October 24, 2006


Democrat/Republican. Pick your side on the voter I.D. issue.


Brent said...

It's all about worldview, baby!

Despite accounts of voter registration fraud thrown at both sides, is there really any doubt - anywhere - that the vast majority takes place on the Democratic side? Every recent election turns up stories like the ACORN group in the editorial, and they're almost always the Democrats.

Republicans will always be accused of seeking to dampen turnout. Democrats will always try to gain additional votes dishonestly.

As was a kid in Missouri I remember overhearing my Democrat relatives talk about using two different polling places on election day - encouraging each other to vote twice in some state races. I'm unclear on how it was done, but it seemed to be discussed as a regular matter of fact.

If you're a Democrat today, you are in a party who's leadership is full of people that lean closely to the "ends justify the means" belief system. That's not to say that they are immoral, just, uh, fuzzy.

Zeb Quinn said...

The disenfranchisement ruse is part of the fraud.

tcd said...

It's both b/c a fraudulent vote disenfranchises a legitimate vote. Every time a dead person votes for a Democrat, a live Republican vote is cancelled out.

"Vote early. Vote often." Isn't that a Democrat slogan?

Frank Borger said...

Since I grew up in "Vote early and often" Chicago, no stories of voter fraud surprise me, including the 2004 report that several Milwaukee students were proud of having voted multiple times.

The real lie is that obtaining an ID costs too much. Simply let the Dems pass a law stating that the government won't charge for obtaining the necessary birth certificate, etc required to obtain an ID.

The real problem is that the rent-a-vote folks are the kind that tend to loose their ID's between one election and the next.

VICTOR said...

It's sort of funny how common vote irregularity has become a part of the national discourse. Was this as prevalent 10 / 15 years ago?

paul a'barge said...

Democrats == voter fraud
Missouri Democrats == really, really bad voter fraud

Joe Nik said...

The one thing I want added to Voter ID laws is a provision that the ID will be accepted even if it is expired. A lot of people are carrying expired drivers licences without realizing it. I have never heard a good reason why the expiration of my driving privileges also makes my identity suspect.

Ann Althouse said...

Victor: It's not surprising that people have focused on this issue since 2000. Before people assumed whatever fraud there was would not make the difference, that there was enough of a margin.

Richard Dolan said...

I didn't see a link to the decision, and thus don't know what provision of the Missouri constitution was found to preclude the voter ID requirement. Perhaps there is some odd-ball provision in that constitution that provides a rationale for the ruling. The WSJ article indicates that the case turned on a dubious equation between the nominal cost of obtaining a birth certificate ($15) and a poll tax, and thus it sounds like it was some general due process/equal protection argument in play. If that's what it was, then it's another unfortunate incident of courts overstepping their proper role.

What interested me was how this ruling contrasts sharply with the judicial treatment of campaign finance laws. In the latter case, the courts have accepted stringent restrictions on the exercise of fundamental, and textually founded, political rights, by applying a balancing test. In balancing the competing interests where campaign finance restrictions are in play, courts have given substantial deference to legislative judgments finding, in substance, that unregulated campaign finance regimes are an invitation to influence peddling and other frauds against the common good. In the voter ID context, not only is there no comparable textual provision in the constitution (again, assuming Missouri isn't an oddball state). Even at the level of implied rights, all that one could say is that the State may not unreasonably burden the right to vote. By the same token, the constitution embodies the concept that only citizens may vote, and thus the State has a legitimate interest in requiring voter registration, etc.

If a court is going to wade into that controversy and use a constitution to do so, I don't see how it avoids applying a balancing test, and don't see why the test in this context should be less deferential to the legislative judgment than in the campaign finance context. Since restrictions on political speech during an election campaign are at the core of the First Amendment, I would think that the balancing test in the voter ID context would be more deferential to the legislative judgment (where the rights are implied, and necessarily incorporate a reasonableness element) than it is in the campaign finance area.

That the nominal cost of obtaining a birth certificate seems to have been in play suggests that the Missouri court looked at the issue through a very odd race/class lens. Again, that framework contrasts sharply with the treatment of similar issues in other related contexts. In almost every jurisdiction, for example, you have to pay a more substantial filing fee that $15, even as a pro se, to start a lawsuit; and the filing fee for a bankruptcy petition is considerably more than $15. The Supreme Court long ago upheld the right of the Gov't to charge a fee to file a bankruptcy petition, and thus one can be too poor to go bankrupt. If the discussion necessarily reduces to an argument about what is the "more fundamental" right -- the right to vote or the right to petition the Gov't for redress of grievances -- as this one seems to do, that's a pretty good indication that we are in an area where there are no objective standards, just subjective judgments.

Obviously, it didn't play out that way in Missouri. Ann's comment, "Democrat/Republican. Pick your side on the voter I.D. issue," suggests that the determining factor here is partisanship. Certainly looks that way at first blush.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sloanasaurus said...

The Voter ID issue is a classic way to see the difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals believe that all common men are inherently good (except for the evil ruler republicans) ... it is society and circumstances that makes people bad (thus the lack of personal responsibility). Therefore, we need to make sure the evil people do not prevent the good people from voting.

In contrast, conservatives believe that all people are inherently sinners, and that we need institutions to keep us on the straight and narrow - such as showing photo ID to vote.

As a conservative, I believe that the liberal position on this issue is ridiculous in America today and that the possibility of fraud does more damage to the electoral process than potential voter intimidation. However, in a less free society where voter intimidation is real, the liberal view may not be as ridiculous, except for the fact that it would be odd for a society, which practices voter intimidation to be truthful in counting the votes. This I doubt!

