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Voter ID – I Just Don’t Get the Controversy

July 29, 2012


Truly, I’m open to being educated.  I don’t understand how requiring picture ID to vote disenfranchises minorities. The concern seems to be that the poor and minorities might not have ID (though I’m guessing they really just mean the poor, since minorities of means would certainly have ID).

In modern society, why wouldn’t you have ID?  My kids are homeschooled, yet they all of ID, even the non-driver.

If you’re of voting age having an ID isn’t unthinkable.  How do you cash a check or deposit one?  Isn’t ID needed to deposit or use welfare checks, disability checks, etc.?  Does it put a burden on them?  So what?  I have the burden of getting off work in time to get to my precinct to vote.  A little discomfort to exercise your right isn’t so horrible.

When we have 3 million+ illegal aliens, requiring voter ID just makes sense.

I get that a State ID costs $10 and may be prohibitive for some to purchase.  It isn’t unreasonable, then, for a program to exist where you get one for $1 or even free if you’re poor enough.  There should certainly be ID requirements to get public assistance.  Most students have school ID; for the price retirement and assisted living homes charge, it isn’t unreasonable to require them to issue ID cards (shouldn’t they anyway?)

Since voting is a right to American citizens, confirming they’re citizens isn’t—here’s that word again—unreasonable.  As it is, there are no restrictions on citizens voting.  If you’re mentally ill, you can vote (which is important, since we don’t want the government to have the ability to negate your vote by declaring you mentally ill because you wear socks with sandals); if you have Alzheimer’s and think Truman’s running again, you get to vote.  Criminals don’t (which I get, if they’re in prison, but afterwards, they probably should be allowed to).

There are people who want to live off the grid.  Let them.  Staying a little on the grid is required for voting.

I can see how we’re disenfranchising homeless people, but are the homeless registered?

Is it unjustified because there are no documented voter fraud cases?  Well, DUH; there’s no way to measure that without ID.

I don’t believe test should ever be required, or that those on public assistance should not vote even though the Democrats are literally buying their vote.  Everyone should be able to vote as long as that everyone is a citizen.

Really, though, if there’s something I’m not getting, I’d like to know.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2012 8:03 am

    I’ve been remiss about commenting, though there have been a few posts where I had something to say. I’ll see if I can catch up this week, I’m sure you’re thrilled. 😉

    Here are my main concerns about the ALEC-driven crusade for voter suppression.

    Firstly, enshrined in our Constitution (the 24th Amendment, to be specific) is a prohibition on poll taxes, which were historically enacted (mostly in the post-Civil War South) to make it difficult (if not impossible) for lower classes and minorities to vote. If we link voting to anything for which a person must pay–like a government-issued ID–then that is, in effect, a poll tax, and for very much the same purpose. A solution here, as you come near suggesting, would be to make government IDs free for all. But that’s probably one step away from making them mandatory–if they’re free, why not, right?–and that in turn I would think advocates of limited government and personal liberty would find abhorrent.

    Secondly, as you mention, there is simply no evidence of voter fraud, certainly not on any scale that would necessitate a raft of legislation to crack down on the possibility of voter fraud. Yes, people have been able to walk into a precinct, claim to be someone they are not, and be handed a ballot. But because such a thing is possible doesn’t mean it actually happens, or that it happens on any scale that matters. So again, as an advocate of limited government and personal liberty, I would think you’d be opposed to additional legislation and burdens on a basic civil right to address a problem that absolutely no one claims is significant.

    Thirdly, it is pretty obvious what is the real intention behind these legislative efforts, and why they are being driven by right-wing groups like ALEC. The laws aren’t even remotely designed to eliminate all voter fraud, they’re designed quite simply to increase the level of difficulty for certain demographics to vote. Period. Who is most likely to possess no ID, expired ID, or ID with an incorrect address? Either people who have little need for an ID (like the elderly) or people who tend to move a lot or have time and/or budget constraints that prohibit them from obtaining and maintaining an ID (like the poor, the disabled, college students and other young adults). The fact that all of those demographics tend to vote Democratic is purely coincidence, I guess.

