Voter ID

Voter ID Laws Suppress White, Latino, and Black Voting About the Same Amount

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Voters
CNN

"Republicans Are Trying to Make Sure Minorities and Young People Don't Vote This November," reads a Mother Jones headline. How? MJ continues…

…shorter voting hours, restrictions on voter registration drives, and the requirement that voters present a government ID or proof of citizenship to cast a ballot.

With regard to imposing voter ID requirements, a new study reports that the nefarious Republican plot is likely to fail if the goal is to suppress black and Hispanic votes relative to white votes. Researchers Rene Rocha from the University of Iowa and Tetsuya Matsubayashi from Osaka University in Japan have published an article, "The Politics of Race and Voter ID Laws in the States: The Return of Jim Crow?" in the current issue of the Political Research Quarterly.

They do find that states with relatively small minority group populations and dominated by Republican governors and legislatures have passed more voter ID requirements, both photo ID and non-photo ID, than states with larger minority group populations and/or dominated by Democrats. But what effect do such requirements have on voter turnout?

In a September, 2014 report, the Government Accountability Office noted, for example, that one study that compared ethnic subgroup voting in Kansas and Tennessee (which had adopted new voter ID requirements) to five states that had not done so, found that…

…turnout was reduced among African-American registrants by 3.7 percentage points more than among Whites in Kansas and 1.5 percentage points more than among Whites in Tennessee. However, we did not find reductions in turnout among Asian-American or Hispanic registrants, as compared with White registrants, thus suggesting that the laws did not have larger effects on these registrants.

However, in summarizing the general research on voter ID requirements, the GAO found:

Another 10 studies GAO reviewed showed mixed effects of various forms of state voter ID requirements on turnout. All 10 studies examined general elections before 2008, and 1 of the 10 studies also included the 2004 through 2012 general elections. Five of these 10 studies found that ID requirements had no statistically significant effect on turnout; in contrast 4 studies found decreases in turnout and 1 found an increase in turnout that were statistically significant.

The study cited by the GAO that showed minority group vote suppression and most other prior research compared voting changes between states that had adopted voter ID requirements and those that had not. The researchers in the study Political Research Quarterly parse time series data noting changes in voting participation before and after voter ID requirements were adopted in individual states. Contrary to the earlier state-to-state comparisons, the new study using time-series data extending over the past 30 years finds:

Our primary explanatory variables, photo ID and nonphoto ID laws, have no statistically discernible relationship with the probability that whites, blacks, and Latinos voted in the general elections between 1980 and 2010 except that the nonphoto ID law has a positive and significant relationship with Latino turnout. In short, more stringent ID requirements for voting have no deterring effect on individual turnout across different racial and ethnic groups.

The GAO report also found that data on voter fraud is not centralized and scanty in any case, but did note that …

…there were no apparent cases of in-person voter impersonation charged by DOJ's [Department of Justice] Criminal Division or by U.S. Attorney's offices anywhere in the United States, from 2004 through July 3, 2014.

Frankly, whatever the intentions of Republican lawmakers with regard to imposing more stringent voter ID requirements—prevent fraud or suppress votes—the data suggest that the requirements are a big waste of time and money.

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334 responses to “Voter ID Laws Suppress White, Latino, and Black Voting About the Same Amount

  1. Requiring an ID doesn’t suppresses any vote at all.

    1. Actually, it correlated with a decline in voting in 4 of 10 states and an increase in one. And (almost surely) it discourages voting among the poor, who are less likely to have an ID and less likely to be willing to pay for one to vote. It’s a poll tax. That’s the whole idea.

      1. So we know somehow that the decline in voting was not a just a decline in fraudulent voting, which is the goal?

        And someone misspelled your first name.

      2. ID and less likely to be willing to pay for one to vote. It’s a poll tax. That’s the whole idea.

        There’s so much supposition in that statement, one hardly knows where to begin. Your statement wins the 1000 meter dash in question begging.

        During the process of receiving welfare, be that Medicaid, food Stamps etc. the state goes through an identification process. Poor people are, somehow, able to identify themselves.

        There are many other ways of having some kind of identification for people who don’t have a driver’s license. Even Slate admitted that most poor black people had licenses, but had them “suspended” due to failure to pay traffic fines.

        Suspending one’s license is an administrative act which merely means you’re ineligible to drive, it doesn’t mean that you magically become not who you are.

