Election 2012

Photo IDs and Minority Vote Suppression—Not So Much, Says New Study

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Whatever you say.

There has been a lot of teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing over new voter ID laws.* Proponents claim that they want to prevent voter fraud and opponents assert that the real goal is to suppress minority votes (usually assumed to vote Democratic). Assuming the more pernicious motive is suppression, do they work? A new study in State Politics and Policy Quarterly by researchers from the University of Georgia says, yes, but that the suppression effect doesn't seem to accurately target racial or ethnic minorities. From the abstract:

Voter identification (ID) policies, especially those of the photo ID variety, have been hotly contested over the last few years. The primary concern surrounding these statutes amounts to lower turnout, especially among certain groups in the electorate, such as racial/ethnic minorities. In 2007, the way was cleared for Georgia to implement a new statute requiring registrants to present a government-issued photo ID to vote. Using population data on registrants from two election cycles coupled with information on a subgroup of registrants known to lack photo ID, we conduct a policy impact analysis of the Georgia voter ID law. We find that the new law did produce a suppression effect among those registrants lacking proper ID. Substantively, the law lowered turnout by about four-tenths of a percentage point in 2008. However, we find no empirical evidence to suggest that there is a racial or ethnic component to this suppression effect.

As background, read my colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward's insightful article on why you shouldn't bother voting anyway.

*Before anyone jumps on me, I favor same-day voter registration at polling places. For what's it worth, I am ignoring Katherine's advice and voting for Gary Johnson and in favor of a Virginia initiative that would amend our constitution to prevent the state and city governments from using eminent domain to take property from one private individual and giving it to another. And while I'm at it, I will complain that someone in the People's Republic of Charlottesville stole our Gary Johnson for President sign from in front of our house.

NEXT: Steve Chapman on Foreign Policy Surprises Ahead

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  1. Hey does anyone here have stairs in their house?

    Or, more to the point, did anyone here have stairs in their house from around 1999-2005 ish?

    1. I was, and am still protected.

      1. That’s because you’re too short to get hurt by falling down, joe. You’re incapable of falling from a height that can cause damage. 9.80 meters per second squared doesn’t mean shit when it’s just a meter.

        1. Lurk more.

          1. Irony, thy name is joe.

            1. That’s not irony, that’s just really, really dumb. Joerony, if you will.

    2. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Leonard J. Crabs.

      1. That dude from Dobie GIllis?

        1. Yeah, except itchier.

    3. I am protected (since ’02).
      I’m also saddened that DD basically turned into a left-wing echo chamber. They used to have some brilliant discussions from all sides back in the day.

  2. I totally support suppressing the votes of dead people, people who vote 25 times, etc.

    It’s not clear to me that Voter ID actually works, but I can’t think of any rational argument for how requiring ID to get cold medicine is okay, but requiring ID to vote isn’t. If it’s so hard to get ID, we’re forcing suffering on minorities and the poor, whenever they get sick.

    1. And we are preventing them from getting bank accounts or a legal job as well. The whole thing is ridiculous.

      My favorite is the inevitable liberal trolls who come on these threads and claim they didn’t have photo IDs or their kid didn’t have one until they were 28 or something. Yeah, that is real likely.

      1. Why don’t you people pay attention to actual data about these things? Even this Ronald Bailey brand University of Bumfucksville study shows a suppression effect.

        There’s no way you woke up one day and thought in-person voter fraud is a real problem in this country that needs to be addressed. Your concern over this virtual non-issue has been entirely spoonfed to you by partisan interests. Just in case you were wondering.

        1. Horseshit.

          The first time I voted, in the mid 1980s, I was surprised that I could just walk in and cast a ballot without any indication that I was who I claimed to be. I thought it was wrong then, and I have thought so ever since.

        2. Did the Jim Moran thing pass you by completely this morning?

          1. Don’t disrupt the narrative with your facts!

          2. Nope. So where’s the data that shows that suppressing votes by requiring IDs is warranted by an in-person voter fraud problem?

            1. So where’s the data that shows that suppressing votes by requiring IDs is warranted by an in-person voter fraud problem?

              First of all, that’s a loaded question.

