor, elderly, or disabled, will find it difficult and expensive to travel to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, particularly if he or she resides in one of the many Indiana counties lacking a public transportation system. For another, many of these individuals may be uncertain about how to obtain the underlying documentation, usually a passport or a birth certificate, upon which the statute insists.

Just because "some" people may have difficulty is no reason to put the rest of the population and the electoral process in jeaporday by fraudlent voting. If this IS such a big concern, then I would think that some one would/should start an action committee to help these poor non driving folks get to the DMV and get registered. The County Registrar of voters could hold an outreach registration program. Does everything have to be geared to the lowest demoninator???? Sheesh. Think outside of the liberal box once in a while.

As an aside, just how do these non driving people do other day to day chores? Get their groceries, go to the doctor, get their mail? In my area, they have churches and neighbors to help. Do they not have these things in Indiana?

Chip Ahoy said...

A friend told me about a discussion he had with his identical twin about his intention to undergo elective surgery, a sensitive subject with twins. He said people have a tendency to over do it, and thinking about the future and future surgeries, best to think of the whole thing like voting, that is, to do it all in moderation but often. Then slyly grinned. Because to him voter fraud was a funny thing to pull off. Now this didn't make sense in Colorado because of that bit down there ↓ although this individual also has residences in New York and in San Francisco where possibly that joke might have been funnier.

For registration:
[You'll also need to send a photocopy of your driver license, ID, or a document from the state's acceptable identification list.]

You can vote by mail in which case you're using a form they sent you so there's only one. Or, you show up, produce an ID, and they check your name. It's all very formal and grave, save for the festivities hosted by noisy Liberals nearby but not too nearby the voting places suggesting when not positively insisting on which way to vote.

Hoosier Daddy said...

MadisonMan saidFreedom to be anonymous. Not in the constitution, you'll say, but I do love it.

Does that mean I have the freedom to be anonymous to say, the IRS?

Or is that different?

AJ Lynch said...

Revenant said:
"This the best news I have heard in months".

Why, did Trooper give you a chair too?

former law student said...

They're your kind supporting voter ID.

Totalitarian statists, one and all.

You do have to show an ID to buy a gun. Not only that but they call law enforcement to check you out, make a copy of your ID, and tag everything to the serial number on the gun and put it in a file. At least that's how it works in Arkansas.

Even if you buy one from the guy next door?

Original Mike -- I would expect rural Americans to know their neighbors as much or more than suburbanites. Don't you know who your neighbors are?

Trooper York said...

Not meant as a knock Martin, I blast off posts often without checking spelling so I really wasn't meaning to criticize you, I was just busting your balls. I just know my guineas and they are very touchy. It was the Genovese and the Gambinos that were going at it, and in fact are still dusting it up a little.

Drill Sgt. it really doesn't matter who gets the James Kirk as long as he is very thin since the chair is of course made of balsa which is as you know very very soft wood.

Hmmmm. That's suddenly Bissage!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Say what? Democrats are dumb and poor? No just the Polish ones. That's why they call it a pole tax dummy.

Hey, we Pollacks lived under Soviet oppression against our will for 60 years. We're not dumb enough to willingly VOTE them in.

Ralph said...

What happens when you move to another state and register to vote? Do they notify your old state? What will stop people from voting in multiple states--high gas prices?
I foolishly went to the voting place closet to my house
Is that like a water closet? We know your vote ain't worth shit, and you didn't have to leave your house, so what are you complaining about?

Original Mike said...

DBQ asked: Does everything have to be geared to the lowest demoninator????

In America 2008, apparently so.

MadisonMan said...

Does that mean I have the freedom to be anonymous to say, the IRS?

It means I hold the IRS and Voter ID laws as being equally obnoxious. One however, is far more necessary than the other.

madawaskan said...

Ya but it wasn't the pole tax that did Capone in-it was the pole dancer.

Murtha, erh Mary, Typhoid-or her sister-

Sis' Phylis

Original Mike said...

FLS - All of them? Eveyone in my precinct? Not even close. And I've lived there 15 years and I'm not a shut-in.

This fantasy you have (you've expressed it in other threads, as well) that the poll workers will know everyone is ridiculous. Give it a rest.