My father was disenfranchised in Chicago during the Kennedy election. He lived in a strong Republican ward in the city. When he showed up to vote (for Nixon), they said he needed a registration card to vote, which was mailed to him weeks before. Except that, neither he nor anyone else in the ward ever received a registration card (they were never sent). They gave him the alternative of going downtown, where he could file a protest.

Kennedy won Illinois by less than 10,000 votes out of over 4.5 million cast.

Sloanasaurus said...

Speaking of voter fraud, I have heard that a researcher in Flordia found that it was impossible to "dimple" a punch card. He even had a bunch of random people try to dimple the cards and none could do it. Why then were their so many dimples? However, he did find that if you put a bunch of cards together as a stack and then jammed a nail through the stack you would end up with dimples on some of the cards near the bottom that were not touched by the nail, but dimpled by the pressure from the nail. Nearly all the dimples were votes for Gore.

This leads to speculation as to why there were so many dimple votes for Gore and why there were so many double votes for president (there were thousands). If you took a stack and jammed it through the Gore box, you would 1) either invalidate any Bush votes by double voting, or 2) you would mark a vote for Gore if someone did not vote for president.

David said...

There are few people more popular when a close election looms on the horizon than illegal immigrants.

The Republicans woo them because they are cheap labor while the Democrats woo them because they are illegal.

In either case, their vote is a necessity. Meanwhile, the taxpayer picks up the tab for their medical and most of the illegal's wages go back to Mexico.

As thanks, the radicals among them fly the American flag upside down under the Mexican flag as a tribute to la raza, reconquista, la mecha, la leche, and any other "la" organization that originates in 'la la land, California.'

Voter fraud is still fraud no matter which side supports it for their own short term power grabs.
In Arizona we are trying to establish voter ID without the help of the 9th court in California.

AJ Lynch said...

I favor the voter ID and didn't Arizona courts recently uphold this ?

As to elections in general, it will be very interesting to watch the upcoming elections because (now six years after the 2000 Florida fiasco), neither party can claim they have done much of anything to improve procedures and integrity of elections.

Anonymous said...

Am I wrong in thinking it was largely Democrats who pushed for electronic voting machines after the 2000 Florida vote circus?

Yet Democrats are already alleging that Republicans will get Diebold to fix the results.

I think those machines are a waste of money and will only decrease confidence in fair elections.

But maybe that's the Democratic strategy after all. "If we don't win back Congress the only real answer will be to take to the streets."

Sloanasaurus said...

Pastor_Jeff has a point. Deep down the socialists in the Democratic party intellectually oppose elections because free and fair elections have the messy problem of getting in the way of socialism. You can't institute socialism when people start disagreeing about the details.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am currently in the middle of reading a people's view of American History, or some such. It is interesting to see what is left out of our normal history books. And one of the big issues in this country from its founding up until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was who was enfranchised and who was not. Through most of the first hundred years of this country from its founding, only relatively rich white males were able to vote. It was quite controversial when owning a certain amount of property was removed as a requirement.

Indeed, much of this happened back between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, with the predecessors of our two major parties taking almost the same positions as they are taking today.

Of course, between then and now, the Democratic party was the one behind almost all of the disenfransement of Blacks through Jim Crow laws in the 100 years between the end of the Civil War and tha 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Someone above mentioned how Kennedy may have won Ill. in 1960. But also remember that LBJ was known to have personally participated in ballot stuffing on his own behalf in one of his early races.

Nevertheless, I too believe that the evidence we have seen in the last couple of elections paint a picture of Democrats voting early and often, with Republicans being tarred with voter supression, often in counties run by Democrats. And invariably, the claims of voter supression we have seen in the recent elections only involved a handful of voters in each case.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that my big problem with a lot of the lawsuits going against having to provide an ID to vote is that there is no balance. It seems like the courts there are willing to have 1,000 people vote illegally in order that one person not be disenfranchiesed through having to get a photo id.

The reason that these cases invariably stink is that these are invariably states that are notorious for their voter fraud, where people vote multiple times, as well as the deceased and canines being allowed to vote.

TMink said...

I am a conservative, and I have no illusions that the Democratic party has any sort of monopoly on voter fraud. Requiring an ID protects democracy, not either party.


aaron said...

If getting a Free ID stops you from voting, you shouldn't be voting.

Revenant said...

I'm strongly in favor of voter ID.

Actually, I'm strongly in favor of a national ID card that doubles as a voter ID with automatic voter registration. We can't have a decent democracy when we don't even know who the heck is part of it.

Alan said...

Sloanasaurus, I voted in Duval County Florida back in 2000. My understanding, thousands of ballots in Duval were thrown out due to double votes. My impression of the ballot, even while I was still in the voting both, was how unfair it was to the whole field of Presidential candidates.

The Presidential ballot covered more than one page. The first page included only three candidates: Gore, Bush, and some obscure party candidate. I voted; then flipped the page to find there were many more choices. How unfair was that?

Anyway, I suspect many of the double votes were due to voters punching another selection on the next page thinking it was for some other office. My guess, considering what I've heard my whole life--that Democratic voters are more intelligent than GOP voters--Bush lost many votes due to dumb Republican voters voting twice. :)

Alan said...

BTW, do the elderly have to show an ID at the doctor's office to prove they qualify for medicare? How unfair is that?

Jeremy said...

Along those lines, I'm pretty sure you have to show ID to buy guns and exercise your 2nd ammendment rights, too.

Daryl Herbert said...

Are you in favor of disfranchising fraudulent voters, or are you in favor of fraudulently disfranchising voters by canceling out their votes with fakes?