              Second of all, it’s “where are the data that show”. Data is plural.

              And as a response:

              Did the Jim Moran thing pass you by completely this morning?

            2. That’s a catch-22.

              Without any real systems in place to discover in-person voter fraud, how in hell would there be any data?

              Cops in donut shop: “What do you mean, this neighborhood has a burglary problem? WE haven’t caught any burglars. So where are they, huh?”

                1. It’s only ‘rare’.

                2. Did you actually READ any of that?

                  Because it supports my point more than yours.

                  “The News21 report is based on a national public-records search in which reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states”

                  It merely shows that elections officers are unable to catch fraud. It might exist, or it might not, but nothing about this demonstrates that it doesn’t.

                  “The analysis shows 491 cases of alleged absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases involving registration fraud. Requiring voters to show identification at the polls ? the crux of most of the new legislation ? would not have prevented those cases.”

                  And this supports tightening up absentee ballots and registration process. In no way does this finding suggest that we should NOT require ID for in-person voting.

                  1. Similarly, the lack of evidence of man-on-unicorn sexual activity in no way suggests we shouldn’t restrict people’s right not to be shot in the head without due process.

                    1. Wow! I’m convinced now.

          3. I linked to it last night. 2 people cared.

            1. Wrong. Two people responded.

        3. Tony: FYI, UGA ranked #63 in US News list of best American Universities.

          1. Ha, yeah, seriously did Tony just belittle UGA?

            Tony went to Shitkicker State, for galt’s sake.

            1. To be that ignorant requires an “elite” education.

            2. I did not go to a state school.

              1. Some Okie sneering down his nose at Georgia is a real hoot, Tony.

                1. I have nothing but positive feelings about Georgia. You can get off your lowbrow high horse now.

                  1. I wonder why it is you called its flagship school “The University of Bumblefuck”.

                    Like I said, calling anywhere “Bumblefuck” is rich irony from an Okie.

                    1. That’s The University of Bumfucksville, world’s greatest authority on voter ID and climate change.

          2. Still going down to the Gators this weekend!

            1. My across-the-street neighbors have put orange and blue bulbs in their front porch lamps. I hate my neighbors (for many reasons; this just adds to it).

          3. More importantly, they’re currently ranked #10 in the BCS standings.

      2. Its a Constitutional right to be able to petition the government but many government offices won’t let you in unless you can show an ID.

        1. We pay taxes that are used to build things like libraries, and at least where I live, we can’t get a library card, to check out books WE PAID FOR, without an ID.

          1. It is time to start a trend. Every time someone requests my identification, I will call them a racist.

            1. Next time a cop pulls you over for speeding and demands to see your license, refuse, then sue the department for racism. From jail.

              1. Nah, just call the cop a racist, glare, and hand over my ID.

          2. Yeah, that’s so they can keep track of the books. Moron.

            1. ROTFLMAO

              And Voter ID is so they can keep track of the votes. Exactly my point, blithering idiot.

              1. Actually, COUNTING BALLOTS keeps track of the votes. Voter IDs are meant to verify that someone is a particular citizen who can vote. Library IDs are not equivalent to voter IDs.

                1. Uh, COUNTING BOOKS keeps track of the books. Ever work in a library?

                  Library IDs verify that a particular person is checking out the book. They are essentially identical in purpose, to voter IDs.

                  And BTW libraries have pretty strict policies about not retaining records of who has checked out what book, once the book has been returned. So there’s even a parallel WRT privacy and secrecy.

                  You truly are an idiot, darius404.

                  1. Counting books does not keep track of where those books are once they’re outside the library, nor who to look to when they don’t come back. Votes, on the other hand, only need to be counted to see who wins. No one needs to know exactly who cast each vote, and there are never “unreturned” votes to be accounted for. Library IDs are not analogous to voter IDs.

                    1. Counting votes doesn’t keep track of who was casting those votes.

                    2. That’s true, Auric. I never claimed there wasn’t a reason for having voter IDs, but the notion that it’s ok since it’s the same as having a library ID is ridiculous.