Original Mike said...

FLS said: I would expect rural Americans to know their neighbors as much or more than suburbanites. Don't you know who your neighbors are?

And more to the point, the poll workers don't know me by sight. And I've voted in pretty much every election at the same place for the last 15 years.

george grady said...

From Ann's quote of Souter's dissent:

Without a shred of evidence that in-person voter impersonation is a problem in the State, much less a crisis, Indiana has adopted one of the most restrictive photo identification requirements in the country.

Man, if the legislature had to prove there was a problem before they passed laws, there would sure be one heck of a lot of unconstitutional laws on the books.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

What do you suppose ACORN has been doing then, in getting all those fraudulent voter registrations in all over the country?

For what purpose, if not to bring about actual voter fraud?

Fen said...

Souter appears to condradict himself:

"Without a shred of evidence that in-person voter impersonation is a problem..."

"[The law] targets the poor and the weak"

Where is his shred of evidence that "poor" people can't afford a valid ID?

Revenant said...

It means I hold the IRS and Voter ID laws as being equally obnoxious. One however, is far more necessary than the other.

Yeah -- the Voter ID laws. :)

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

George, you say that like it was a bad thing?

Freeman Hunt said...

--You do have to show an ID to buy a gun. Not only that but they call law enforcement to check you out, make a copy of your ID, and tag everything to the serial number on the gun and put it in a file. At least that's how it works in Arkansas.--

Even if you buy one from the guy next door?


I don't know how it works to buy a gun from him, but I don't know how it works to vote at his house either.

mschaff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mschaff said...

Jesus Christ, if people are too weak and too poor to get an ID then how do they get to the polls?

if you answer this question, then the same way they get to the polls is the same way they can get a damned ID or proof of citizenship.

former law student said...

if people are too weak and too poor to get an ID then how do they get to the polls?

Where my mother-in-law lives they take the elevator to the ground floor.

Last time I checked there was no office of the DMV there.

Pogo said...

Last time I checked there was no office of the DMV there.

Then I guess she's screwed, and cannot vote. Too damn bad.

If only... if only she had some family, a kindly and attentive son-in-law or even a daughter perhaps, who might be kind enough to drive her to the DMV.


Naaaaaah.

former law student said...

Hey I'm not running a shuttle bus for her whole building.

Trooper York said...

But it would be easy. Just tell em it's the bus to Atlantic City. You can get old people to get on any bus if you tell them that!

Revenant said...

You'd think that after all this time the pro-fraud crowd could have come up with a better rationalization for anonymous voting than "it is too hard to get a photo ID". We all live here. We know it isn't hard to get photo ID. Indeed, it is hard to get through a day without having to show it to somebody.

Original Mike said...

And, I bet they'd bake you a plate of cookies. Such a nice young man!

Original Mike said...

You'd think that after all this time the pro-fraud crowd could have come up with a better rationalization for anonymous voting than "it is too hard to get a photo ID".

It is pretty thin gruel, Rev, but it's all they got.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Last time I checked there was no office of the DMV there

I'll bet there isn't a grocery store there or a clothing store at the ground floor where your mother's elevator lands. Oh! your poor mother running around naked and starving. The humanity!!! How can people possibly get anything done in life if there isn't every convenience immediately available at our fingertips.

Fen said...

It does seem counter-inuitive. We cherish our right to vote, fought the english for it, marched on DC several times to extend it to everyone else.

But getting a valid ID, thats just too hard.

former law student said...

the pro-fraud crowd

sure, just like those against gun registration are the pro-anonymous homicide crowd.

Pogo said...

Shame on you, not willing to take your mother-in-law to get an ID.

You get coal in your stocking for Christmas.
Coal!

Revenant said...

sure, just like those against gun registration are the pro-anonymous homicide crowd.

Well if I'm going to shoot someone I'd certainly rather nobody know it was me that did it. :)

Revenant said...

Shame on you, not willing to take your mother-in-law to get an ID.

What's more disturbing is... how does she *eat*? You can't write a check or use a credit card at a restaurant or grocery store without showing ID. I guess she could pay in cash, but where's she going to get that from? You need ID to get a bank account or cash a check, too.

