The Real Vote Fraud

As a cure for fraudulent voting, a stringent voter ID law is like prescribing morphine for a hangnail. But as a cure for Democratic voting, it's hard to beat.

Many years ago, as a college Republican, I spent one summer in Austin working for a candidate in a special election for the Texas senate. My hometown was a liberal enclave with many college students—unwashed, longhaired, pot-smoking students, it seemed to me—who were predominantly Democrats. The more students who came out to vote the less likely our candidate was to win.

But our campaign strategists came up with a plan. They sent mailings to all the registered voters in precincts near the campus. Many cards came back because the addressee had moved, as college students often do. Voters no longer at the address on file with election authorities were not eligible to vote.

On Election Day, a fellow campaign worker and I went to a polling place to monitor voters. When they gave their names, we checked to see whether their mailings had come back. If so, we lodged an objection. The voters affected were not pleased.

If we had been asked to defend our actions, I imagine we would have come up with something about upholding the law and assuring the integrity of elections. But the people running the campaign never said anything like that.

What they said was that this was a great way to reduce the number of people voting for our opponent.

It didn't help, because he was too popular. But my superiors were not the last Republicans to figure that if you can't get people to vote for you, you can try to keep them from voting at all.

One GOP-dominated state after another has adopted new voter identification requirements in the name of preventing election fraud. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring anyone who wants to cast a ballot in person to show a driver's license or another approved photo ID.

The odd thing is that two judges who voted to uphold that law later had second thoughts. Federal appeals court Judge Richard Posner said last year he was wrong. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the Supreme Court opinion, says the court lacked the evidence it needed to overturn the law but now believes the dissenters had the better of the argument.

Fortunately, the legal issue is far from resolved. A federal court in Milwaukee recently struck down a Wisconsin voter ID law. In the Supreme Court case, Judge Lynn Adelman said, those challenging the law failed to provide enough evidence that it put an undue burden on the right to vote. In this case, he said, those challenging the law had evidence galore.

He found that 9 percent of the registered voters in Wisconsin don't have the IDs required by the law. In Milwaukee County alone, 1,640 voters have neither an approved photo ID nor any of the documents they need to get one. Poor and minority voters are especially likely to be prevented from voting by the new obstacles.

The burden might be tolerable if voter impersonation were a big problem. In fact, said Adelman, the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past." The state attorney general created an election fraud task force to find violations in the past three elections. It might as well have been looking for Sasquatch.

No one should be surprised that this type of chicanery hardly ever happens. Someone caught impersonating a Wisconsin voter may go to prison for three years. The risk is not balanced by a reward, because it's extremely unlikely that the fraudulent ballot would change the election outcome. Given all this, the judge wrote, "A person would have to be insane to commit voter impersonation fraud."

There is nothing unusual about Wisconsin. When Pennsylvania enacted a voter ID law, it was able to cite zero cases of voter impersonation. Ditto in Indiana. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott brags of successfully prosecuting 50 cases of election fraud. But the list his office sent me included only three cases in six years of someone being charged with voter impersonation at a polling place.

Republicans seem to be willing to go through an enormous amount of trouble to combat a crime that is highly rare and uniformly ineffectual. As a cure for fraudulent voting, a stringent voter ID law is like prescribing morphine for a hangnail. But as a cure for Democratic voting, it's hard to beat.

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  • SlV||

    I'd settle for a literacy test.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I have a cousin who is 56 and has the mental capacity of something like an 8 year old. I was rather surprised recently to find out that he votes. There is almost zero chance that he could understand any of the issues. He just votes like his mother tells him to do.

  • SlV||

    He just votes like his mother tells him to do.

    Wards of the state likely do the same.

  • JWatts||

    My wife worked at a state facility for the handicapped. They were all given the opportunity to vote and they were directly and repeatedly told that if they wanted to keep their benefits they needed to vote for Obama.

  • Free Society||

    My grandmother was in a nursing home. Every year on the same day, I would spend the morning warding off Democratic Party vultures who would go into the nursing home a few days before the election to have a bunch of senile old folks fill out an absentee ballot. One woman who had Alzheimers so bad she thought I was her long-dead husband everytime she saw me, they got her to vote Democrat every single year. Their argument being that it would be morally wrong not to ask her to vote.

  • craiginmass||

    And millions vote as their preacher or Fox news or the Koch Brothers (owners of this site) tell them to.

    Is it really much different?

  • Almanian!||

    derp

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Hey everybody, it's Tony's twin!

  • jace||

    It's big block of cheese day at the West Wing. Toby is won over by junior high schoolers' piercing arguments for Let the Kids Vote! It's our Money, Anyway, stupid!

  • D.D.||

    "And millions vote as their preacher or Fox news or the Koch Brothers (owners of this site) tell them to.