                  2. And BTW libraries have pretty strict policies about not retaining records of who has checked out what book, once the book has been returned

                    Speaking of bullshit…

            2. So what’s your point?

              1. I think it’s books are more important than votes.

                1. There’s certainly more selection at the library. I might even find a book worth reading at a library.

      3. LOL

        “inevitable liberal troll” is immediately answered by no less than Sparkle Tony!

    2. If it’s so hard to get ID, we’re forcing suffering on minorities and the poor, whenever they get sick.

      I’m using that.

      1. Voting is a right!

        Health care is…also a right, but it’s different!

        1. Voting is a right protected by the 24th amendment. Health care is not.

          1. So why can’t babies and criminals vote?

            1. I’m not sure that works, WG. Why can’t felons or children own firearms?

              1. Fuck you, that’s why.

              2. Children can’t own firearms? I guess my parents didn’t know about that.

          2. According to some people it is.

    3. I have mixed feelings about voter ID, but needing ID to get cold medicine is definitely not OK.

    4. It’s not clear to me that Voter ID actually works,

      I think it helps reduce “retail” voter fraud, perpetrated by people voting multiple times.

      For anything approaching a secure voting system, you need to require people to present a valid ID, in person, in order to receive any kind of ballot.

      By going to “early voting”, pushing voting by mail, and even (Cthulhu forfend) online voting, we are blowing big holes in the security of our voting system. There’s no question in my mind that voter fraud is much easier now than it was ten or twenty years ago.

      Cleaning up our databases of voters is something that will help, but that has only just begun (and why so late, anyway?).

      1. Databases are like, a totally new technology, dude!

      2. You could just do the purple dye thing.

        1. Too simple and cheap.

    5. look up how to apply for Medicaid in your state. it’s a lot harder than just showing up with an ID.

  3. One of my facebook friends posted a link arguing passionately that the cost of getting an ID was preventing the poor from getting them, and that voter ID laws would disenfranchise them.

    I killed the usual ground swell of right-ons comments, by praising him for his probity and asking if he would also support ending the requirement that people show ID before getting bank accounts and as a condition for getting a job.

    The subsequent silence was telling.

    1. Having a bank account or a job is not a basic right of citizenship.

      How about this? You have to go to medical school to become a doctor. Ergo, you should have to go to medical school to vote.

      1. Having a bank account or a job is not a basic right of citizenship.

        Then I guess you will okay if the government denies such things to people whenever it feels the urge. They are not rights, correct?

      2. Then I suppose you support the removal of showing ID to purchase a gun as well.

        1. You’re welcome to take your case to court.

          1. He did not ask what a court thought, he asked what YOU thought. But you knew that, right. So you support removing the requirement to show ID to purchase a gun, correct? After all, protecting one’s life is the most basic human right there is.

            1. As The Derider notes, there is no constitutional restriction on a gun buying tax. There is against a poll tax. I don’t believe buying a gun should be considered as basic a right as voting, but I won’t begrudge you from your own belief in the matter. It’s kind of irrelevant to the issue.

              1. T o n y thinks whatever he likes are rights, and whatever he doesn’t like (such as owning firearms) are NOT rights.

                He tries to draw a line between poll taxes and gun taxes by saying “One’s unconstitutional, the other’s not”, then turns right around and says buying a gun isn’t a right, even though the right to bear them means the government can’t keep you from buying them. T o n y doesn’t care about consistency, he cares about rationalizing his preferences so everyone else has to follow them.

              2. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

                The part that says “shall not be infringed” restricts a gun buying tax. Does not matter what you believe, the text is clear.

                1. And the text clearly reads that the purpose of such a restriction on infringement is to support a well-regulated militia, but you and other self-proclaimed textualists pretend that bit doesn’t even exist.

                  1. Does “A well educated electorate being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear books shall not be infringed” mean that only the electorate can have books?

                  2. No it obviously has no bearing on the right to bear arms.

                  3. So you do not understand what “the people” refers too?

          2. Tony: Which is exactly what people are doing with regard to voter ID laws. Decisions vary.

      3. Is getting welfare and public assistance a basic right Tony? You need an ID to get those.

        1. There is no right as basic as the right to vote.

          1. what the fuck?