I guess she just limps up the street to the local soup kitchen three times a day.

Pogo said...

one suspects that FLS would be willing to drive mom-in-law to the next available ice floe however.

If so, he'd better hurry. Global warming is making the best ones disappear.

former law student said...

What's more disturbing is... how does she *eat*? You can't write a check or use a credit card at a restaurant or grocery store without showing ID. I guess she could pay in cash, but where's she going to get that from? You need ID to get a bank account or cash a check, too.

Where does the rev live? I have eaten out in 32 states without ever having to show a drivers license. I just stick the credit card in that little slot at the top of the check thingie and they take it. At the grocery store I just swipe my card and sign with the light pen. They only ask if I'm using debit or credit. Sometimes the cashier compares signatures and sometimes not. If the bill is less than $25 I don't even have to sign, which I find a little scary.

I haven't cashed a check since Reagan's first term. Just like registering to vote, once you open a bank account you never have to identify yourself again. The bank and the credit card company send me new cards in the mail by the way.

Pogo said...

I remember a meeting at a nursing home where the family of a 98 year old lady was complaining about being short-staffed (it was; paying minimum wage for backbreaking work often finds few takers, but I digress).

Anyway, they were beefing about Mom's hair as it had not been washed in a week. (It hadn't.) There were five (5!) family members all indignant about the poor care.

I agreed and said this was all the nursing home could afford.

So I asked, when can you come and wash her hair? Tonight? Tomorrow? (they all lived in town) No answer, then
But we pay for this!
No, taxes on everyone in the US pays for this level of insufficient care.
Then I suggested they take her home with them because we were unlikely to increase our staffing anytime soon, and they would certainly be able to do a far better job than we could ever do.

So our Administrator washed her hair and the family went home.
Later they wanted to put a granny cam in her room to 'document abuse'.
I quit shortly after that.
The nursing home went out of business, and Mom was transferred to a city over an hour away from family.

Win win!.

Pogo said...

FLS decrypted:
"Just as credit card abuse is easy because of the lack of ID use, voter fraud is easy because of the lack of ID use."

Michael said...

Excerpted from Inquiry finds evidence of fraud in election - Cast ballots outnumber voters by 4,609

Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.

rcocean said...

Without a shred of evidence that in-person voter impersonation is a problem in the State, much less a crisis, Indiana has adopted one of the most restrictive photo identification requirements in the country.

What does this have to do with the US constitution? Did I miss something?

Rich Beckman said...

I live and vote in Indiana. I can't speak for any of the other precincts in my state, but where I have voted under this law, this is how it worked.

I walk in and there is someone standing inside the door who asks to see my ID. I show my drivers license and the person glances at it. He or she may have looked long enough to notice that the picture resembles me, but I doubt it. They may have managed to see the the ID does in fact resemble an Indiana drivers license.

Then I put my ID away and walk over to the table where I give my name and they find me in the books and I sign.

Then I vote.

I am at a loss as to what fraud is being prevented by the addition of the ID check. They don't even verify that the address on the ID is in the precinct.

former law student said...

Laws impeding voting must comply with Art. I, § 2, of the Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

From Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections which struck down the poll tax:

We have long been mindful that, where fundamental rights and liberties are asserted under the Equal Protection Clause, classifications which might invade or restrain them must be closely scrutinized and carefully confined. See, e.g., Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541; Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 561-562; Carrington v. Rash, supra; Baxstrom v. Herold, ante p. 107; Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 580-581 (BLACK, J., concurring).

Those principles apply here. For, to repeat, wealth or fee paying has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications; the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened or conditioned.


Of course that was a vastly different Supreme Court back then.

Revenant said...

to repeat, wealth or fee paying has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications

Photo ID, on the other hand, has a glaringly obvious relation to voting qualifications. It identifies you as being qualified to vote. :)

former law student said...

Photo ID, on the other hand, has a glaringly obvious relation to voting qualifications. It identifies you as being qualified to vote.

No. Only a voter registration card can do that.

rcocean said...

"Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections"

Just another BS decision by the Warren Court. In summary, we don't like the Poll tax so its unconstitutional -because we say so.

