Voter ID

How Bogus Threats of Voter Fraud, Dangerous Abortions, and Other Phony Emergencies Make Honest Debate Impossible

Two Texas laws illustrate a politically poisonous legislative habit.

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Last week a federal judge in Texas overturned that state's voter ID law, while a federal appeals court declined to reconsider its decision upholding part of a Texas abortion law enacted last year. Whether or not these statutes are ultimately deemed constitutional, they illustrate how politicians use trumped-up threats to conceal ulterior motives, a habit that makes honest debate impossible.

Republicans rushed the voter ID law through the Texas House and Senate in 2011 under extraordinary rules after Gov. Rick Perry declared a legislative "emergency." As with a similar declaration that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used to grease the skids for gun control legislation last year, the nature of this emergency was never clear.

In-person voter fraud, the only kind that the new ID requirements might help prevent, is a risky crime with little payoff. Not surprisingly, it seems to happen very rarely.

As U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos notes in an opinion issued last week, just two people were convicted of trying to impersonate someone else at the polls in Texas during the decade before the voter ID law was passed. Nationwide, according to a study by Lorraine Minnite, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, there were 10 such cases between 2000 and 2010. There is no credible evidence that the problem is on the rise, let alone that it constitutes an emergency in Texas or anywhere else.

Still, what's the downside of requiring voters to produce a state-approved photo ID? As  Ramos emphasizes in concluding that the Texas law violates the 14th Amendment, the financial and logistical burdens it imposes, which effectively disenfranchise more than half a million voters, fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, largely because they are especially likely to be poor.

For Republicans, that is a feature, not a bug, since blacks and Hispanics overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Hence the otherwise puzzling pattern in which Republicans across the country seem to be so worried about voter fraud, while Democrats apparently do not care about it at all.

Another puzzle: Why are conservative Republicans who oppose abortion trying so hard to make the procedure as safe as possible? Gov. Perry provided a clue last March, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a rule requiring every physician who works at an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

"The people of Texas have spoken through their elected leaders and in support of protecting the culture of life in our state," Perry said. "Today's court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn, and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women's health in Texas."

Whoops. Perry apparently forgot that he is supposed to pretend the new abortion regulations—which also include a prohibitively expensive mandate that abortion clinics meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgery centers—are all about protecting women's health, as opposed to discouraging abortions by making them harder to obtain.

Perry's mistake is understandable, because the official rationale for the law is highly implausible. "Before the act's passage," U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel noted in an August 29 decision, "abortion in Texas was extremely safe, with particularly low rates of serious complications and virtually no deaths occurring on account of the procedure."

Furthermore, Yeakel concluded based on expert testimony, there is little reason to believe the new regulations will make abortions any safer. By contrast, they seem to be quite effective at making abortions harder to get: After the rules began taking effect last August, the number of clinics in Texas plummeted from more than 40 to eight.

You can see why Perry views the regulations as a boon for "the unborn" and "the culture of life." Meanwhile, to make sure the law passes constitutional muster, the state officially denies any such motive. That trick may very well work, but this sort of dishonesty is politically poisonous.

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  1. “In-person voter fraud, the only kind that the new ID requirements might help prevent, is a risky crime with little payoff.”

    It’s not really risky. Low payoff, yes, though in the same sense that there’s low payoff for voting legally at all, yet people do it. I have a friend who committed it in North Carolina back in 1994. He was 14 or 15 years old, and had attended Lollapalooza. He saw that the Rock the Vote things were being passed around, and decided to sign up. He assumed that someone would verify his information or ID at some point, but got all the way to successfully casting a ballot before informing the election officials. He got written up in the local paper, but no charges were filed because he volunteered the information and had an explanation. There’s zero chance he would have been caught otherwise.

    In any case, it seems like if there’s a 14th Amendment right in this case, then there are a lot of other ID requirements that also ought to be struck down.

    1. In any case, it seems like if there’s a 14th Amendment right in this case, then there are a lot of other ID requirements that also ought to be struck down.

      You mean like having to show ID to exercise your right to travel freely?

      1. Or to work at a job, the I9 requirements.

        1. That too. But somehow the 14th Amendment only comes into play when it comes to voter fraud.

          1. or to buy cold meds

  2. Al Franken agrees, voter fraud is just a right wing meme.

    1. +312 totes legit votes

    2. Christine Gregoire agrees +129!

      1. Judge Bridges did note that there was evidence that 1,678 votes had been illegally cast throughout the state,;[21] including more than 1,400 felons had voted who had not received clemency. 53 persons voted who were deceased. Two non-citizens and 27 double votes (votes by the same person at multiple polling sites).[22]

        Nah, voter fraud is just a right wing meme that never really happens.

        1. Yes, but if Holder chooses not to prosecute or it’s discovered after the fact and the person isn’t standing in front of them anymore, then there’s no conviction and therefore the event never happened.

          If one were to say that IRS convictions = the number of people who cheat on their taxes, that number would be amazingly small as well.