        All of these poor people and Seniors (who no longer drive) are somehow, some way identifying themselves to conduct all the normal business they conduct on a daily basis, whether that’s dealing with the welfare system, the social security system, medicaid, medicare… you name it. Somehow, SOMEONE is able to ascertain that they’re who they say they are.

        1. “Suspending one’s license is an administrative act which merely means you’re ineligible to drive, it doesn’t mean that you magically become not who you are.”

          I have a non drivers state ID. What’s funny is that when it expires, I actually get prevented access from bars in NYC when asked for ID. I’ve never understood that.

      3. I mean, FUCK, this pisses me off. Ok, system: When you get your welfare benefits, medicaid, medicare, if during that process, the state identifies you, automatically issue a voter ID to said applicant.

        Dear old octegenarian Mom doesn’t have a license and never got one? Issue her an ID when she signed up for Medicare.

        Poor Uncle Charlie didn’t graduate high school, is unemployed and/or on permanent disability? Issue him an ID when he applies for food stamps, welfare or section 8 housing.

      4. Well, then surely requiring government ID to exercise one’s second amendment rights is equally BS.

        I’ll support an elimination of voter ID laws if you’ll support elimination of background checks.

      5. Re: Alan Vanneman,

        And (almost surely) it discourages voting among the poor, who are less likely to have an ID[…]

        That is one stupid comment, and I’ve read many from you, Anal.

        How poor do you think are the poor in America, anyway? Do you really think most “poor” people don’t have at least one form of ID?

        Idiot.

      6. Well, if you’re almost sure, then I guess it makes for good policy.

  2. R: Nor does it evidently prevent much fraud.

    1. Since we haven’t had any way to track it, how would we know?

      1. One reason is that there are independent groups that do try to track it, and have a strong incentive to find legitimate cases, since that is there very reason for being.

        I found a website a while back from just such an organization. The numbers they were able to uncover were paultry, and usually related to discrepancies in voter registration, but not fraud at the ballot box. The discrepancies were often times errors (someone registered twice because they changed addresses and didn’t notify the elections comission, people dying and not being removed from the rolls, etc.) Some definitely were cases of outright, intential voter registration fraud. I can’t find that website now, but if you are really interested I can try to track it down.

        The point is, people are looking, and looking hard. Observers from both parties obsessively look for anything they can use on election day. And for all that effort, there is no evidence for any serious issues regarding fraud at the ballot box.

        (cont.)

        1. (cont.)

          Now I’ll be the first to admit that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, BUT when it comes to *any* law, I apply a very simple principle: it isn’t enough that a law not do harm, it has to be shown to actually prevent some harm or do some good.

          The burden of proof for proving that voter ID laws are necessary is on the people who want to pass them. I have no objection to them on principle, but they seem to be a solution in search of a problem, and that just doen’t cut it for me. Gather evidence that voter fraud is an actual problem using the tools available. If those tools are inadequate, then propose new ones. Burdening voters should be the last option.

          1. Burdening voters should be the last option.

            Burdening voters should always be the first option. Burdening taxpayers should be the last.

            Actual rights trump political privileges.

            The burden of proof for proving that voter ID laws are necessary is on the people who want to pass them.

            The burden of proving the legitimacy of its elections falls to the state, not the electorate.

            1. Burdening voters should always be the first option

              Um, I don’t really know how to respond to this. I fundamentally disagree with you. If I’m going to be forced to pay taxes and live under threat of going to jail for not following the government’s rules, I should at least have a say in what those rules are. You can disagree, but you’re going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise.

              The burden of proving the legitimacy of its elections falls to the state

              I suppose if you disagree with my above statement, I’m going to have a hard time convincing you that this is flawed. It suffices to say that the proposed solution here burdens the electorate, not the state. But then, you seem to think that is the prefered solution, so I’m having trouble following the thinking here.

              1. If I’m going to be forced to pay taxes and live under threat of going to jail for not following the government’s rules, I should at least have a say in what those rules are

                What part of what I said contradicted you getting a vote? Is requiring identification such an onerous imposition that you couldn’t possibly fulfill it?

                Furthermore, your vote is countered by votes in favor of all those things. Yeah, you get a say, just like the asshole who wants to see you suffer gets a say, and the leech who wants to siphon your tax dollars gets a say. Yet you have a problem with making sure he only gets to cast a ballot once in his own name!

                1. Is requiring identification such an onerous imposition that you couldn’t possibly fulfill it?

                  Me? No. Others? Maybe. As I’ve said elsewhere in this thread, make the burden of getting an ID insignificant and I wouldn’t object on those grounds. How might one do that? Well, making it free and providing in-home services would suffice as far as I’m concerned. Again, I still think it needs to be demonstrated that fraud is a problem, but that is a separate issue.