    Is it really much different?"

    Short answer. Yes.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Is it really much different?

    It is quite informative that you claim you don't know the difference between a preacher, a news channel, a pair of businessmen, and the sole provider of people's necessities.

    You know it is different, but since you are obviously a dishonest sack of shit, you feign credulity.

  • craiginmass||

    So, my 95 y.o. MIL who has talk radio on while she sleeps....and has lost most of her facilities...

    That's WAY different than someone intellectually challenged?

    I don't see it. Is it fair to have idiots and lamebrains vote? You could say no....but, what is the proper solution?

    A poll test?
    A civics test?

    Ideally, this would be great. But it's not realistic.

  • Free Society||

    I don't see it. Is it fair to have idiots and lamebrains vote? You could say no....but, what is the proper solution?

    A poll test?
    A civics test?

    Acknowledging that voting is amoral at best and immoral most of the time, would be a start.

  • SlV||

    A civics test?

    HS grads and GEDs who listen to rightwing talk radio outscore most liberals with grad/professional degres an civic literacy tests.

  • Slocum||

    In Milwaukee County alone, 1,640 voters have neither an approved photo ID nor any of the documents they need to get one.

    Help me out here -- what proof (of age, citizenship, etc) is sufficient for voter registration but not sufficient for getting a state ID?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Registration requires no proof at all. That's the problem.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Indeed. Whenever I've moved across state lines, to get a driver's license, I've had to present every piece of paper with my name on it that has ever existed, but I've been able to register to vote just on my say-so.

  • JWatts||

    And if you aren't eligible to vote, but get a voter registration card, and then vote there is no means to detect voter registration fraud. The registration card is perfectly legitimate.

  • Robert||

    That's indeed the problem. Impersonation of a voter is probably so rare as to hardly be a problem. Inaccurate registration rolls are the problem, and that's also where the fraud occurs.

  • J. White||

    Impersonation of a voter is probably so rare *that we know of* as to hardly be a problem.

    To vote in a non-ID state, all you do is show your voter card and get a ballot. There are a lot of stars that have to align for a voter impersonator to actually get caught. Particularly when the voter is impersonating a fictional person, that no poll worker has ever met before.

    Incidentally, in most states, even if a poll worker knows the person presenting the voter card is not the voter, they are required to let them vote anyway.

  • UnCivilServant||

    In fact, said Adelman, the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past."

    If there is no mechanism in place to check for it, how are you going to spot it? You're doing nothing to verify they are who they say they are, how do you know that they are who they say they are? Because you've never caught someone who was not who they said they were? That logic sounds too circular for me.

  • JohnZeus||

    Exactly. I don't believe the author of this article failed to consider this rather obvious point.

    There are all kinds of mundane activities that require proof you are who you say you are. It's idiotic to suggest that deciding who will make the laws that govern us all is less important. Democrats celebrated the early release of the woman in Ohio convicted of voter fraud in 2012. She was a precinct worker. Anyone who believes her type of fraud was a singular occurrence needs to avoid bridge and swampland salesmen.

  • soflarider||

    Well, that's one opinion.
    Here's another opinion: http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....3120225572

  • soflarider||

    In case you're skeptical of links, this one addresses the dishonest way bogus research and consequently derived statistics are used to misrepresent the scope of voter fraud.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, because requiring an ID to vote is so much more burdensome than requiring one to buy beer and cigarettes.

    Sorry you worked on a semi-dirty campaign, Chapman. I never have - of course, I don't support TEAMS. Regardless, IF we're going to have elections, and IF people are required to register so we verify eligibility, then, NO, I don't think it's unreasonable to require the voter to identify him/herself.

    Yes, SLD...but....

  • buybuydandavis||

    Racism! Racism! Racism!

    You're worse than Hitler!

  • Almanian!||

    Also:

    When Pennsylvania enacted a voter ID law, it was able to cite zero cases of voter impersonation. Ditto in Indiana.

    See - ONE HUNDRED PERCENT EFFECTIVE. WE NEED MOAR SUCH LAWZ!!!

    /Progtard logic hoisting them on their own, collective petard

  • craiginmass||

    The truth hurts...

    But it has been said much more clear than this.

    Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation, said this:
    ""I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.""

    Basically an admission that, given representation, the people would almost never choose conservatives.

  • Almanian!||

    Well, if Weyrich said, it, then it must be gospel.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    the people would almost never choose conservatives.

    You know, someone should go tell conservatives that. Those who frequent this site, not being conservatives, don't give a shit.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    But...but...KOCH BROTHERZ!!!!!!

  • Doctor Whom||

    We're all Team-Red-bots. I know this because Buttplug keeps saying so.

  • Otisjay||

    beep boop: Bush was a ok pres.