  3. Minorities have been infantilized for so long that people no longer realize they’re doing it or that it’s being done to them. These are adults, capable of handling their affairs, just like anyone.

    Having said that, I agree that too much legislation is pushed through without adequate consideration because of false urgency.

  4. Another puzzle: Why are conservative Republicans liberal Democrats who oppose abortion possessing and bearing guns trying so hard to make the procedure as safe as possible?

    Yeah, that’s a real puzzler.

    1. And “safe” should really be in scare quotes.

  5. How Bogus Threats About Voter Fraud,

    This is going to get fun. 🙂

  6. Shouldn’t this article be headlined “Lying Texas Republicans and the Lies They Tell”?

    As for Jake’s complaint that lying politicians make it impossible to have honest public policy debates, dude, welcome to Earth.

    1. Someone misspelled your first name.

      1. Stop pointing out his dyslexia; it’s rude.

  7. In-person voter fraud, the only kind that the new ID requirements might help prevent, is a risky crime with little payoff. Not surprisingly, it seems to happen very rarely.

    How would you know? With no verifiable ID requirement, there is really very little way to detect and measure it.

    1. i have a rock that keeps tigers away. wanna buy it?

      1. No, but if you have one for meteors, I might be interested.

        1. meteors, hyenas, ebola, succubi, rabid wombats and any other unporvable negatives you have in mind, my good friend.

          1. Why would anyone want to keep succubi at bay?

            1. Because afterward they eat your head like a praying mantis?

            2. Maybe they are referring to these guys.

    2. Hardly anyone gets caught for a crime no one is trying to prevent or enforce so it must not be happening. Oookaaay!

      1. Yes, that is the crux of the argument against Voter ID.

        First person, “We need Voter ID, in order to prove that people are illegally voting and prevent that from happening”.

        Second person, “There’s no proof voter fraud is happening, so we don’t need Voter ID”.

        First person slaps forehead.

        1. To be fair, there are many forms of voter fraud that can be detected without identification (more votes cast than enrolled voters in a precinct; dead/imprisoned voters still on the rolls; etc.). However, that requires election officials who aren’t participating in it, judges willing to throw out questionable election results, and a media willing to investigate allegations aggressively.

        2. Yes, and then second person (or this article) says, “There were only two convictions of voter fraud so that proves that vote fraud doesn’t exist in wide numbers.”

          In other news, second person says, “Convictions for weed possession equal the number of people who actually use weed, proving that marijuana usage is actually very low.”

          Second person is actually quite stupid.

    3. Exactly. This is why the number of illegal, errr…, undocumented aliens is as large as the topic at hand for statists. Either there are a zillion of them with guns or there are only fifteen of them, and they pay all the taxes, so shut up.

  8. Sorry Sullum, Suderman’s trolling us yesterday with Republicans should reform Obamacare, not repeal it was much better than this article.

    1. Is “mend it, don’t end it” the cosmotarian mantra on big government now?

    2. No really, he didn’t do that, did he?

      1. yes he did,he would most likely try to fix a broken water pipe with duct tape

  9. I’m all for prohibiting government from requiring anyone to have ID for any purpose at all — voting, driving, buying guns, you name it.

    Of course, the above sentence could be shortened to the first five words for the sake of brevity.

    1. Yeah, anarchy RULES! Well, at least until you graduate from high school, want to buy some shit, or maybe have a wife and kids to protect. Oh yeah, and until someone other guy who believes in anarchy comes along and just beats the teatotal shit out of you, just because he can. Yeah, then it kind of sucks.

      1. Your belief in the benevolence of the government is cute.

        1. I don’t see him advocating benevolence of government at all. He’s just acknowledging the fact that the natural alternative to lack of government is not total individual freedom.

          Slavery, as Thomas Sowell noted, is one of the oldest human institutions…predating government. Anarcho-capitalists always seem to forget this.

      2. Oh yeah, and until someone other guy who believes in anarchy comes along and just beats the teatotal shit out of you, just because he can.

        That’s what actually happened before I graduated from high school.

        Then, I was old enough to buy a gun.

        It hasn’t happened since…

        1. Then it just comes down to a numbers game…the side with the most people with guns wins.

          Personal ownership of weapons is great for protecting the individual…it does not necessarily protect you when other groups of equally or better armed individuals decide to make you their bitch.

          That’s why there’s always a role for government as an arbitrator of disputes and a protector of certain freedoms. You’re never going to get a government that’s not going to be a threat to liberty, but then the absence of government can be just as much of a threat to liberty. Given the choice, I’ll take the stability of government to protect certain rights via laws, combined with the personal freedom to buy whatever weapons I want.

  10. I think for the sake of the integrity of our elections, it’s important that we ascertain for absolute certain which of the 200 Donald Ducks that “community organizations” registered to vote shows up on election day.

  11. In-person voter fraud, the only kind that the new ID requirements might help prevent, is a risky crime with little payoff….

    The fact that democrats are so vehemently opposed to a process that is so common in other parts of personal business life makes me wonder whether the payoff is so little, after all.