    Need proof of what I’m suggesting? Ask yourself this: What sort of voting seems most ripe for fraud? I suggest it’s not voting in person at a precinct, but rather absentee voting where no identity check is required or even possible. But there are zero efforts afoot to do anything to shore up the security of absentee voting. Why? Could it be because absentee voters lean Republican? Perish the thought. On the other hand, early voting (which is similarly, though less insecure) is under assault, with stricter requirements and shortened timeframes. Why should that be so? Oh yeah, once again, early voters tend to skew Democratic.

    The bottom line for me is this: we lament in this country how pathetically low is our citizens’ civic engagement, and the greatest example of this is voter turnout statistics. Nothing about our government, including our voting process, is perfect–but anything that makes it even more difficult for people to cast their votes is absolutely a step in the wrong direction, especially when restrictions are enacted–as is the case here–for partisan purposes, with the smokescreen of a fraud problem that simply does not exist.

  2. July 31, 2012 7:13 pm

    An excellent and cogent response and well worth considering deeply.

    I have a friend who’s advocating a voter’s test; that voting isn’t a right but a privilege and requires knowledge of our government and Constitution prior to voting, to which, I pointed out, one must ignore the Constitution to enact.

    Voting is a privilege that every American citizen receives at the age of 18; I don’t think it’s a ‘right’ as much as a precept of no taxation without representation.

    Your concern with a poll tax is right in line with that; we may not take the vote from anyone on grounds of (sadly) education, understanding or economic standing. As such, instituting a Voter ID program would require enough time to enact without deleterious impact, and must offer a means for those without means to secure either ID or something that proves their citizenship.

    For those people without a birth certificate or other identifiers to support an ID, we need to fix that, and perhaps provide an exemption for people who were too old, too black or too far from a hospital to get a birth certificate.

    It is an odd conundrum, isn’t it? No American should be required to have “papers” and yet don’t you need to be registered to vote? Not certain on that point; still, if the one requirement is to be a citizen older than 18, then asking someone to prove they are a citizen isn’t horribly out of line.

    And I’m sorry, a report commissioned by politicians that says there is no voter fraud to speak of is laughable. Let’s see; Democrat and Republican operatives are 100% above stuffing ballot boxes? No, I don’t think so. We have had reports of the dead people casting votes, and with 3 million illegal aliens, you’re saying none of them might get the idea to vote? I’ll allow that most are law-abiding… wait, they aren’t law-abiding, by definition…

    I’ll never forget the woman at our voting precinct who wanted a ballot for her and her mother who was sick and couldn’t be there and her father who had died within that year so deserved to vote. She put up a right hissy fit and as she was leaving a woman told her she should come back in a couple hours and just sign in as her mother, that’s what she did.
    I absolutely do want every person eligible to vote to vote whether they vote poorly or not (I admit that if there was any way to justify it, I’d almost be okay with people on the public dole not being allowed to vote since it’s a vote practically bought by Democrats, but not even I’m that out there).

    How about: You need updated picture ID to vote OR something with your name and address on it AND the poll attendants will take a picture of you for a) confirmation and b) future ID. Make the voter registration card a picture ID that you get set up right then at the precinct. Best of both worlds.

    I’ve thought about absentee ballots being a problem. My parents did that and left it laying out. I normally vote opposite them and it would have been easy to fill it out and mail it in for them (not that I would). Probably the best way to deal with that is that absentee ballots be changed: if you’re in the states, you have to do it in front of a notary, postal worker (including your mailman) or embassy official. I’m not a fan of early voting in either format since last hour revelations might change one’s vote. Nor do I think the news should broadcast results or exit polls until all ballots are counted, including military and absentees as it tends to disincentivize those on the West Coast.

    I’ve also thought about what a sham voting really can be. As we move voting to computers can anyone really guarantee accuracy?

    And finally, I really wish ballots would include a “NOT Obama” or “NOT Romney” option, which would subtract a vote from the greater of two evils. I really don’t want to vote FOR Romney, but I do want to vote AGAINST Obama and would prefer a morally neutral way to do that.

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