                  Yeah, you get a say, just like the asshole who wants to see you suffer gets a say, and the leech who wants to siphon your tax dollars gets a say.

                  Well, yeah. Democracy: the worst system except for all the others 😉

                  1. Democracy without accountability: clap your hands if you believe!

                  2. It already IS insignificant.

              2. It suffices to say that the proposed solution here burdens the electorate, not the state.

                First of all, yes it does burden the state, with proving (in part) the honesty of the elections they conduct. The flipside of the voter being required to present identification is the state being required to validate that identification against the person presenting it and the voter rolls.

                Second of all, the burden to voters (i.e. the people who cast votes) is only with regard to proving their identity, which is in fact their qualification for voting (non-citizens, felons, minors, etc. are ineligible to vote, and people are not allowed to vote under multiple names).

                Yet you are saying that the electorate (i.e., the people who are eligible to vote) must prove that the state is being unfair to them before they can demand the state be fair to them!

        2. One reason is that there are independent groups that do try to track it, and have a strong incentive to find legitimate cases, since that is there very reason for being.

          The burden of proof falls to you to establish that these “independent groups” actually perform the functions that they claim are their “very reason for being”, because intentions alone are not any sort of incentive.

          It is just as plausible that these groups exist to misdirect and dissemble because they are funded and controlled by the very same interests who stand to benefit from electoral fraud, namely party elites.

          1. I can’t find the original website of the organization I was talking about anymore. But here is another.

            http://www.rottenacorn.com/activityMap.html

            In a quick perusal of the cases I did not see one case of actual voter fraud, rather they were all of registration fraud.

            I suppose you could argue that Rotten ACORN is a front group of ACORN that is spreading only selctive news of ACORN’s misdeeds to try and demonstrate that registration fraud is only a small problem, but that seems a bit…implausible.

            And by “independent groups” I meant non-government.

            1. Here’s the deal, Lynch.

              First, registration fraud is voter fraud.

              Second, what do you think is being done with all those fraudulently registered voters? Do you think the groups that “registered” them don’t have any plans to use the franchise that they just created out of thin air?

              1. And I full support prosecuting cases of fraudalent registration. I do think there is ample evidence for solving that problem, as well as needing to clean up voter rolls that have non-malicious errors.

                I recall hearing during the ACORN scandal that people were being paid based on the number of voters they registered. That right there is one big reason for falsifying voter registration.

                Regardless, voter ID is a separate issue from problems with voter registration.

            2. I suppose you could argue that Rotten ACORN is a front group of ACORN that is spreading only selctive news of ACORN’s misdeeds to try and demonstrate that registration fraud is only a small problem, but that seems a bit…implausible.

              It is only you who is holding up this small group (which appears defunct, btw) that was narrowly focused on a specific organization’s electoral misdeeds as being accountable to answering for all electoral misdeeds in this country. That is your fallacy, and to slide blame onto them or me for it is absurd.

              And by “independent groups” I meant non-government.

              Considering that electoral fraud is going to be committed by and on behalf of political parties, I would say that independence from them is just as if not more so important than independence from the government.

              1. That is your fallacy, and to slide blame onto them or me for it is absurd.

                Wasn’t sliding blame. Simply pointing out that they have an obvious incentive to find and publicize as much as possible cases of fraud (registration or at the ballot box). The snark was to emphasize that the incentive is real on their part. The fact that they were able to come up with only a small number of cases and couldn’t show impact on elections leads me to believe that they were unable to find evidence of such.

                I’d love to see independence from political parties, too, but one advantage of having adverserial parties is that they have a strong incentive to sniff out any misdeeds on the part of the other. So they have a strong role to play.

                1. Simply pointing out that they have an obvious incentive to find and publicize as much as possible cases of fraud (registration or at the ballot box).

                  A fucking 4-page blog run by a couple of people that has been defunct for half a decade and was dedicated to focusing on a single organization has the means and incentive to uncover every incidence of voter fraud in this country?

                  Are you delusional?

                  I’d love to see independence from political parties, too, but one advantage of having adverserial parties is that they have a strong incentive to sniff out any misdeeds on the part of the other.

                  This wouldn’t be so laughable if it wasn’t posted on a fucking libertarian site. Oh yes, the two parties routinely work against each other and not to their mutual benefit against the people.