          2. So vote early and vote often!

          3. Bullshit.

            Due process, habeas corpus, speedy trial by a jury of peers, etc. are more basic rights. You can’t vote when you’re hanged, or chained up in a dungeon for 25 years without charges.

            And yet we find….

          4. There is no right as basic as the right to vote.

            Whoa there, big fella. I thought free expression was the most basic right.

            There are two rights that we routinely strip from felons for life: voting, and owning a gun. There are lots of rights that felons retain, even in prison. I don’t see how you can say voting is the most basic right.

            1. I believe felons should not be disenfranchised, even while still inmates (as is the case in Maine and Vermont). They have at least as much of a stake in the composition of their government as anyone.

              1. Uh, we don’t deny felons the right to vote because they don’t have a stake in the composition of government. We deny them the right to vote specifically because we don’t want convicted felons to be making decisions about it.

                Felons probably also are more likely to be violently attacked than the average person, for a number of reasons. And yet we deny them the right to have a gun.

                Now think for a minute… Why would THAT be?

                1. There is an obvious public safety reason to restrict certain people’s access to guns. There is no good reason to restrict anyone’s access to the franchise, as far as I can tell. Convicted felons may not have the best opinions about the composition of government, but neither do religious fundamentalists, and they are allowed to vote.

                  It’s pretty much the founding principle of the modern free world that people should be able to vote for the public officeholders who make policy that affects them. I can think of few people with more of a stake in government than prisoners. And I find it more than a little disturbing that we restrict the franchise for prisoners while have the largest prison population on earth.

                  1. And I find it more than a little disturbing that we restrict the franchise for prisoners while have the largest prison population on earth.

                    And a lot of us would agree. However, we do think that modest attempts at preventing fraud are reasonable and even justifiable.

                  2. There is no good reason to restrict anyone’s access to the franchise, as far as I can tell.

                    The exercise of the vote is a right afforded to citizens only.

                    So I assume you wouldn’t have a problem if we rounded up a boatload of Saudis, brought them over, and asked them to vote on a gay marriage amendment, eh?

                  3. It’s not about whether they have the best opinions.

                    It’s about whether we want a group of convicted felons to take over a city, county, or state.

                    I’m not signifying agreement. It’s just that there are some concrete reasons that we deny the right of felons to vote, and it has nothing to do with whether they have good opinions. It’s a deliberate and conscious denial of power over our system of government, to felons. It might be wrong to do this, but it’s not for “no good reason” either.

            2. It needs to be the most basic right for the sake of this particular argument. Have you learned nothing from Tony’s posts over the years?

              1. Lol. There is a much more basic right than the right to vote. The right to vote can only arise in a system which is at least something of a democracy. It’s a right that comes about only when people have chosen to organize their social structures in a particular way.

                There is a much more basic right than this. The right of self-ownership, upon which all of the usual libertarian rights are founded. Tony should know this line of argumentation well by now, as he’s argued against it so often.

                1. I’m painfully aware that libertarians tend to view voting and democracy with suspicion. After all, it rarely gives you what you want.

                  1. You know who else was elected by a majority vote?

          5. I already voted today, but now they won’t let me vote again? My basic right to vote is being violated!!!

        2. There is no constitutional prohibition on fees associated with petitioning the government, getting a job, receiving government services, or buying a gun.

          There is a constitutional prohibition on fees associated with voting. The 24th amendment.

          1. Then you shouldn’t have any problem with a program that makes photo id basically free to the public.

            1. If getting ID were free, my objection would be moot, yes.

          2. Then IDs need to be issued without fees. This is the case in a number of places with Voter ID laws.

            I have no problem whatever with using the General Fund to pay for fundamental government services that are required by everyone — and make no mistake, a government-issued photo ID is a fundamental requirement for existing in the modern world. There’s no moral hazard with IDs, either.

            1. I agree with you, ID needs to be free.

              Until that occurs, voter ID laws are unconstitutional.

              1. Getting an ID is free.

              2. I’ve yet to see a voter ID law that did not have provisions for issuing an ID free of charge to people who can’t afford the fee.

                1. Me neither.

                  It would be stupid for it to be otherwise, because the authors of the laws are quite aware of this particular Constitutional provision.