    It’s also very rare that a gun owner inflicts death or suffering on another person, yet these same opponents are rabid in their efforts to identify and regulate gun owners. Where’s their concern for the poor, ID-less folk when it comes to issues of gun ownership? Aren’t they concerned that the poor and poorly educated will be left gunless in the same way that they’re concerned about their vote-less-ness?

    The reaction of democrats leaves me convinced that they are afraid of losing something, and that republicans want very much for them to lose it. This is what’s really at stake.

    1. I would estimate that somewhere between 100% and 100% of voter fraud benefits the Democrat party. So yeah, they’ve got good reason to oppose ID requirements.

      1. I learned the power of Donkey Vote Fraud when they actually employed it against one of their own…. the 2002 primary for Governor in IL, a flood of mysterious, late votes from Madison County managed to put Rod Blagojevich over the top by a tiny bit. One of the Chicago Tribune columnists made hay out it for some time…precinct turnouts in the near 100% range, etc.

          1. You frighten me a little bit…but I admire you nonetheless.

            1. HM has a certain…um…affinity for that picture.

              1. He is an exemplar of his breed.

        1. Clearly, Jacob Sullum and other Reason writers aren’t from Chicago…

    2. Firstly, how many elections have been recalled due to voter fraud. Keep in mind, it’s the go to conspiracy theory for any political sore loser so there are bound to be plenty of recounts. How many of those turned up sufficient fraud to change an election?

      Second, regardless of intentions, do you want to advance the “papers, please” state – even if you agree in theory in this instance?

      1. Recounts don’t check voter identities, they count. Unless every voter is checked we have NO IDEA how much voter fraud is occurring. Both sides are projecting.

        Every other interaction with govt requires ID at some point. Why is voting special?

        1. Every other interaction with govt requires ID at some point. Why is voting special?

          I think that question should be turned on its head. Why is interaction with the government so special that it requires ihre Papiere, bitte?

          1. I can see the argument from a libertarian vantage point that voting in the constitution is the ultimate counter to government power. Shouldn’t we require it to be as clean as possible? Voting IS the alternative to force, don’t libertarians want it to be an exact measure?

        2. But there are bound to be allegations of fraud in every election cycle. How many were investigated and found to tip the balance?

          In any case, what’s to stop someone getting a fake ID?

          1. Move the goalposts much?

            1. It’s how I get my exercise.

              Seriously, I don’t see that it’s moving anything. The argument for ID laws is that if we have them then everything will be perfect and I’m countering with the idea that fraudsters are gonna fraud whatever system is there.

              1. The argument for ID laws is that if we have them then everything will be perfect

                Take that straw man! And that! Ha ha! I’ve got you now!

                1. Okay, so what purpose do Voter ID laws serve – apart from adding another layer of bureaucratic bullshit?

                  1. Why would simply showing your ID when they cross your name off the list require another layer of bureaucracy?

                    1. “Welcome to Obama’s America. Where lies and corruption abound and the rumor mill this the only solid media available.”

                      What are your standards of vision, IQ, training, accessible databases, etc. for the little old lady behind the table in the polling place?

                      See? Just making a standard and training is another layer…..

                  2. To prevent people from voting multiple times claiming different identities? How do you currently avoid that? Pinky swears they are telling the truth?

                    1. The simplest way to prevent people from casting multiple votes is to stamp their hands (alternatives can be devised for the rare voters without hands). This is done in several countries already, and it works very well (of course, it doesn’t prevent other types of fraud, but neither do IDs).

                    2. So, if you can’t trust it sometimes, you can never trust it?

                  3. “Please show me your ID. Yep, that’s you”. Yeah, so much bureaucratic bullshit. ROFL

                    What other purpose? How about, “Uh no, Ira Goldstein appears to be about 60 years older than you. You’re not voting in his name.” How’s that for a purpose?

                    If one is to judge liberals by the obvious answer to their cluelessly asked questions, one might suppose that they are either in it for obfuscation or they are just generally clueless.

                    1. “”Uh no, Ira Goldstein appears to be about 60 years older than you. You’re not voting in his name.” How’s that for a purpose?”

                      Ah, now – so the little old ladies first have to be trained in recognizing and reading EACH ID and checking that it’s real (how?) and then, they must also look at the birthdate, do the calcs and challenge the voter?

                      You are smoking something. Have you ever voted?

              2. “Seriously, I don’t see that it’s moving anything. The argument for ID laws is that if we have them then everything will be perfect and I’m countering with the idea that fraudsters are gonna fraud whatever system is there.”

                Do you realize that statement amounts to a classic logical fallacy?

                “The perfect solution fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument assumes that a perfect solution exists and/or that a solution should be rejected because some part of the problem would still exist after it were implemented.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy

                1. And I bet she still locks her doors and windows, even though a thief still might break the glass.

          2. how often does govt ever investigate allegations of waste/fraud/abuse even though it is taken for granted that those things occur? It’s like the system accepts a certain amount of chicanery.