Revenant said...

No. Only a voter registration card can do that.

You need a voter registration too, of course. But voter registration by itself isn't enough to establish a person as qualified to vote -- you must also establish that the person showing up to vote is the same one who registered. That's where photo ID comes in.

Martin Gale said...

Then I put my ID away and walk over to the table where I give my name and they find me in the books and I sign.

Then I vote.

I am at a loss as to what fraud is being prevented by the addition of the ID check. They don't even verify that the address on the ID is in the precinct.


Rich, let me help you out here: suppose the local Dem precinct captain wanted to have Willy Wino cast a ballot using the registration of the recently deceased Rich Beckman. In the absence of the (admittedly perfunctory) ID check you just described, this little voter fraud could be accomplished for the price of a ham sandwich and a ride to your polling place. Thus, it would seem that a simple photo ID check removes an entire class of chicanery at minimal cost. Honestly, this is just common sense. Indeed, it's hard to understand how a trivial photo ID check of the kind nearly EVERYONE in society encounters on a daily basis (as delineated in several posts on this thread) suddenly becomes onerous solely in the context of balloting, without appealing to the possibility that some people just find a fraud friendly voting process advantageous.

MadisonMan said...

Michael, that event was from 2005. Was anyone ever charged? Whatever did happen to that?

It was unnerving to read the article and see John Gard (R-Peshtigo). Ack, what a skeeze right out of the Chvala-Jensen mold. And he's running again for Congress!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I live and vote in Indiana. I can't speak for any of the other precincts in my state, but where I have voted under this law, this is how it worked.

Last time I voted I have my name and handed my card to the old biddy sitting at the table with the roll book. She matched my name up to my driver's license.

Evidently different strokes for different voters.

Ok I tried to rhyme it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually now that I think on this. If I don't have to prove to the poll worker that I am John Doe, why should I have to register at all? Why can't I simply just say I'm a US citizen with no felony convictions and be done with it? Isn't the actual act of registering a poll tax in essence? Don't I have to expend time and money to go and get registered? Didn't I have to prove I am who I claimed I was when I registered?

I find it stunning that the Democrats can mobilize the minions to get all the poor, disabled, minorities and every other segement of their voting bloc to the polls but somehow getting a photo ID is akin to achieving moon landing.

Revenant said...

Martin, there's also the tactic of putting entirely bogus people on the voting rolls, like ACORN got busted for doing during the last election.

Now there are two possibilities:

(1): They were registering fake people to vote just for the pure joy of breaking the law, or

(2): They actually planned to have people cast votes using those phony registrations.

If you've got phony names on the rolls you have to either mail in absentee ballots (which are likely to be scrutinized by members of the opposing party at some point), or vote at the polls under the fake name. Photo ID makes it much, much harder to pull off the latter kind of fraud.

Original Mike said...

I vote in Madison WI and I don't even recognize these registration cards people are talking about. I show nothing. I'm asked for nothing but my name. They find my name, and then they ask me if I live at the address on their list.

kimsch said...

In Lake County, IL (just south of Kenosha County, WI) the county clerk sends a registration card with precinct number, US congressional district, state congressional and senatorial districts, library, school, whatever districts that one may be in are noted on the card. Also noted is one's polling place. These cards are especially handy if one's polling place is home to more than one precinct (as is mine) one has a handy reference to the correct precinct number saving the embarrassment of finding that one has gone to the wrong table...

The county clerk sends out a new card if there is a change in district boundaries or in the polling place location.

If your districts or polling place haven't changed, there's no need to send a new one. You may have received something when you first registered.

Eli Blake said...

george grady:

Man, if the legislature had to prove there was a problem before they passed laws...

I'd be all for it if they did. Don't even get me started on laws and regulations that were written by legislators who just 'knew' there was a problem and have resulted in horrific and unforeseen consequences. I could provide you with some real doozies.

In fact I'd be for an amendment that legislators could only write new restrictions on either individuals or businesses ONLY if they had documentation that there was in fact a problem.

Revenant said...

I'd be all for it if they did.