                2. Do they also provide things like birth certificates and naturalization papers free of cost? You need those to get ID.

                  1. Do they also provide things like birth certificates and naturalization papers free of cost? You need those to get ID.

                    Uh, forgive me if this is thickheaded of me, but given that only citizens can vote, shouldn’t you have these already?

                  2. They also don’t pay for your gas or bus fare. So?

                    The fact that you may have to expend some funds to actually vote doesn’t mean that every expenditure of funds in connection with voting is an illegal poll tax.

                3. What about people who can afford the fee but don’t want to pay to vote?

              3. How much money have you donated to offset these alleged* costs, joe?

                * please note, again, that getting an ID is free.

                1. I’d be happy to donate fees to anyone who can’t afford his/her free ID.

      4. So you are ok with not requiring ID to purchase a weapon? That too is a basic right of citizenship.

      5. How about this? You have to go to medical school to become a doctor. Ergo, you should have to go to medical school to vote.

        LMAO!

      6. Petitioning the government is a Constitutional Right but many government offices won’t let you in without a ID.

      7. Actually, being able to get a job IS a basic right of citizenship. Reams of anti-discrimination law and case law, among other things, demonstrate clearly that it is considered such.

        The same is true of getting a bank account, buying a house, and a number of other ordinary transactions that are covered by similar laws.

        1. This is bullshit.

          The only rights are voting and free abortions.

          1. And even then only if you vote for a certain candidate…

        2. None of these activities are protected by the 24th amendment.

          Voting is.

          1. Love that you choose to ignore the gun thing.

            1. There is no constitutional prohibition on taxing gun sales.

              There is a constitutional prohibition on taxing voting.

              1. Hmm…tell me more about how you’ve always cared about the constitution…

              2. And what does a prohibition on taxing have to do with requiring an ID?

                1. They’re making it equivalent to a poll tax.

                  I would say that forcing people to actually travel to the polling spot, get out of bed, take time to fill out a voting form, etc… is also a poll tax by that definition.

                  1. For the second time this year, liberals put forward a very broad definition of what a tax is.

                  2. Since you need an ID to obtain employment, that should mean he/she who doesn’t have an ID has plenty of time to walk (or arrange transportation if disabled) to go get one.

                    With all the things you need an ID for, if this is what incentivizes someone to finally be able to prove who they are, I’d say this law is doing them a favor.

          2. Freedom of speech is a protected activity as well, yet we find “free speech zones”, forced registration for protests, etc…

        3. You have a right to PURSUE a job, you don’t have a right TO a job. According to you, it’s perfectly legal to force me to hire someone if that person needs a job, even if I’m not hiring.

          1. I don’t know, that interpretation makes it pretty difficult to do the things I want to do.

            -Statist

            1. Gah!, libertarianism’s silver bullet! You’ve won this round, government.

      8. How about this? You have to go to medical school to become a doctor. Ergo, you should have to go to medical school to vote.

        Excellent idea! Which will negate your say so in both policy and medical care!

        This is the best idea you’ve had since, well, ever. It’s good you finally recognize your betters. -))

        I will be making your decisions for you, Tony. How do you like statism now?

        1. FTR the statists in this thread are the people supporting a whole new government bureaucracy whose sole purpose is to stand in the way of people’s constitutional rights.

          1. The people in the thread support Obamacare?

          2. First, FTR, addressing fraud is often seen as a valid governmental task.

            Second, I’m pretty sure the bureaucracies for getting an ID already exist.

            1. Oh okay.

              I thought this place was about smaller, less intrusive government.

              1. Please stop molesting that strawman, Tony. Bad form.

                1. Dressed like that? It was asking for it.

              2. I thought it was about having a legitimate one, rather than one imposed through force or fraud.

          3. There is no constitutional right to vote, actually.

            The constitution only lays out a few categories you can’t use to bar someone from voting.

            If Indiana, for instance, passed a law that citizens with last names beginning with M couldn’t vote, it wouldn’t be unconstitutional in the slightest.