  • Another David||

    Then they'd probably think it's bad for the system to be slanted in favor of conservatives, right?

  • wadair||

    Basically an admission that, given representation, the people would almost never choose conservatives.

    "The people" want free stuff. Populism will always win out among those with little or no concept of what they lose if the government spends itself into oblivion. Conservatives aren't much better, but they are less populist. And that means fewer votes for them from "the people".

    Just consider what sorts of policies progressives and conservatives champion. Progressives promote stuff-to-the-people, while conservatives still give stuff away but they at least talk about responsible government. Who will "the people" vote for? The side that gives them stuff.

    So what's your point?

  • Will4Freedom||

    As an IT Analysist, just for kicks I designed a pretty fool proof method of voting, using current technology.

    Trouble is it would cost a lot. And all my liberal freiends assure me that there is no voter fraud, so why bother.

  • Will4Freedom||

    Analyst

  • ||

    Analrapist?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Editorial writer for the Chicago tribune - 'nuff said

  • Rich||

    "A person would have to be insane to commit voter impersonation fraud."

    Alrighty then.

  • Michael P||

    I hope Chapman got paid by the Democratic Party for parroting their talking points with nary an original thought to be found! If Republicans act like requiring effective voter ID is a cure for Democratic voting, Democrats act like it is an effective way to get out the vote -- they rant along the very same lines as Chapman about how it is intended to disenfranchise people, even when the law is carefully crafted to provide free IDs for the poor, and to allow many alternative forms of ID.

    I look forward to Chapman's next article about the great evils of requiring driver's licenses, prolonged discussion about how this violates the civil rights of people (who don't want to own up to their traffic violations), and how no one is ever really hurt by automobile-related crime because hardly anyone is criminally prosecuted over it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    the great evils of requiring driver's licenses

    Yes, because one's mode of travel should be a privilege doled out by our benevolent masters. Kind of like how under sharia law only Muslims can ride horses.

  • perlhaqr||

    I don't hang out here enough to know who almost anyone is, so, I dunno if Michael P was being serious or not. But railing against the evils of driver's licenses would be consistent, at least. (Which is the point I think you were trying to make.)

    I'd prefer no driver's licenses and no voter ID (and no voting either, but hey, anarchist), except that voter ID is a great bargaining chip. I always tell Team Blue wonks who are railing against it that I'll be happy to support them in their crusade against voter ID when they join mine against firearm registration.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Senator Al Franken.

    He won by 312 votes and cast the 60th vote for Obamacare.

    In such a tight race it sure would be nice to know that every vote was legit.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I voted for the Lizard People - as always.
    http://media.npr.org/news/imag.....s6-c30.jpg

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Sigh, it is sad to see that political correctness has struck even Lizard Planet.

    How did the great warriors, the Lizard Men, allow their feminists to change their name to Lizard People?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Whoa. Check your Lizard priviledge!
    http://www.vatsav.net/scrapboo.....vilege.vsv

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Even the votes they find in the trunk of a car?

  • jace||

    "known voter impersonation" implies impersonating a known voter. Silly. The intent of voter ID is to prevent impersonating a legal voter. In the 3 states I've legally casted ballots I've only had to sign a registration card and hand it in to that County's Registrar of Voters- my signature to be the sole determinant of being a legal registered voter. (Of the half dozen times I've registered it only got screwed up at the DMV right after Motor Voter was enacted. Quelle surprise!) How can anyone claim there is no fraud? The correct claim is no known fraud. And no way to prove nor disprove it.

  • Almanian!||

    OK, I gotta run - Ima just leave "that dumb bitch in Ohio who recently admitted to voting, like, 5 times in the last pres election, but it was OK cause Obama."

    Fuck all TEAMS, but mostly the donkeys when it comes to voter fraud.

    PS Chicago 1962

  • WTF||

    But voter fraud is just a right wing meme, just like Chapman says.

  • Rich||

    How about the following approach?

    Voting should not require ID.

    Voting is a civic duty that influences the entire nation.

    Firearms ownership is a civic option that influences a relatively small group of people.

    Therefore, firearms ownership should not require ID.

  • sarcasmic||

    Private sales. No ID required.

  • Rich||

    I suppose that's why voting booths are private.

  • perlhaqr||

    Well, yes, but most of the people who rail against voter ID are in favor of tracking firearm transactions.

  • wareagle||

    ermagerd; not ID's!!11! I don't care if fraud is a big problem or a small one, no matter how Stevie chooses to define those terms. I am amazed that people oppose some measure of integrity in the process.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I absolutely care if voter fraud is a big problem or a small one. If it is statistically insignificant, I don't see any reason to add lubricant to the already slippery-slope to national ID-ville.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    No reason to lock my doors. I haven't been robbed yet. Ignore the people wanting to ban locks.