                  1. I’d love to see independence from political parties, too, but one advantage of having adverserial parties is that they have a strong incentive to sniff out any misdeeds on the part of the other.

                    I’m going to take this further and provide an analogy:

                    The advantage of having police unions is that they have a strong incentive to sniff out the misdeeds of their officers, since any misconduct will reflect poorly on the union.

                    Right?

                  2. They generally work against eachother in elections, yes. The exception is when they try to block out third party candidates.

                    1. They generally work against eachother in elections, yes. The exception is when they try to block out third party candidates.

                      They work against each other only to the extent that it serves their own interests, which is not in fact very far. The particular example I gave wasn’t even about third parties, but instead about “stability” in which the two parties retain roughly the same share of votes regardless of voter sentiments. Moreover, it is entirely possible that both parties engage in electoral fraud, and that any idiot outside of the beltway can understand that it doesn’t “cancel out” because the real “third party” is the goddamn American people.

                    2. Goddamn was meant for emphasis, not condemnation per se.

    2. Re: Ron Bailey,

      R: Nor does it evidently prevent much fraud.

      Yes, it does, with evidence.

      Mexico had its truly free and almost fraud-less elections after a huge and costly voter ID system was created and implemented back in the early 90s. People’s confidence in elections went up, big complaints of voter fraud went down, and the ruling party finally lost control of the presidency and the legislature in 2000. So don’t tell me that it does not work. The complaints against voter ID laws comes from the very people that would be negatively affected by more secure elections and that would be the Demo-rats.

      1. Who knew Mexico was so raccsiist.

      2. Voter fraud is just a right-wing meme. I mean, it’s not anyone expects the democrats to manufacture extra votes if a couple of very close senate races show a republican victory that is within the margin of fraud.

      3. Thank you. And how do we tell the difference between “reducing turnout” and “preventing fraud”? Why the assumption that fewer votes means fewer legitimate votes?

      4. Sorry, but I don’t find the Mexico example very convincing. You’re comparing a country with lots of fraud to a country without lots of fraud. Sure, voter ID laws will make a difference in the former, but in the latter, I struggle to see the justification.

        1. You’re comparing a country with lots of fraud to a country without lots of fraud.

          They knew there was fraud of this type in Mexico because implementing the voter ID laws had a significant effect on the electoral processes. We “know” there isn’t fraud of this type in the US because “la, la, la, I don’t see it, so it doesn’t exist”.

        2. Re: LynchPin1477,

          Sorry, but I don’t find the Mexico example very convincing. You’re comparing a country with lots of fraud to a country without lots of fraud.

          Methinks you’re gullible and naive.

    3. Just like CO2 doesn’t cause much warming?

      1. Vote fraud is fake, but that pesky “missing heat” from manmade global warming is completely real.

    4. Did this guy show ID?

      http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…..ona-video/

  3. …there were no apparent cases of in-person voter impersonation charged by DOJ’s [Department of Justice] Criminal Division or by U.S. Attorney’s offices anywhere in the United States, from 2004 through July 3, 2014.

    Frankly, whatever the intentions of Republican lawmakers with regard to imposing more stringent voter ID requirements – prevent fraud or suppress votes – the data suggest that the requirements are a big waste of time and money.

    See this rock? It keeps tigers away.

    1. I know of a few states that went decades without charging any police officers with excessive force, and others that only ended up with any charges or punishment in a tiny, tiny number of cases. Is it reasonable to conclude that officer violence never occurred and wasn’t a problem?

      1. New Profeshunalism!!!

    2. a big waste of time and money.

      This smacks me as the same as one of Reason‘s objections to the death penalty, that it was so “costly”. The expense is due mostly to imposed costs, not inherent ones. I agree that voter ID would be a clusterfuck in this country, but that says much more about this country and its attitudes than about requiring voters to identify themselves.

      See this rock? It keeps tigers away.

      I don’t expect voter ID to usher in a wave of libertarian candidates. In fact, I imagine that it won’t have much benefit to libertarians at all. However, dishonest elections are worse than no elections at all; they just validate an established oligarchy rather than enabling the people to control their own government. It is useless ultimately to try to convince people if their votes don’t even matter.

      Voter ID only addresses some forms of electoral fraud, but it is a step in the right direction.

      The burden of proof for the honesty of elections should always and everywhere fall upon the state. Voting is a privilege, not a right.

  4. Frankly, whatever the intentions of Republican lawmakers with regard to imposing more stringent voter ID requirements – prevent fraud or suppress votes – the data suggest that the requirements are a big waste of time and money.