            1. Likely because it benefits both sides. It’s the same with gerrymandering. The Progsphere complains about it non-stop but the Dems won’t do jack about it because it offers a guaranteed seat to both parties.

          3. Has anyone ever explained how King County, WA got 100.4% voter turnout in the 2004 Governor’s election? And how King County Democrats kept “discovering” more ballots until Gregoire won on the third recount?

            1. Yeah, but Holder didn’t prosecute, so no fraud could possibly have existed there. See the above article for how convictions = actual crime, regardless of evidence.

              In other words, the rape didn’t happen ma’am, because we didn’t catch him.

        1. Interesting. I see the fraudulent votes that might have been prevented by IDs. But I’m also seeing a lot of bureaucratic clusterfuck which ID laws would be irrelevant towards preventing. Still ins a case in favor of ID.

      2. There was that one in Florida.

        Massive vote fraud by Dems.

        There wasn’t a ‘recall’ though, they simply removed the Democrat and replaced him with the Republican–without the fraudulent votes it was clear that the Republican had won.

        1. Sure, but according to this author, since there were no actual convictions, the fraud didn’t occur.

    3. Your conclusion should be crudely obvious to anyone who has spent 30 seconds considering this issue. But no, with the cosmo crowd it’s fashionable skepticism all the time (which is well past being played the fuck out).

      Am I seriously supposed to believe that it’s somehow impossible for a “minority” to get a fucking government-issued ID? The left is always lecturing us about the sanctity of the democratic process and the profound importance of voting (lol), yet they are desperate to prevent voter ID laws from being enacted? Dead people and Donald Duck showed up to vote for Obozo, yet I’m supposed to think voter fraud is bogus? This is the biggest crock of shit argument made by the left, and that’s *really* saying something.

      1. Enjoy the state tracking you through your biometric, RFID-chipped, mandated at all times ID card, dude.

        1. Card? I thought we were all chipped at the base of our necks?!

          /X-Files

        2. “Enjoy the state tracking you through your biometric, RFID-chipped, mandated at all times ID card, dude.”

          This is a complete straw man argument. The Voter ID law merely requires you to use an existing government ID (ie State Drivers License) that the overwhelming majority of the population already uses.

        3. Uh yeah! Require everyone to have an ID to vote and that equals chipping people.

          And FYI, your reference to “dude” invalidates everything you just said, even before consideration.

  12. “Never let a crisis go to waste”

    In other words, any excuse to grab more power and money. If there is no crisis, create one. The actions these fuckers take almost never alleviate the crisis, but they do end up with more money and power.

    So…..anyone figure out yet how they will exploit the Ebola crisis? I saw the hint Ted S. gave in the brickbat thread about the ‘close the border’ crowd. Those are mostly people from the stupid party, they don’t think big enough. The proggies will come up with something better….count on it.

  13. NYT:
    “A study of Lyndon B. Johnson provides new evidence that the 36th President stole his first election to the United States Senate, in 1948.”

    “On primary night, a Saturday, the first tallies of the Democratic primary showed Johnson trailing his opponent by 20,000 votes. Still unreported, however, were the votes from San Antonio, where Stevenson had defeated Johnson 2 to 1 in the first primary. When those votes finally came in, Johnson had won a stunning victory, carrying San Antonio by 10,000 votes.
    Later that evening, the rural counties in the Rio Grande Valley further eroded the Stevenson lead, which was reduced to 854 votes.
    A Precinct Is ‘Discovered’
    The next day, county officials ”discovered” that the returns from one precinct had not yet been counted, Mr. Caro said, and those votes went overwhelmingly to Johnson.

    There were no significant changes Wednesday, and Stevenson still led on Thursday. On Friday, the Rio Grande Valley precincts made ”corrections” in their election returns, cutting Stevenson’s lead to 157.
    Also on Friday, Jim Wells County telephoned in its amended return, ”and suddenly, with virtually all the counting in the election over, Coke Stevenson was no longer ahead,” Mr. Caro said. Johnson had won by 87 votes. … For example, he said, Jim Wells County provided an extra 200 votes for Johnson merely by changing the 7 in ”765” to a 9.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02…..-lost.html

    1. Voter fraud. So bogus.

      Another example: JFK and Cook County in the 1960 Prez Election.

  14. ” the financial and logistical burdens it imposes, which effectively disenfranchise more than half a million voters, fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, largely because they are especially likely to be poor.”

    1. If it didn’t fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, would it still be considered a problem? Based on the wording here, it sounds like if it just disenfranchised more white people, it would be OK.

    2. I find the stat that a half million voters wouldn’t be able to get a state ID very difficult to believe. Where is the burdensome cost of obtaining a free state issued ID card?

    3. While I absolutely agree that Rick Perry, Obama, and most other politicians use irrational fears of fake emergencies, I find this article does much of the same. “Its racist! 1/2 million people can’t afford free IDs!” No different than what Rick Perry did.

    Finally, my insensitive thought. If you’re not smart enough to be able to obtain your free state issued ID, then perhaps you should not be making decisions about the direction of this country in the first place. (And before you say it, I know there are people in special circumstances that can’t get them easily. I’ve read about them. And they’re about as common as people prosecuted for voter fraud.)