  • wareagle||

    sorry, but telling me that a little fraud is okay because it's not a lot of fraud does nothing about the underlying reality that fraud exists. States issue driver's licenses and ID's to those unable to drive. Many issue them for free.

    It is beyond condescending to suggest that minorities - who often drive, apply for jobs, maybe applied for benefits, etc - are singularly too stupid to get an ID.

  • OneOut||

    "It is beyond condescending to suggest that minorities - who often drive, apply for jobs, maybe applied for benefits, etc - are singularly too stupid to get an ID."

    And is actually very racist. Democrats say that blacks and other minorities aren't capable of navigating the everyday process of obtaining an ID.

    Concern trolls waste larger amounts of time and energy bitching about certain groups trouble getting IDs.

    If they invested 1/10th of that same amount of energy getting IDs for those they are worried about there would be no problem.

    It is insanity to not require an ID to vote when so much is at stake.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Slippery slope to national id-ville?

    If you have a SS#, you're already at the bottom of the slope.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    On Election Day, a fellow campaign worker and I went to a polling place to monitor voters. When they gave their names, we checked to see whether their mailings had come back. If so, we lodged an objection. The voters affected were not pleased.

    Unless you lied when making your objection, you had reason to believe these people weren't eligible to vote and took it to the proper election authorities. That's dirty, exactly how, other than anything short of rolling over for Dems is 'dirty' because some hot chick at a cocktail party you want to bang thinks so?

  • creech||

    I've known a number of college students who bragged about voting in their home district and their college district. No ID will catch that kind of fraud. But ID fraud is nothing compared to the fraud that goes on when voting lists aren't purged of dead people or those who have moved away. In corrupt, one-party controlled polling places, wholesale fraud is committed when such people "vote" through the election officials. Also, when so and so hasn't shown up by the close of polls, they somehow "vote" anyway. Voting lists need to be
    closely reviewed, party committeemen need to do their jobs to keep the opposition honest.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    College students are Dems, so that's not fraud. Chapman basically caught them doing that and is donning a hair shirt for the 'sin' of doing so. To keep the govt in check. Somehow.

  • Derpetologist||

    Since the AM links are AWOL, I will post today's derp round-up here.
    A prog responds to the following video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=087JTrlRUfk


    On food irradiation....Like everything else conservatives support the misinformation is coming directly from lobbyists and the corporations that seek to profit off of the ignorance of the public. Just like climate change denial, the ONLY studies that are saying food irradiation is safe is the lobbyists and companies paying for the studies in their favor in the first place. You would be hard pressed to find any legitimate scientist or biologist that would advise eating food that has been exposed to radiation. The real problem of course, is the corporate factory farms and fast food restaurants using substandard practices and cleaning procedures to process their food. .

    I wonder if this blockhead knows how much radiation he gets from eating a banana.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    any legitimate scientist or biologist

    Considering the theory and application of food irradiation was almost fully developed by MIT, all those boys in Cambridge, MA must be a bunch of wackaloons!

    They are, but that's because they insist on measuring everything in smoots.

  • sarcasmic||

    .Like everything else conservatives support the misinformation is coming directly from lobbyists and the corporations that seek to profit off of the ignorance of the public.

    And everything progressives support is coming from those who seek to expand their power over the ignorant public.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Wait until all votes are 'absentee' votes thru the mail. Union thugs or 'community organizer' goons can fill out ballots, surround someone and ask nicely for them to sign w/ the threat only being implied, and control elections on behalf of Chapman's progtard friends. Just like Chapman likes it.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    I think we should take 'Chapman' as a trigger warning at this point.

  • Derpetologist||

    Cont'd


    Almost all the major food poisoning outbreaks of the last few years have come from these large scale agri-businesses and fast food restaurants improperly handling the product or knowingly using tainted water or meat. Much like the recent cancerous cows recall. You know which farms very rarely if ever cause any of these kinds of problems? Small family owned farms, that have caring people and proper oversight running them. Irradiating all of the food to stop food poisoning is trading in one problem for another. Small levels of radiation in some carrots or a hamburger probably aren't a big deal, but if EVERYTHING you ate was exposed to radiation eventually it would have very adverse and widespread effects. And that's not even up for debate.

    Food was way safer back in the good ol' days! Just ask all those European peasants who dies from ergot poisoning.

  • sarcasmic||

    And that's not even up for debate.

    Some things are self evident. Like the fact that inequality is bad. It's self evident. There's no need for debate. Or global warming. Another self evident fact. Or the need for higher taxes and more regulation. Again, self evident. Why debate anything?

  • wareagle||

    debate just gets in the way. Ban it.

  • Rhywun||

    caring people

    HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAH - where do they come up with this stuff?