    Very well. Now let the GAO show that requirements imposed by the TSA are a big waste of time and money.

  5. “The DOJ never charged anyone for voter impersonation” is a very long way from “voter impersonation never happens”.

    The real fraud isn’t in-person voting any more, anyway. Its the damn early/mail-in/absentee balloting. There’s video from Phoenix of actual, no-kidding, literal ballot-box stuffing with early ballots.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEQpHfnJz-c

    1. MM: Really just curious – how do voter ID laws prevent absentee ballot fraud?

      Secondly, the PRQ study notes “we account for the effects of five areas of state election reforms: Election Day registration, early in-person vot- ing, permanent no-excuse absentee voting, nonpermanent no-excuse absentee voting, and universal mail voting.

      In other words, they control for those changes to see if the ID requirement makes any difference. The answer is no.

      1. Really just curious – how do voter ID laws prevent absentee ballot fraud?

        Requiring them to show an ID in order to register to vote, or otherwise checking the registration at some point to see if it’s valid before mailing them an absentee ballot hypothetically could.

        I know someone personally who registered to vote at Lollapalooza in 1994 when age 15, thanks to Rock the Vote. He got his voter registration card, and then proceeded to vote in an election without at any point being asked to show his ID. He then turned himself in, saying that he assumed at some point that someone would verify him.

        They didn’t charge him, because he turned himself in. They wouldn’t have possibly caught him without him doing that either.

        I don’t think that it’s a huge problem, but anecdotal evidence is enough to conclude that it’s not actually zero. (Merely perhaps not significant.)

        1. I don’t think that it’s a huge problem, but anecdotal evidence is enough to conclude that it’s not actually zero. (Merely perhaps not significant.)

          This is basically how I feel about it as well.

      2. how do voter ID laws prevent absentee ballot fraud

        If you require people to pick up their absentee ballots in person after showing ID, they should have some effect.

        If you just mail ballots blindly to anyone and everyone, not so much.

        IOW, as part of a system that is designed to be secure, they have a place.

        If, however, your system is designed with ease of use as its only priority, well, as they say in IT, you can either have a secure system or an easily accessible system, but you can’t have both.

  6. “The Politics of Race and Voter ID Laws in the States: The Return of Jim Crow?

    nice.

    1. LH: Tendentious yes. But their answer is NO.

      1. And “suppress” is not tendentious?

  7. there were no apparent cases of in-person voter impersonation charged by DOJ’s [Department of Justice] Criminal Division or by U.S. Attorney’s offices anywhere in the United States, from 2004 through July 3, 2014.

    This is Eric Holder’s DOJ we’re using as the measure of all things transparent and accurate, are we not?

    Fuck me.

    1. Well, there were those years between 2004 and 2009 in which Holder was not the AG.

      1. Look- some of us have our minds already made up, so don’t go presenting facts and stuff that counter our worldviews, OK. That’s just rude, sir.

        GOOD DAY!

        1. Yeah, Alberto Gonzales was a model AG, too. /derp

          Also, George Bush was a go along, get along President who did not want to be seen as attacking his opposition (which the media still tried to portray him as doing all the time anyway), and was not unknown for dirty electoral tricks himself. It is highly unlikely he would have made prosecuting voter fraud a high priority, because either it would have focused solely on Democrats (for which he would have been hounded to no end) or if done to appear “neutral” would have hurt his own party.

      2. Re: Ron Bailey,

        Well, there were those years between 2004 and 2009 in which Holder was not the AG.

        Has it occurred to you, Ron, that during the years when you had a Republican AG, the vote fraudsters kept a low profile and then once the Dems were in the WH and in the DOJ, they went crazy?

        Thinking that people will act the same way in the face of different incentives is evidence of lazy thinking.

  8. I can’t for the life of me understand how this is an issue.

    If the right to vote is important, it’s not unreasonable to require a demonstration that you have the right to do so.

    Otherwise, just go ahead and admit that that anyone should be able to vote, because the right to vote is worthless.

    1. I have to demonstrate the shit out of my 2A right.

      1. I know, and that’s precisely backwards. Because bearing arms is a natural right. The qualification is: are you human?

        Voting in US election is a “civil” or “procedural” right or however you want to distinguish it from a natural right. It’s narrower, and the qualification is: are you a US citizen?

        The former is a cinch to demonstrate. But you can’t identify American citizens on sight.