  15. How dishonest journalists Bogus Threats of Voter Fraud, Dangerous Abortions, and Other Phony Emergencies Make Honest Debate Impossible

    Pathetic how Sullum makes dishonest arguments in the very fucking title while also criticizing others for their supposed dishonesty.

    “Emergencies”? Who has claimed this? Certainly no one in regard to voter ID which has been in the National conversation for years now. I have also not read how anyone described the Texas abortion law as being an emergency.

    I must have missed Sullum’s article about how hospital privileges for ambulatory surgery centers for procedures other than killing your unborn child were “prohibitively expensive”. Unless he has done so, his opposition to expensive medical regulations seems to only focus on one procedure. I am sure this is intellectual consistency on his part.

  16. ‘crisis’,war on women,mass shootings ,1% don’t pay enough taxes,global warming,energy,obesity,food deserts,collage rape,ect,all prog inspired.Their ahead on points

  17. So I have to pay hundreds of dollars, jump through bureaucratic hoops, and bug my neighbors in order to get permission to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights – and repeat the process every time I move or buy a handgun in New Jersey. And this is okay.

    But the courts says anything, however minor, that gets in the way of the 17th and 26th Amendments is completely Unconstitutional.

    I don’t get it.

    1. See how it works.I made late night bank deposits for years and always carried either my .357 or Browning Hi-Power.How did I get away with this?I told no one.

    2. That’s because you’re being consistent or universalist. Progs are particularists and believe everything depends on the situation:

      http://web.stanford.edu/group/…..iv_par.htm

      Thus, they are OK with the right people having guns, but not you.

  18. Voter fraud is more common than most people think. College students can easily vote at both the location of their college and their permanent home, especially if their home is in a different state because no one checks.

    I’ve worked at colleges most of my adult life and every time there’s an election the college has a big voter registration drive to let the students know that they can vote “here”. They even organize vans to drive the students to the polls. There’s usually some fine print somewhere telling students that they can no longer vote at their old address but it’s not mentioned loudly and some students don’t even realize that they can’t vote both places.

    True, most students are too lazy to vote once let alone twice but it’s not hard to do so if they want.

    I’ve also seen people move away near an election time and leave behind an absentee ballot. They get a new driver’s license and voter registration in their new state but their absentee ballot in the old location still gets counted.

    Unfortunately, neither of these problems are solved by voter ID.

    1. Look at Ohio U in Athens Ohio for prof.A prog stronghold

    2. The voter drives don’t end with students – I have lived in several so-called “sanctuary cities” where non-eligible voters are encouraged (to say the least) to show-up at polling places…

  19. You can justify Texas’ way of passing the abortion bill in that thousands of innocent lives depend on it.

    Until the day when we can rightfully put those who engage in abortion in the electric chair where they belong. We must use other means to prevent this backwards and barbaric practice.

    1. Until the day when we can rightfully put those who engage in abortion in the electric chair where they belong.

      Ain’t nobody stopping you, snappy. Build your own electric chair and start executing those aborters!

      Oh, you mean, until you can employ other people to carry out your retribution fantasies on my dime? Well, son, I get a say in that, too.

  20. Voting is only for citizens, making proof of identity ss a citizen a constitutional requirement.

  21. /never asks for id
    /never finds voter impersonation
    /declares there’s no problem.
    /racially demagogues issues to retards incapable of getting legal ID

  22. This is really a new low for Reason. If this were Chapman, it would be expected. But Sullum is supposed to be better.

    1. I’m moving to The Federalist – at-least the articles are intelligent…

    2. And of course, the fact that most sensible libertarians don’t oppose verification process that’s already common in the free market is sign they’re “fakes”! Secret Republicans! They don’t like open borders either!

      Meanwhile, the resident trolls are perfectly fine with people losing their insurance and having to deal with the glitchy ACA websites. You have to join a union before entering a certain professions? Oh, that’s not coercion.

      State issued IDs in some states are FREE! Utility bills and other proof of residency are usually mailed to you for FREE! That’ll get their attention.

  23. “As Ramos emphasizes in concluding that the Texas law violates the 14th Amendment, the financial and logistical burdens it imposes, which effectively disenfranchise more than half a million voters, fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, largely because they are especially likely to be poor.”

    While no doubt a wise Latina woman, is Judge Ramos also clarivoyant. How does she know that more than half a million people don’t have an ID ?

    “fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, largely because they are especially likely to be poor.”

    Racist bitch.

    Jacob Sullum, you are an intellectualy dishonest asshat. Other than to flame up the comment section I can see no reason for Reason to promote your filth.

    A woman in Ohio is, or recently was, on trial for voting 14 times. She voted aabsentee for many of her realitives and claims it was OK because she had their permission. One of her relatives also voted. The Ohio woman said that that shouldn’t be a problem because the person she voted for just forgot that she had given her the OK to vote for her.