  • Mock-star||

    And I wonder why this guy thinks that family farm is quickly becoming extinct. It surely couldnt be because regulations increase the burden of entry too high for all but the largest businesses, amiright?

  • Derpetologist||

    So I was talking to a prog about Islam. I said I would worry about Christian terrorism the day when Christians kill 3,000 Americans. Other guy reveals he's a 9/11 truther. That makes a nice cocktail with his other idiotic beliefs. There's the reality-based community for you. I asked him if he thought robot Elvis killed JFK from the grassy knoll. 9/11 was an inside job, because self-aware Keno machines are using the Girl Scouts as a front group to restore the Romanov dynasty.

    I hunt the things that go derp in the night. I seek out its lair and drive a stake through its heart. I am the Van Helsing of derp.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    "And when you gaze long into derp the derp also gazes into you".

    Be careful Derpetologist.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    "self-aware Keno machines are using the Girl Scouts as a front group to restore the Romanov dynasty."

    I fucking knew it !!!!!11

  • Derpetologist||

    Did you know you're not allowed to criticize Islam unless you're a Muslim? The things I learn on Derpbook!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ken Schultz and heller are your Facebook friends?

    Who knew?

  • wareagle||

    but only if you're a Muslim who has not been invited to address a college, a college like Brandeis perhaps.

  • Derpetologist||

    So some Derpbook prog was bitching about hypocritical gay Republicans. I gave him a few examples from this list (http://www.conservative21.com/Media/The_List.txt)
    and asked if he would condemn them. Here are the responses:


    How are they hypocritical? At what point did any of those guys attempt to dictate other people's personal choices or marriage, "family values", or fidelity at all? The reason these assholes are hypocrites is because they spend all their energy denouncing others and attempting to limit rights and dictate other people's lifestyles and choices through law while engaging in the very behavior they are claiming to try and quash.

    Team blue doesn't lecture everyone else on morality and what "family" means to white Christian Murika. So your assertion their infidelity is hypocrisy is invalid. REPUBLICANS get caught up in far more scandalous infidelity schemes. At least Democrats have the decency to keep their infidelity confined to women of legal age, instead of say, underage male interns or strange men in public restrooms or male prostitutes they are buying meth
  • perlhaqr||

    I think that most of the people on that list are condemnation worthy, but it's correct to say that they aren't hypocritical, if they actually think and say that it's OK to do X, and then go and do X.

    Of course, of the first five, only number three didn't do something that I would expect proggies to normally lambaste, so, that would, indeed, make them hypocrites.

  • Derpetologist||


    Has senator Bob Menendez made public statements or presented legislation to prevent or condemn others for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes? No? Once again, false equilancy with zero valid point.

    we are talking about the "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy of the "family values" right wingers. As usual, you point to a completely irrelevant example on the left and say "But they do it too." Except, you know, they don't. They don't stand up and tell everyone they shouldn't cheat on their wives and it should be illegal to do so, and then get caught cheating on their wives. Then, and only then, would that be an equivalent example of screaming about the evils of homosexuality between having dicks in your mouth.

    Have I mentioned how thoroughly I despise progs?

  • Derpetologist||

    A former Muslim spreads his derp:


    you claim you know more about Islam than I do. That's just on paper. Once again, not being fully immersed/actively practicing and having a relationship leaves you at a disadvantage against the likes of me and others when "debating" topics like this. But you're ignorant to it and that's not my problem.

    there's no reason to argue any errors because you're correct on your criticisms of Islam. However YOU made blanket statements on just Islam. Statements that I have witnessed FIRST HAND that are false. While the rest of us called out EVERYTHING. So what does that say about you?? Also, at the same time, all my points stand. Furthermore, the person's identity isn't completely irrelevant as a person who has experiences seem to have arguments that are "more valid" or the arguments can be arguably "stronger." But I digress.

    You should've quit while you were ahead. You're buried in ignorance and you really can't see it. So sad. And Dave knows firsthand I don't argue dishonestly. At least I'm aware of a lot more than you. I tend not to mesh ALL people in the same group. Like I said, enjoy your ignorance.
  • Derpetologist||

    Same guy


    1) I know how I'm viewed in many Muslims eyes as we speak. However I answer to a higher calling, so I'm not nor would be worried about someone trying to "kill me" because I converted to a different religion. Furthermore you're basing that off of the extremist views while being fairly ignorant of the peaceful views that many Muslims I've known my whole life share. Yet you cry that Christians get blasted in the same breath. Like I said, you should've quit while you were ahead...but that was hours ago so I guess you can keep burying yourself. As you were

    2) I'm not an expert on Islam or Christianity, however here's the inherent difference between you and I. Did you practice BOTH of those during your lifetime, as in did you LIVE these lifestyles...or are you just merely spewing crap based on what you "read"?? If it's the latter then honestly we have nothing more to discuss.
  • Calypso Facto||

    "the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.""