  9. Al. Fucking. Franken.

    Look it up.

    1. 104% Voter turnout in King County.

      1. Only 104%? Shit, maybe Ron is right, there may not be that much voter fraud.

        1. Less than 8%, anyway.

          And there were more than a few inner city districts with utterly implausible turnout percentages and Obama voting percentages in the last election. As in, third world-esq 99% turnout and 98% votes for Dear Leader.

          But no, voter fraud is just crazy talk.

          1. There were actually districts in Philadelphia where they chased away the republican monitors and reported 100% votes for Obama.

  10. …there were no apparent cases of in-person voter impersonation charged by DOJ’s [Department of Justice] Criminal Division or by U.S. Attorney’s offices anywhere in the United States, from 2004 through July 3, 2014.

    Frankly, whatever the intentions of Republican lawmakers with regard to imposing more stringent voter ID requirements – prevent fraud or suppress votes – the data suggest that the requirements are a big waste of time and money.

    Not to be the TEAM RED dick, but to be the TEAM RED dick, I still have trouble with this. When you have an election system that really doesn’t do any meaningful verification of who’s voting, how are you going to know if there’s any widespread voter fraud, except in the cases where Democratic operatives have been caught with boxes full of suspicious ballots.

    When digital printers started to get really good in the 90s, the treasury department became concerned that counterfeiting would turn from a few highly skilled people printing millions of dollars, to a few million unskilled people printing a dollar.

    I’m not saying we have a massive decentralized voting fraud problem in this country, but it seems like we have no way of telling, because we aren’t looking.

    1. You cannot find what you do not seek.

  11. Ron – wait until you see some of the turn out in Cook County and Madison County (IL) precincts this coming election. Then come back and say “man, a bunch of civic minded voters must live there!” rather than “sniff, sniff, smells fraudy to me”.

    Hint: people in union windbreakers may be seen at the polls more than just the time they need to cast their own ballot.

    1. Well, come on, Cook County…

      I mean, they invented voter fraud in Cook County.

  12. Ron,

    The GAO report also found that data on voter fraud is not centralized and scanty in any case

    Since successful vote fraud goes undetected, that is not surprising. So we don’t know how extensive vote fraud is yet voter ID laws are automatically a waste of money?

    That is poor logic and you know it Ron. I have no evidence that anyone has ever tried to break into my house. Since I don’t have security cameras while I am away, that number could be zero. Indeed, there has never been a single confirmed instance of someone breaking into my home. By your logic Ron, my door locks are a waste of time and money.

    The lack of data about the prevalence of voter fraud might be compelling if voter ID laws actually imposed any significant burden financial or otherwise. How much money does it cost to tell the people running the polls to ask for ID? What “time and money” is being expended here?

    1. Bank robberies are a massive problem in the USA. Unfortunately, most successful bank robberies go undetected so we don’t really know how huge of a problem they are.

      THIS is superiorly inferior logic.

      Unless you’re willing to fund massive bank protections against this undetected robbery (a la superman 3) then you haven’t put your money where your mouth is.

      1. I will just reprint the last paragraph again because you apparently missed it.

        The lack of data about the prevalence of voter fraud might be compelling if voter ID laws actually imposed any significant burden financial or otherwise. How much money does it cost to tell the people running the polls to ask for ID? What “time and money” is being expended here?

        Yes, the lack of data would be compelling if the burden really were significant. It is however not. So your reductio absurdum analogy to “massive bank protections” fails miserably.

        No one is talking about “massive protections” against fraud. We are talking about asking for ID, something that happens billions of times a day in this country.

        1. And we’re talking about laws being enacted and enforced- that costs money. That costs manpower. That costs materials to create the ID- etc., etc.

          The fact is that your argument was fully idiotic- that since the good criminals go undetected so we have to take measures to stop these people who we don’t really are breaking any laws… but we think they probably are.

          I just can’t even fathom someone thinking this is an actual argument that could sway a rational person to agree.

          1. And we’re talking about laws being enacted and enforced- that costs money. That costs manpower. That costs materials to create the ID- etc., etc.

            No it doesn’t. The state already creates IDs and does everything it can to ensure people had them. If we didn’t already have state IDs, your point would be valid. But since we already do, there is no additional cost to these laws other than the two seconds it takes poll workers to look at an ID.

            The fact is that your argument was fully idiotic- that since the good criminals go undetected so we have to take measures to stop these people who we don’t really are breaking any laws… but we think they probably are.