    She claimed she did it because Mr. Obama has the RIGHT to stay in the Presidency.

    Without ID there is no way to know how many more cases there are like this one.

    1. One of her relatives voted in addition to the absentee ballot.

  24. I’m calling bull shit on this article all the way around. If these laws are being written to deliberately disenfranchise poor black and Hispanics, then concealed carry laws, in Illinois for instance, are prohibitively expensive ONLY to disarm poor black and Hispanics. And as I recall, where the GOP may be in charge of Texas, TEAM BLUE has a firm grasp on Illinois. Articles like this also make honest debate impossible.

    1. ” If these laws are being written to deliberately disenfranchise poor black and Hispanics”

      Listen – these laws are being written to deliberately disenfranchise poor black and Hispanic!

      And college students.

      Not that they have anything against them…other than they vote the wrong way.

      We are WAY past this. GOP legislators have admitted – we have the audio – of why they did it. They did it to get Romney election (or whoever GOP).

      Let’s start with the basic facts. They didn’t have a pang of conscience and all decide together to hurry up and pass new laws to solve a problem that didn’t exist.

      1. Sure, the people who write these laws certainly don’t mind that their political opponents lose some (tiny) number of votes. What does that matter? Both parties advocate policies that happen to help them at the voting booth. So what?

        People need a photo id for many things, so it’s a good thing to nudge people to get one. Think of voter id laws as similar to plastic bag bans and bans on sugary drinks: they provide a government incentive for people to do what’s right and good for them, namely get a photo id. That the kind of government paternalism and nudging any red-blooded Democrat and progressive should cheer heartily!

      2. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/g…..a-n1818137

        WAKE UP!!! Voter fraud is real, and it’s how this current President won the election twice!!

        There is no “Voter Suppression”, get a f***ing ID, it’s FREE for anyone who wants one.

        By the way if these people can’t leave their house to get a FREE ID, how the hell do they leave their house to VOTE you morons.

        You have no argument, Liberal Democrats have no argument, their cheating and lies have been exposed!!!

  25. “As Ramos emphasizes in concluding that the Texas law violates the 14th Amendment, the financial and logistical burdens it imposes, which effectively disenfranchise more than half a million voters, fall disproportionately on blacks and Hispanics, largely because they are especially likely to be poor.”

    Do you know how many times I’ve seen this VERBATIM by scores of people opposed to Voter ID laws? I’m sorry, but if you cannot express your opposition in your own words, then its probably not really your opinion.

  26. And you are foolish enough to believe that Illinois Democrats, New Jersey and New Your Democrats, etc. don’t use these legislative tactics whenever that need to and can. Democrats excel at the raw use of power.

  27. OK. In person voter fraud is not that rare. There are several Indiana Dems in jail for FORGING signatures on candidacy petitions in 2008 to put Hillary and Obama on the Indiana primary ballot.
    Chicago is infamous for letting the dead vote.
    A VoterID requirement would make these things harder to do. It is one thing to show up early at a polling place claiming to be someone else, or even to submit an absentee ballot in someone elses name. It is quite another to have to forge ID for each identity.

  28. I really want to see some sort of evidence that there are 250,000 Latino American citizens (the other 250,000 are African Americans, apparently) in Texas who apparently went through the laborious and EXPENSIVE process of obtaining citizenship but failed to get a driver’s license or a state approved voter ID afterwards.

    Here’s something I really don’t understand. If you want to live and work in the United States and reduce your deportation risks to ZERO, you have to get at least a green card. And the fact this obligation disproportionately affects minorities (since most immigrants here are non white) is not a factor. The years of waiting, consultation and gas you burnt to visit the INS building is not an issue.

    If you’re a non white immigrant voter, you had to go through a process 10 times more time consuming and expensive than getting a free voter ID just to be eligible to vote. Illegal immigrants jump through all kinds of hoops to qualify for benefits or go to schools not in their district.

    I’m afraid it’s Reason that’s not capable of an honest debate here.

  29. I see a lot of jabber about the vote fraud side of this, and ran out of stamina, so if I’m repeating somebody’s earlier post point I apologize.

    I hear a great deal of whining about how the Texas abortion clinic regulations aren’t about health and safety. So what? Only Democrats are allowed to invoke that crap to push their real agendas?

    As for the outrage that anti-abortion forces would USE the Kermit Gossnell mess to score a few political victories; guess what?

    WHEN YOU F*CK UP AS BADLY AS THE ABORTION ESTABLISHMENT DID WITH GOSNELL, THERE ARE GOING TO BE REPERCUSSIONS.

    If the pro-choice people wanted the abortion clinics to be left relatively free of political interference, then they should have bloody well made sure there weren’t any abattoirs lurking in the undergrowth.

    When some nut job uses a stolen gun to commit a mass shooting, there is little reasonable connection to the gun control laws that politicians try to pass in the aftermath. Gosnell was an absolute ghoul, the abortion industry in PA knew about him, and nothing was done; that’s one HELL of a good case for tighter regulation.