    I was skeptical too until I was solicited by Dems to vote as someone known to be out of town during the recent recall elections in WI. Fortunately, their efforts failed, but how many other times did that happen? We'll never know ... because we don't check. Voter ID is the easiest way to keep honest people honest -- it's the low hanging fruit of maintaining election integrity, supported by more than 70% of the population, with even HIGHER approval among racial minorities.

  • R C Dean||

    the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.

    I recall news stories after the '08 election featuring college kids (if memory serves) boasting about voting three and four times in Milwaukee.

    Not to mention, they just charged a couple people with it this year.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/m.....46341.html

  • GregMax||

    While I fall into the "voter ID is good" category, it seems to me that political parties care less about true voters than winning an election. In that case if the Republicans would just get the f off of issues like "gay marriage" and "abortion" and the bevy of antiquated positions that a bunch of potential voters under 40 support or could careless about, then they'd win more elections and "voter fraud" would really disappear from their bag of issues.
    But, it's early and I could be confused.
    BTW, fuck gun restrictions.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I lived in Maryland for a number of years. It was generally acknowledged that the Democrats in Maryland committed voter fraud in every election. I heard members of the Stonewall Democratic Club reminiscing about helping to do so when they were teens. The standard trick was that the political body that was constituted to investigate accusations of fraud was packed with Democrat Party Loyalists, and would inevitably drag out any investigation until the next election made it moot.

    I have zero faith in the honesty of elections in any state with a large Democrat population AND no voter ID law. I frankly think it should be possible (if it isn't now) to sue the Democrats for obstructing the passage of such obviously necessary laws. They are making my vote worth less, if not worthless. They are doing so either by knowingly abetting fraud or by ignoring something that, given their positions in society, they have a duty to know.

    I note that of all the cities and states historically known to be run by fraudulent Political machines, the only one I have heard of that was notoriously Republican was Philadelphia in the 1950's. Chicago, New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, Missouri. All nominally Democrat.

    The Difference between the Democrat Party and a criminal conspiracy such as the Mafia is that when the Mafia wraps itself in a shroud of bogus Moral Superiority, people snigger.

  • UnCivilServant||

    And the mafia actually provided protection against the two-bit thugs if you paid them.

  • jdfinct||

    I find it hard to believe all these poor people who cannot afford an ID or cannot get one do to other reasons aren't engaging in some activity that requires ID on some basis. I mean you need an id for some much damn shit these days it's hard to imagine.
    Funny though, how all the libs i know become very frugal about tax dollars when i suggest that they should have taxes we all pay cover free ids for these people. They all become so fiscally conservative then lol

  • Harun||

    Of course. Do you think you can apply for Medicaid or EBT without an ID?

    Its trivial to provide these people with IDs. Minority voting went up in Voter ID states.

    Its all just smoke to cover their fraud.

    If Dems truly believe there is no fraud, then why are they afraid of voter ID?

    This is as if the IRS didn't do any audits, and we decided that maybe we should audit people, and the Right kept saying "there is no tax fraud!" Well if there is no tax fraud, then the audits will all come up empty. No harm no foul.

  • Anon E. Mouse||

    "Poor and minority voters are especially likely to be prevented from voting by the new obstacles."

    Because obtaining a free ID is a nearly insurmountable intellectual challenge for the poor and minorities, right Steve?

  • Rhino||

    I'm surprised more statists don't look at it as a public safety issue. If you want to drive a car, you have to take your test and get a license so that we know you aren't a danger on the road. If you want to vote, you have to get an ID so we know your vote won't be stolen from you by fraud or that you won't go vote at several different poling stations in an effort to vote early and often.

  • Rhino||

    Wasn't there a whole episode of Berny Sanders winning an election by just under 1000 votes and an investigation later found that there were over 1000 cases of voter fraud in that election? Of course, this just highlights the argument that there is no voter fraud because there are no records of people tried for voter fraud. The reason that is, is because nobody gets charged for voter fraud.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Got a citation for that? Because everything I've ever seen on this issue indicates that even when accusations of voter fraud are investigated, they almost never end up being substantiated.

  • Harun||

    So you really believe they just happened to find those ballots in the trunk of a car that put Al Franken over the top.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I don't understand the support for voter ID laws shown in the comments.

    Libertarians generally oppose the government imposing burdens on people, however small. Examples abound -- buying a gun, opening a business, marrying someone. The logic being that the burden of proof lies with the government.

    Yet in this case, the mere possibility of fraud seems to be enough for many commenters to support voter ID laws, despite any evidence that fraud is actually a problem. How is that any different than occupational licensing or onerous background checks for gun purchases or concealed carry permits?