            No your response is idiotic. I am saying the fact that crime is low or of unknown freequences doesn’t mean it isn’t justified to take basic and easy measures to prevent it. I don’t know what my risk of being robbed are and evidence says that it is low. So therefore, I don’t install a $5,000 home security system. I do, however, lock my doors.

            In this case, we ask people for IDs, because it requires little effort and greatly reduces the risk of fraud whatever it is. It is like me locking my doors.

            1. But if you are talking about forcing people to lock their doors- to carry your faulty analogy.

              No one forces you to lock your doors in order to perform a duty you have the right to perform.

              1. No. I am not forcing anyone to do anything anymore than the government requiring you to show proof that you have been laid off to get unemployment benefits is forcing you to do anything.

                The government has a duty to make sure people don’t commit fraud, be it in voting or collecting unemployment benefits or anything else. It taking reasonable measures to fulfill that duty isn’t forcing you to do anything.

                1. No, I’m not forcing anyone to do anything that I’m not forcing them to do.

                  1. No Spencer. You are. You are supporting a system that will allow people to vote illegally which will have the effect of diminishing my lawful vote. You are effectively stealing my vote.

                    1. sorry, I meant to quote that as a paraphrasing of your response.

          2. “That costs materials to create the ID- etc., etc.”

            That’s ridiculous. Everyone who gets a gov’t check has to show an ID to sign up for the hand-out in question. All of these people are theoretically poor, and yet they manage to get IDs.

    2. Well, none of these fake voters have ever been in my kitchen, so I don’t see what the problem is.

  13. Further, what is the burden on the public? Having a valid ID? That sounds nice right up until you realize that not having a valid ID is a massive handicap to getting along in a modern economy. So the “burden” such as it is, is requiring people to have something that they rightly or wrongly would be better off having. If you don’t believe that, imagine if some state government decided to do things that discouraged poor people from getting IDs. The Progs would rightly see this as an effort to push poor people onto the fringes of society by denying them an essential item to participating in the mainstream economy. Yet, saying you need such to vote is a “burden”?

    If Reason wants to come out against all forms of government ID’s in the name of Liberty, they should. And there indeed is at least an ideological case to be made for that. But I haven’t seen Reason doing anything like that. They just come out against voter ID laws. Sorry but if you buy into the idea of government issued IDs, requiring them to vote is a totally prudent precaution against vote fraud.

    1. Given that voting is an inherently social, public (and violent) act, it seems very strange for non-libertarians to be opposed to presenting some evidence of one’s public identifier (i.e., ID) to establish one’s right to influence the public through voting.

      1. Compare and contrast with the RTBA.

      2. I think it seems strange for Libertarians. Unlike pretty much everything else in the world, votes are a zero sum game. If I vote illegally, I effectively disenfranchise someone who voted legally.

        If it is a burden to show ID to vote, then why isn’t it also a burden to show ID for everything else related to government? Would reason object to having to show an ID and prove my identity to testify in court? Or to get unemployment benefits? If not why not? Getting an ID is a burden. Why should I have to have one to obtain government benefits or testify in court?

        1. If it is a burden to show ID to vote, then why isn’t it also a burden to show ID for everything else related to government?

          This is true.

          Personally, I’m not big on voting in its current iteration. IMO, universal suffrage is part of the reason that the liberal trajectory of the 18th-19th centuries has reversed itself in many countries. I am, however, a rule of law guy and if we have voting it seems obvious that this method of candidate selection should be secure and trustworthy — how, exactly, is confirmation of this an undue burden? To the degree that it prevents people from voting, it’s only to the degree that an confirmation of government rights/services does so.

    2. J: Not all IDs, but see my 2006 article “Your Papers Please.”

      1. Even if you get rid of government IDs, there still will remain a need for proper identification in the modern economy. So fine, get rid of government IDs and private forms of identification will arise.

        So you just accept private IDs to vote. The need to make sure the person who is voting are who they say they are remains. How you tell that is another issue. If you don’t like government IDs, good for you. Just accept private issued ones at the polls, provided they have an appropriate modicum of reliability.

    3. Why does no one fight back against the injustice of being carded at bars?! Never did I realize i was not merely being hassled, but rather OPPRESSED?! WHY DO REPUBLICANS WANT TO KEEP ME AWAY FROM MY BAR?!

      1. do you go to government bars?

        If so, I’ve found your problem right there!

        1. The bars are ‘public accommodations’, and are clearly racist ‘public accommodations’ which must be stopped from discriminating against minorities by imposing ID requirements which clearly burden them disproportionately. Oh, wait, the government requires them to check ID or lose their liquor license. Whatever.