      9. Being able to fucking survive without relying on the government for a handout is not a basic right of citizenship? Fuck off, asswipe. Having a job is a little more essential than getting an abortion, and neither one is explicitly listed in the Constitution.

  4. I have an extra Gary Johnson sign in my truck if you need it. Nowhere near VA though.

    1. Do you stand it up in the flatbed wherever you park?

    2. I just keep reading that and stoping right before ‘sign’.

      1. I named my johnson Gary.

  5. I will complain that someone in the People’s Republic of Charlottesville stole our Gary Johnson for President sign from in front of our house.

    Who would do that?

    An Obama supporter who feels that voting for anyone other than Obama is intolerant, or a Romney supporter who thinks Johnson is a spoiler?

    Hmmmm…

    1. There are not a whole lot of Romney supporters running around Charlottesville.

    2. Charlottesville is notoriously blue

      1. SN: In 2008, Charlottesville went 79 percent for Obama. I am now abashed that I was one of those voters.

        1. And John will never forgive you for it. That’s the REAL tragedy here.

        2. I wouldn’t remind everyone how you were actually fooled by that huckster.

    3. I bet it was someone who really loves Johnson.

      1. Dick jokes are funny…

        Almost as funny as poop jokes.

    4. At least they didn’t set it on fire, like someone in Loudoun County did to a large Romney poster: http://www.wtop.com/159/309101…..ered-arson Ah, the new civility!

      1. At least they didn’t beat you and put you in the hospital because you caught them stealing your lawn sign, like some Obama supporters did to a Romney supporter in Wisconson.

    5. Almost definitely a Democrat. Most GOP partisans are at least capable of tolerating dissenting views. This election season I’ve enjoyed putting up posters all over town highlighting Obama’s broken promises on militarization and civil liberties and urging a vote for Johnson. They only last a couple of hours at most before the first team bluer who sees it rips it down.

  6. If people can be helped to the polls they can be helped to go get their picture taken.

    LIVE FREE OR VOTE!

  7. Always worth repeating:

    Vote or die muthafucka, muthafucka vote or die
    Rock the vote or else I’m gonna stick a knife through your eye
    Democracy is founded on one simple rule
    Get out there and vote or I will muthafuckin’ kill you

    1. Get your big ass in the polling booth

  8. Study shows voter-ID laws suppress legal voting.

    Hit and Run commenters: Who cares? Government does a bunch of other stupid shit.

    ‘Nuff said.

    1. We find that the new law did produce a suppression effect among those registrants lacking proper ID

      1. Once more, with feeling:

        We find that the new law did produce a suppression effect among those registrants lacking proper ID

        1. I’m not sure you understand my point, or your own.

          1. I understand that you’re getting a headache trying to contort this issue into your Teamism.

            1. My team is “People who have read past the 10th amendment in the constitution”.

              1. Except people do have a right to vote, they simply need to procure an ID to show they actually are a citizen with the right to vote. Not that hard, is it?

                1. *a particular citizen

                  And some places require you to undergo a background check before you can buy a gun, but few people say this violates the right to bear arms.

    2. Shorter Derider: What fake utility bills?

    3. Study shows voter-ID laws suppress legal voting.

      If its illegal to vote without an ID, and the law suppresses voting by people without IDs, isn’t the law suppressing illegal voting, not legal voting?

      1. This is the definition of pedantry.

        Study shows voter-ID laws suppress voting that would have been considered legal before the implementation of voter-ID laws.

        Clear for you now?

        1. Yes, they AREN’T considered legal votes. It’s like saying that any state that doesn’t have write-in ballots is “suppressing voters” by not allowing write-in votes.

        2. This is the definition of pedantry.

          I thought it was the definition of illegal.

          Not to mention tautological, and the point of voter ID laws.

          1. He seems to be arguing that voter ID laws are requiring people to have IDs to vote…

  9. This was needed a long time ago.

    We need those damn, suppressive IDs for everything. Whether its buying guns ammo;, Meds, Alcohol, driving, entering govt buildings, airport security…..

    All these areas of life that the poor ole’ minorities cant enjoy! Lies. Thats all the leftists/statists have since they are the ones committing the fraud and passing all these intrusive and actual suppressive laws.