  • R C Dean||

    Libertarians generally oppose the government imposing burdens on people,

    If you have to register to vote, I see no reason not to "increase" the "burden" by actually making sure the registration is valid and the votes made under the registration are valid.

  • Billy Bones||

    As a Libertarian, I am against the government imposing ONEROUS burdens on the people. I cannot consider voter ID laws to be onerous. I do not oppose driver's licenses, nor periodical renewals.

    Also, as I have tried to explain previously on this issue, how can you prove voter fraud without the means to stop voter fraud? Please explain to me how, if I voted twice under 2 different names, and I never once had to prove who I was, how do I get caught? I can't, period. Therefore there is no such thing as voter fraud. This is some of the worst logic I have ever witnessed. Without going into detail, I easily could have voted twice in 2012, and NO ONE would have been the wiser. The ONLY thing that stopped me? My state's voter ID law.

  • Voros McCracken||

    I think you can pretty much guarantee that the party apparatuses are trying to thumb the scales in every election and at all times. To believe otherwise flies in the face of everything else we see them do in areas that don't directly involve elections.

    So if it's at all possible to commit vote fraud, or to mine ineligible votes or otherwise influence an election in your favor, you can best be assured it's happening and on a very large scale. Why would people who clearly desire to pursue power at all costs at all other times suddenly find morality when it came to voting?

    The Republicans would almost certainly do exactly the same, but they don't tend to control the big cities and so can't get nearly as much bang for their buck when they do it. I'm sure they still do it anyway.

  • LynchPin1477||

    But, again, the burden of proof lies with those who want to impose this burden (whether it is onerous or not is another issue). The argument that you can't prove voter fraud without voter ID laws isn't that much different than arguing that the NSA has to collect personal data so it can figure out who the bad guys are. Yet libertarians are at the forefront of demanding evidence of a crime before treating someone like a criminal.

    But I don't even buy that voter ID laws are necessary to detect fraud. You have to show a voter registration card to vote. When you get your registration card, you have to provide your name and address. A simple cross check between the voter registration rolls and other public records could uncover when someone with the same name registered at two addresses, or when someone with no public record registered (i.e., fake name), or when more people registered at one address than are on record as living at that address, etc.

    And to be sure, those types of irregularities in the voter registration rolls ARE found. In most cases it is simply sloppy record keeping (people don't update their address and the registrar doesn't check) and not at all malicious. Sometimes there is out and out fake names in the registration rolls. But there is no evidence, as far as I am aware (and I have looked into this a bit) of any systemic problem of people trying to use the incorrect/false registration records to actually cast a ballot illegally.

    (cont.)

  • phbst||

    This is simply untrue. I've never once been asked to show my voter registration card to vote. All I've ever been asked for is my name. They check the rolls to see if there's a name that matches (often, I just point to it because I have a relatively difficult last name), and then I sign next to it attesting to who I am. I could just as easily mumble something, rattle off a few letters and then point to a name that doesn't have a signature yet.

    And this isn't just one precinct. Since I first registered to vote, I've voted in three different precincts in two states, and it's always been the same.

  • JWatts||

    This is exactly correct. It's trivial to register in multiple precincts as long as you go to the trouble of slightly modifying your name each time you register. For that matter you can register multiple times in the same precinct. Have you ever asked a poll worker if they get somebody trying to vote twice? The one's I've talked to say, it happens repeatedly every election.

    If they see someone that's already voted. The most common being someone who came in the morning, showing up again in the evening. All they every do, is tell them they can't vote again. As long as the person, leaves after the warning, they nothing happens. And the only way they ever get caught (without Voter ID) is if the same poll worker happens to be there both times and notices.

    Granted, the ones I've talked to are aware of it, and are always looking out for it, but on the other hand, there's generally no penalty applied, if you get caught, as long as you don't try and insist on voting again.

  • JWatts||

    This is exactly correct. It's trivial to register in multiple precincts as long as you go to the trouble of slightly modifying your name each time you register. For that matter you can register multiple times in the same precinct. Have you ever asked a poll worker if they get somebody trying to vote twice? The one's I've talked to say, it happens repeatedly every election.

    If they see someone that's already voted. The most common being someone who came in the morning, showing up again in the evening. All they every do, is tell them they can't vote again. As long as the person, leaves after the warning, they nothing happens. And the only way they ever get caught (without Voter ID) is if the same poll worker happens to be there both times and notices.

    Granted, the ones I've talked to are aware of it, and are always looking out for it, but on the other hand, there's generally no penalty applied, if you get caught, as long as you don't try and insist on voting again.

  • LynchPin1477||

    (cont.)

    I'm not necessarily opposed to voter ID laws as a matter of principle, but it seems to me like a solution in search of a problem. Use the tools available to demonstrate a problem first. If those tools are inadequate, as you seem to think they are, then start off by proposing new investigative tools that don't burden voters. If those fail/are impossible to come by, then we can start talking more about ID laws.