    I also think it’s a case for putting the idiots who should have caught Gosnell on trial as accessories, but I’m a grouch.

    For the record; I think abortion should be legal. I also think I am going to see it outlawed in my lifetime because its loudest supporters are idiots.

  30. Always good to see the phony Libertarians come out of the woodwork here, and just reveal their GOP stripes.

    Voter fraud…not one statistic available that suggests it happens in any meaningful way. In fact, studies show its not meaningful at all.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..none_.html

    “But it must be a problem and therefore we need government regulation, even thought I can’t prove there is a problem.” What a Libertarian principle!

    1. Yeah, but you guys misrepresent libertarians as anarchists who oppose government mandates to wear seat belts or go through background checks for guns. So you’re saying government should stay out of the identity verification business.

      There’s no evidence to suggest that GMO food is harmful, or that there’s some rape epidemic on college campus. Plastic bags make for less 1% of all litter. More 80% of Americans with healthcare satisfied with their insurance before ACA.

      You know where I’m going with this, right?

    2. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/g…..a-n1818137

      WAKE UP!!! Voter fraud is real, and it’s how this current President won the election twice!!

      There is no “Voter Suppression”, get a f***ing ID, it’s FREE for anyone who wants one.

      By the way if these people can’t leave their house to get a FREE ID, how the hell do they leave their house to VOTE you morons.

      You have no argument, Liberal Democrats have no argument, their cheating and lies have been exposed!!!

  31. Welcome to Obama’s America. Where lies and corruption abound and the rumor mill this the only solid media available.

    1. “Welcome to Obama’s America. Where lies and corruption abound and the rumor mill this the only solid media available.”

      Yes! Because Jeb Bush and the voting machine makers in Ohio and others didn’t really BUY some elections and use the power to spend TRILLIONS of our money….

      Well, I shouldn’t say spend. I should have said that much was dumped over a cliff and the rest shuttled to the upper 1%.

      1. Because Jeb Bush and the voting machine makers in Ohio and others didn’t really BUY some elections and use the power to spend TRILLIONS of our money….

        What you actually should have said is that you’re actually a lying hypocrite if you claim the GOP is somehow more interested in money than the Dems. Fundraising and vacations are pretty much all your incompetent president’s been doing the last four years.

        Or you could admit that you’re just a stupid fucktard for not realizing it. I’ll accept either explanation.

  32. Yet another nonsensical article in Reason.

    There is a very low incidence of voter fraud convictions simply because prosecutors don’t go after it. They don’t even look for it, and that’s especially true for the hyper-politicized (and blatantly racist) Holder DOJ. But it exists, always has, and today is both widespread and a serious problem. Last year North Carolina did a study of the previous election and found over 100,000 people who had voted in that state were also registered and had voted in the same election in another state.

    Even one instance of voter fraud is too many; it debases the franchise of legitimate voters. You may believe that voting is a waste of time. But for those who believe otherwise, and think that the franchise is one of the most important aspects of citizenship, your support of its debasement is offensive.

    Equally offensive is the assertion that requiring something as simple as a photo ID is somehow more burdensome on black and Hispanic populations than on whites. Your basic claim is that these people are too stupid or lazy to get the free ID that all states now offer. Arrant, patronizing nonsense.

    One needs a photo ID to conduct almost every aspect of modern life: to open a bank account, board a plane, enter a federal building, buy liquor or cigarettes, get a credit card; the list is almost endless. Yet somehow it’s too burdensome to have one for what is arguably the most important attribute of citizenship? This is just stupid.

  33. Coincedentally, there is an article by Ed Kilgore today at Talking Points Memo that is a good companion piece to this one here. Specifically, he explains (briefly) the philosophical underpinnings of the right’s (some might call it) obsession with vote fraud and voter ID laws. I think that Kilgore’s article goes a long way to explaining what Sullum means when he writes how these types of laws make honest debate impossible.

    1. OK, I’m a trifle tired of people calling it “right’s (some might call it) obsession with vote fraud and voter ID laws. ”

      The Democrat party has been the party of choice for most of the notorious Political Machines in this country’s history. I lived in Maryland for decades, and during that time saw two gubernatorial elections that were widely considered fraudulent. Naturally, the Republicans (who lost) wanted to pursue that, but the political structure of the State was such that it simply wasn’t going to happen.

      The blithe assurance that vote fraud is rare is unconvincing. The assertion that, in a society where you have to have a picture I.D. for practically everything, expecting voters to have the same puts some particular and vote-related burden smells suspiciously like sewage.

      The Democrat Party, with it’s Elitist In Chief, Obama, is untrustworthy to its roots. I want to see them demonstrate that they can win an election WITH voter I.D. laws in place.

      1. You may be right on all your points. It is just interesting how both parties come down on the side that just so happens to have the effect of increasing their constituents’ share of the electorate. But, having said that, there is braooder philosophical underpinning to their respective positions. That is the debate I’d like to hear, not the one we are having today about who commits the most of whatever kind of fraud or doesn’t.