    1. *they basically elect themselves with fraud and then pass actual statist, suppressive laws on the populace.

    2. With the exception of driving and maybe guns (I’ve never had to show ID to buy ammo), none of those things should require ID.

      1. My point is that the people who oppose Voter ID are the ones making sure that ID is required for everything that dont like, in addition to all the suppressive regulations they enforce. They like voter fraud, thus they vehemently dont want voters to be required to show photo IDs or any other fraud-prevention.

        1. On a closer reading, I see that should have been obvious.

          1. Indeed. I dont feel well toooooday

  10. You know, I am opposed to ID checks. I think we should do that purple thumb thing though. It’s much more convincing than those damn “I Voted” pins.

    1. Only problem is, someone would figure out a way to get rid of the dye, since we’re not a third world nation (yet).

      I think cutting off a toe is the way to go. That way you only get to vote 10 times in your life, and you’d probably want to really make them count.

    2. Exactly. In fucking Africa they have better voter fraud prevention than us. Voter ID would keep the whiny populace shut about how the purple ink somehow “makes them not want to vote”.

  11. I’m amused that suddenly Tony and Derider have a firm belief in a literal interpretation of the Constitution.

    1. I’m perplexed that libertarians support suppressing people’s constitutional right in an obviously and flagrantly partisan effort so much.

      1. Mmm…tell me more about how you’ve always cared about people’s constitutional rights…

        1. Evidently I care about them more than you do.

          1. I was being condescending. It means I was talking down to you.

            1. Not possible. Don’t even try.

              1. Mmm..delicious tears…

                1. I condescend to 10 people twice your size before breakfast.

                  1. Sure you do, tuff gai, sure you do.

                  2. What does your spite for the obese have to do with anything?

      2. Depends on how you define suppression.

        The perpetuation of voter fraud is suppression of the value of every valid vote. It’s disenfranchisement of the citizenry in general.

        A voter ID law that provides methods for obtaining ID at little or no cost to the citizen is a reasonable proposal to combat fraud.

        1. There is no evidence of an in-person voter fraud problem in this country.

          This effort is entirely partisan. Its sole purpose is to suppress the vote. That’s not to say Republicans won’t be able to get voter ID legislation that passes constitutional muster, but let’s not kid ourselves about the actual, and only, purpose behind this effort.

          Once again the liberals are the only libertarians in the room.

          1. Did the Jim Moran thing completely pass you by this morning?

            1. I read the news. The Colin Small affair didn’t slip past me either.

              Is there a large enough problem of in-person voter fraud in this country to justify the disenfranchisement of potentially millions of law-abiding citizens? I don’t see what other standard there should be.

              1. That’s odd. Is there a large enough problem of people who cannot obtain medical care that it necessitates a wholesale takeover of the industry?

                That does require…wait for it…an ID to obtain.

                You wouldn’t want me treating the wrong person, would you?

                1. You don’t think there has been a healthcare cost and access problem in this country? And who proposed a “wholesale takeover of the industry”?

                  1. You don’t think there has been a healthcare cost and access problem in this country?

                    Access? Not really, no, and OCare is going to impede access in any event.

                    Cost? You bet. Because of the hundreds of billions of taxpayer subsidies already inflating the market. OCare just ups the ante on that.

              2. Fair and accurate voting is a self-evident good thing.

                Nobody is disenfranchised by voter ID.

                You have no point.

              3. First you say:

                There is no evidence of an in-person voter fraud problem in this country.

                then you say:

                Is there a large enough problem of in-person voter fraud in this country to justify the disenfranchisement of potentially millions of law-abiding citizens?

                so is there evidence or is there not?

                1. so is there evidence or is there not?

                  There was, but it was hiding behind the goalposts’ original position.

          2. Yes, attack the hidden conspiracy. It makes so much sense when the Republican governor of Virginia supports both Voter ID and has been restoring voting rights to felons at a pace unmatched by previous governors. And I might add that the acceptable ID includes utility bills, bank statements, paychecks, almost anything with your name on it. Certainly a lax standard by any means, but still being fought by Democrats.