But in this case that's a catch-22. Opponents of the ID law are demanding that we prove the people voting aren't who they say they are... before they'll let us check whether or not the people are who they say they are. You obviously can't catch people voting under a phony identity if there's no system in place to check people's identity when they vote.

blake said...

It'd be worth it. I wouldn't care if we had illegal voters if they couldn't vote solutions to problems that weren't proven to be problems.

That would work in a small town, but in Los Angeles the likelihood of being "known" by a poll worker would be slim to none.

The odds of me even seeing anyone I know at a polling place (working, voting, driving by on the street) are, in practice, about 20-to-1.

Eli Blake said...

Revenant:

There are other ways to catch people, and the truth is nobody is going to be dumb enough to risk prison to cast a single vote. Not when you can do 100 times more by engaging in mail-vote fraud, or even decide who wins the election by hacking into the computers.

For that matter, many counties use voting equipment made by Sequoia or Smart-Matyc. And who owns those companies? A company which is an arm of the government of Venezuela, that's who. So here you are worrying about whether one voter will risk a felony conviction in order to cast one vote, when Hugo Chavez has the source code to machines used in American elections and could be determining the winner ahead of time, and none of us would even have a clue if he did.

blake said...

There are other ways to catch people, and the truth is nobody is going to be dumb enough to risk prison to cast a single vote.

I'd say the risk is minimal.

If anyone wants to know how you do this, it's pretty simple: Get the voter rolls. It's public information.

Get the voter record for the past elections. Also public information.

Find out which registered voters haven't voted. Some people register and never vote, some haven't voted since Dewey beat Truman, some only vote in the general election, etc.

This is how campaigns target mailers, but you can use it for voter fraud, too!

I'm positive it's done. I'm pretty sure nobody's been sent to jail for it.

Revenant said...

There are other ways to catch people, and the truth is nobody is going to be dumb enough to risk prison to cast a single vote.

There's no risk. You go in, give one of the phony names you registered under, and vote. Repeatedly. There's no way for you to get caught doing it, because nobody checks your ID.

Not when you can do 100 times more by engaging in mail-vote fraud

You can steal 100 times as much from a bank as from a convenience store. I guess nobody robs convenience stores.

Besides, there are two reasons not to do that. First, the FBI investigates mail fraud, while local fraud at the polls is investigated by... well, nobody, usually, but local cops otherwise. The second reason is that, as I noted above, mail-in fraud is potentially easier to detect because members of the opposite party scrutinize those ballots.

or even decide who wins the election by hacking into the computers.

Meanwhile, back here in reality, you can't.

Revenant said...

I'm positive it's done. I'm pretty sure nobody's been sent to jail for it.

What's amazing to me is that Democrats are willing to believe in widespread conspiracies to rig votes, even to deliberately rig voting *machines* (presumably with the cooperation of the technicians who program them) in order to steal an election. But the simple act of anonymously voting under an assumed name at a poll where nobody's checking ID? That's just too far-fetched to consider, apparently!

blake said...

Well, it really makes it transparent that they're only concerned about voter fraud when it's done by the other side.

Of course, it was the outrage (OUTRAGE!) over 2000 that spurred on all the changes that the Dems claimed made it easier for Reps to rig elections.

former law student said...

Considering that a drivers license is no proof of citizenship, require every voter to show up at the Board of Election to reregister in person to get a voter registration card with photo. Then the playing field would be somewhat leveled. Open the Board of election from 7 am to 7 pm the first Tuesday of every month for this purpose, as practice for voting.

MadisonMan said...

What's amazing to me is that Democrats are willing to believe in widespread conspiracies to rig votes, even to deliberately rig voting *machines*

If it makes you feel better, I don't believe such conspiracies. I think they are possible -- just like it's possible for someone to vote when they shouldn't 'cause they don't have to show no steenkin' ID -- but it's also possible that a meteorite will come through my roof just as I'm finishing writing this and strike me and ki

blake said...

Holy crap! MadisonMan was killed by an illegal voter!

Jeremy said...

... who then proceeded to click on "Publish Your Comments". Heh.

Revenant said...

require every voter to show up at the Board of Election to reregister in person to get a voter registration card with photo.

Works for me.