        1. If voter I.D. increases the Republicans’ share of the electorate, then I think that’s suggestive evidence that the Democrats have been committing systematic vote fraud for quite some time.

          Which, to be blunt, wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

          Not that I think the Republicans are blameless angels, mind. But the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive Left has had a lock on the Democrats for quite some time. They also have a lock on academia, a substantive lock on the media, an they have been able to get away with yelling “racist” or something similar and thereby shutting up all opposition for a long time. They’ve gotten sloppy.

          When Prohibition was in the process of blowing up, it came to light that the head of the Anti-Saloon League was committing stock fraud and adultery (not connected). He had gotten too accustomed to being beyond criticism.

          It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Democrats, and particularly the Professionally Black Democrats, were committing systematic vote fraud in every election for the last several decades, not because they are necessarily criminal (that’s another argument), but because they have lived that long with the knowledge that NOBODY WILL CALL THEM ON IT.

  34. The point here is not whether a voter should have ID. Heck, I had to have pretty serious ID to REGISTER to vote. Didn’t all of you too?

    Oh, that’s right – not self-respecting Libertarian would vote….because that’s pretty much putting the OK on the Big Gubment you vote for!

    The “Reason”able thing here would be to have solutions which fix known problems. We could write a book on that one, because expecting little old ladies at the voting table to accurately understand and check thousands of ID’s is quite another story!

    I was never against Voter ID….after all, I had to prove to register. What I WAS against was the GOP passing laws as if it was the Ebola pandemic screaming down on us…..and then not allowing for enough time and ease for those without ID to get one.

    Of course, as most agree, ID in this case does nothing to stop the tiny % of fraud. Nothing. If folks can smuggle guns (as in tests) through the TSA, you better believe that getting an ID past grandma at the polling station is much easier.

    Beside, real voting fraud is in gerrymandering and making sure the “wrong places” don’t have enough voting machines……also, it’s pretty easy to mess with the totals. Many of these are actually simply called into the local county…by phone!

    1. If you’re not against voter ID, then how can you oppose measures that require you to have one in order to vote?

      Some of these voter ID laws were enacted almost year and a half ago. People had more time to get voter IDs than they had for enrolling in ACA in time – despite Obama arbitrarily extending the deadline.

      Voter fraud doesn’t happen much, but it’s easy to commit.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-john-fund

      If you want zero government intervention on a low risk threat, I’m somewhat ok with that. But that means there should be no “yes means yes” law, restrictions on e-cigs, ban on plastic bags, police taking away kids from parents because they were playing alone for 30 minutes, etc etc.

      Something like 4 people complained about the Sriracha smell, and that enough for the city of Irwindale to nearly drive that business out of town.

  35. Voter fraud is an intentional distraction.

    Election fraud comes in the tallying, tabulating and certification processes.

    1. Vote fraud has a long and storied history in America (and elsewhere), which isn’t to suggest that the kind of election fraud you mention doesn’t happed too.

      We could, I suppose, go back to the days of “vote early and often”, which would at least put the country in the hands of the most ENTHUSIASTIC fraudsters…..

  36. Yes, concern about voter fraud is a “phony emergency”. But so is concern about “voter disenfranchisement”.

    It’s the same with abortion. Women already generally comply with the restrictions Republicans want to impose on abortions, and similar restrictions exist elsewhere. So, there is neither a need to pass these restrictions, nor is there a problem if they are not passed.

    I used to worry about this sort of thing, but it’s clear both sides just use it to divide. Frankly, I don’t care anymore whether people do or don’t pass voter id laws, whether they do or don’t restrict abortions to the first trimester, or whether they do or don’t allow gay marriage; these are non-issues with no significant consequences for anybody. Get over it, and start focusing on what matters: a balanced budget, lower taxes, reducing regulations, and withdrawing our troops from overseas.

    1. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/g…..a-n1818137

      WAKE UP!!! Voter fraud is real, and it’s how this current President won the election twice!!

      There is no “Voter Suppression”, get a f***ing ID, it’s FREE for anyone who wants one.

      By the way if these people can’t leave their house to get a FREE ID, how the hell do they leave their house to VOTE you morons.

      You have no argument, Liberal Democrats have no argument, their cheating and lies have been exposed!!!

  37. There is vote fraud in Texas:

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/…..d-election

    http://www.krgv.com/news/3-cha…..raud-case/

    Why are libertarians liars? A few minutes on Google got me these results. Is Jacob Sullum unable to use Google or does he just not care about voter fraud?

  38. More voter fraud in Texas:
    http://www.valleycentral.com/n…..id=1071129

  39. Why do libertarians support voter fraud?

  40. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/g…..a-n1818137

    WAKE UP!!! Voter fraud is real, and it’s how this current President won the election twice!!

    There is no “Voter Suppression”, get a f***ing ID, it’s FREE for anyone who wants one.

    By the way if these people can’t leave their house to get a FREE ID, how the hell do they leave their house to VOTE you morons.

    You have no argument, Liberal Democrats have no argument, their cheating and lies have been exposed!!!

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