            1. It’s not hidden.

  12. I have to say, I’m still ambivalent about this. I just don’t like demands for ID. I think that ID is required for way too many things these days and making the carrying of ID more universal just seems to me to be getting us closet to a “papers please” kind of situation.
    But, on the other hand, as long as there is some provision to have the voter confirm their identity in another way, I don’t think that requiring positive identification of voters (though not necessarily requiring a photo ID in all cases) is a bad idea. But there are other ways to do that. For example, I live in a very small town. WHen I go to vote, there is always at least one official person there who knows who I am.

    1. The only time I advocate for state ID is to vote. I don’t even believe in state driver licensure. But if you are going to go use the government to make me do X, Y, and Z, I’ll make damned sure you have the right to do so.

      1. This

      2. Precisely.

  13. This is rich:

    The tranzi vote monitors are getting all chesty about Texas telling them they will have to abide by the law while they are here:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..0422.story

    You know, if they had bothered to pretend that they were here to monitor the elections in a general, even-handed way, I might have a scintilla of sympathy with them.

    Instead, they pretend that voter ID laws are some huge imposition on human rights, when lots of countries require them, including Germany and the Netherlands.

    1. Oh man, I hope the UN takes this up and pushes it.

    2. I can just see the Crockett county jail a week from Tuesday: “You ain’t from around here, are you boah?”

    3. “Getting chesty” sounds better than it actually is.

    4. Oooh, the Council of Dictators doesn’t like our elections.

    5. Hold your fire ’til you see the blue of their helmets, boys!

    6. heck, lots of countries require ID upon demand, but it didn’t stop them from criticizing Arizona’s proposed immigration on demand rules, even though arizona’s were far less severe

  14. In 2010 when I showed up to vote, I was informed that I had already voted. After a short argument, and me producing two photo IDs and my voter registration card, I was allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Since there was no way to determine which ballot was cast by someone else on my behalf, I’m positive my provisional ballot was discarded. Whether it was fraud or just incompetence, the lack of an ID requirement meant I was denied my right to vote. That incident alone is the only reason I need to support voter ID.

  15. A cousin is a former Democratic committeeman with knowledge of how they (and I mean Democrats) commit voter fraud. Frankly, it isn’t through voter ID (at least the massive fraud). In one party cities, which tend to be Democrat cities, the election rolls aren’t cleaned very well. In some cases, a precinct will have more registered voters than the voting age population of the district. So, with no watchers from the other party, or with their connivance (money is known to have changed hands) the majority party will cast hundreds of votes for those who have moved away or didn’t show up to vote by 8pm.
    In a state like Pennsylvania, several hundred thousand extra Democrat votes from Phila. and Pittsburgh can swing a state-wide election.

    1. I suspect that’s where the action really is. Your Dem-controlled cities regularly post absolutely astonishing turn-out numbers, all the way up to 96% in Madison for the Walker recall.

      You and I both know there is no way on earth that 96% of the voters will turn out for anything, but there it is.

      About the only thing that can be done is to get involved in the election process, as either an official part of the process or as a poll-watcher, ESPECIALLY if you live in an area that might be prone to these shenanigans.

      From my observation, that would be a deep blue area with heavy unionization, but that’s just because I am inherently suspicious of them. If you are inherently suspicious of deep red areas with no unionization, feel free to cast aspersions in their direction.

      1. as daley said: vote early and vote often!!

  16. I linked to it last night. 2 people cared.

    Two out of two people in my household alone thought that was a great link. What, you expect people to give you “attaboys” on a dead thread?

  17. A cousin is a former Democratic committeeman with knowledge of how they (and I mean Democrats) commit voter fraud. Frankly, it isn’t through voter ID (at least the massive fraud).

    All you need is a couple of precincts with no poll watchers from opposition parties. I was a poll watcher once, and before the polls opened, the person running the precinct opened the machines and showed me they were empty.

    Guess what can happen if they know no one will be there to check those machines before voting starts?

  18. It’s not about whether they have the best opinions.

    It’s about whether we want a group of convicted felons to take over a city, county, or state.

    In Hawaii, the phrase is “not yet convicted felons”. Seriously. A huge number of former legislators have wound up behind bars — and those were just the ones who got caught.

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