  • Andrew G.||

    All we need now is a cure for Republican voting too.

  • dpbisme||

    Pretty poor article and does not mention the three (3) high profile instances of voter fraud committed during the 2008 and 2012 elections. Oh you did not hear about them? What a surprise. Funny is it not that three Democrat Poll Workers went to jail but we hear little of it. Remember Democrats consider them selves Morally Superior to other people so they are just cheating to let the Good Guys win, I mean the women just released was celebrated "FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING"... The reason the right is unhappy is they are loosing some elections because of these activities... Feel free to Google these cases your self.

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    So, basically, you are saying election fraud is really no big deal statistically, and so we should throw out voter ID laws, which favor Republicans who want to suppress the vote. This below cast serious doubt on your premise:

    http://connect.freedomworks.or.....ation=news

    Oh, yeah, and then there's that video from Project Veritas showing some Dems (gasp!) conspiring to commit voter fraud in Texas:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....oy-murdock

    As to the conclusion, is it really too much to ask a voter to produce some type of document proving who they are? It is the franchise, after all. I mean, I show more ID when I drive, buy booze, and get on a plane.

  • R C Dean||

    Here's what I can't figure out:

    If there isn't any voter fraud that would be prevented with ID, then why does ID seem to impact Democratic voting so disproportionately?

  • R C Dean||

    More evidence of voter fraud in Wisconsin:

    http://www.westernjournalism.c.....election/#!

  • R C Dean||

    And look: There's more!

    http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/104093479.html

    These are fake registrations. Why register fake voters unless you are planning to use that registration to cast fraudulent votes?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Chapman starts out telling us how he was tasked to keep people who shouldn't be voting from voting.

    He calls this 'dirty' because some Republican noted that it would keep voters who couldn't legally vote from voting for the Democrat in the race.

    Do we really need to read anything else?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Once you get to the part that states the author is Chapman, you really don't need to read anything more.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There's little evidence that voter fraud-at least the kind ID concerns-sways elections. There's even less evidence that it suppresses minority votes or leads to National ID. Ontario is one of Canada's more statist provinces and it's required some kind of identification to vote for years. Provincial/National ID is not on the horizon and it is a fever dream of those obsessed with it.

    When is Reason going to do the right thing and fire Sheldon and Chapman already? I'm fairly convinced one of them is PB.

  • Billy Bones||

    In fact, said Adelman, the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past."

    I am so tired of that weak, illogical reasoning for repealing Voter ID laws. It would be the same argument as someone saying we do not Breathalyzers and BAC tests because nobody ever drinks and drives. BUT, without Breathalyzers and BAC's, we could never PROVE someone was drinking and driving.

    In 2012, I could have easily committed voter fraud and voted twice. The main reason I did not try (other than my own morality) was my state's voter ID laws. Made it impossible to even try.

    As I Libertarian, I am all about personal responsibility. One of those responsibilities? Being able to prove who you are.

  • Free Society||

    In fact, said Adelman, the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past."

    That is HIGHLY unlikely. Not one single unscrupulous voter in a political election? If no irregularities were found, I would wager that's because the authorities didn't want to find any. This is Wisconsin we're talking about.

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  • american socialist||

    It's pretty enjoyable to watch libertarian principle meet the reinforced concrete wall of "Libertarian" voting preference. More comments please... BUMP!

  • phbst||

    I don't understand how you can start the article by discussing how you went to a precinct and lodged complaints about instances of vote fraud, and then turn around and say that states haven't found evidence of it. I'm inferring from the way the article is written that you lodged several complaints. The only complaint seems to be that your motives weren't "pure." But so what? If starving people around the world have food to eat, do we care whether the person providing that food was motivated by charity or profit? Probably not.

    If it's onerous to acquire state-approved identification, then they simply need to offer some sort of identification freely. How about making it so that the voter registration card can serve as a form of identification in itself?

  • buybuydandavis||

    You can't buy batteries at radio shack without a DNA sample.

    Oh noes, I'll be ID'ed when I vote and can't vote 500 times anymore. Racism! Racism! Racism!

  • ||

    The burden might be tolerable if voter impersonation were a big problem. In fact, said Adelman, the state "could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past."

    You think that might possibly be because, since there is no requirement for proof or verification of identity, there's no way to tell if a voter is impersonating another or not? Jesus fuck. That's mindlessly sloppy even for Chapman.

  • Copernicus||

    "One GOP-dominated state after another has adopted new voter identification requirements in the name of preventing election fraud"

    Shouldn't we be mocking the Dem-dominated one state after another which do not take steps to prevent election fraud?

    It's almost as if someone doesn't like the idea of one person, one vote.

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