          1. Yes, and that’s equally wrong. (the ID checking part… or, hell, the liquor license part).

            1. It’s not “equally wrong”. If the bars allow in underage patrons, it does no harm to me. If the state allows in ineligible/repeat voters, it undermines my vote which contributes to the electoral victory of candidates who will pass laws and carry out actions that do harm me.

  14. Yeah, because if the Holder DOJ didn’t charge someone with a crime, that obviously means no crime happened.

    I don’t see a coherent libertarian case against voter ID. Each citizen has one franchise, which is theirs alone to exercise. There are as many votes as there are citizens, and no more. No one has two franchises, and there aren’t any spare franchises lying around just waiting for an owner.

    Each fraudulent vote that’s tallied potentially nullifies a legitimate vote. The only way to ensure that my franchise is not stolen is to verify that I am, in fact, the one exercising it. So verify IDs, or be complicit in fraud and disenfranchisement. It’s very simple.

    How many people choose to commit fraud isn’t important. Whether or not I like the results of their fraud isn’t important. Do we really need to work out the the cost/benefit of securing a basic right of citizenship?

    1. That is right Brian. And the other thing Ron is doing here is saying fraud doesn’t count if it just happens once in a while. So I guess Ron won’t mind if someone just takes a few dollars out of his bank account just every once in a while.

      Every time someone votes fraudulently, they as you point out take the franchise away from a legal voter by canceling their vote out and reduce the franchise of legal voters by reducing the effect of each individual vote. That matters, even if it only happens once.

      1. J: Ron is doing here is saying fraud doesn’t count if it just happens once in a while.

        Ron is actually saying cost/benefit analysis.

        1. Except that you haven’t made out a case for the cost. The only cost you can claim is making legal voters have valid IDs. That is not a burden for two reasons. First they are better off with valid IDs than without so voting giving them an excuse to get one is hardly a burden. Second, even if it is, they get the return of knowing their vote won’t be canceled by someone voting illegally.

          1. First they are better off with valid IDs than without so voting giving them an excuse to get one is hardly a burden.

            This is line of reasoning can be used to justify everything from soda bans to gun control.

            1. No. Not at all. We are not talking about forcing them to get an ID because we just like them to have it. We are talking about requiring ID in order to prevent vote fraud. If the argument against that is “getting an ID is a burden”, then getting one ought to be a burden. If it is the case that getting one is not a burden, then the case fails.

              1. yes- and we’re talking about how having an ID doesn’t actually prevent voter fraud.

                1. Assumes facts not in evidence.

                  1. Again, that’s not how this works.

                    Second- I believe the study shows that fact is IN evidence.

                2. Well, no. You’re asserting that having an ID doesn’t prevent voter fraud.

                  Which is like outlawing pointing cameras at cops, and then asserting based on the lack of legally recorded evidence that, hey, video recording obviously doesn’t prevent police misconduct.

                  1. NO. parties asserted there was voter fraud and making people show ID to vote would fix it. Their assumption was not fact based. Pointing that out is not making an assertion- but simply exposing their assertion as baseless.

                    1. No. You’re asserting that voting, uniquely in all of human experience, is immune from fraud, dishonesty, and manipulation by those in authority.

                      So unique that even the most basic means of preventing and identifying fraud – practices that we routinely demand and insist upon to keep our government accountable to the people – are not only unnecessary, but an affront.

                      I assert that voting is not carried out or governed by incorruptible angels. You assert it is. You’re the one making an extraordinary claim here.

              2. We are talking about requiring ID in order to prevent vote fraud.

                Soda banners can claim that they are preventing obsesity. Gun grabbers can claim they are protecting people from accidental shootings. You were arguing that voter IDs were not burdensome *because* they are beneficial for doing things that you value:

                That is not a burden for two reasons. First they are better off with valid IDs than without so voting giving them an excuse to get one is hardly a burden.

                But by that logic, banning sodas or guns is not burdensome because doing so is beneficial for promoting things that the soda banners and gun grabbers value.

                Look, like I tried to make clear, I’m not inherently opposed to voter ID laws. I can pretty easily think of ways to craft them that would make the burden of getting one insignificantly small. It remains to demonstrate that they are necessary, but that is a separate issue.

                But arguing that they are not a burden because people really should have IDs anyway is a dangerous way to go about it.

            2. True. But it is a useful utilitarian argument for persuading people who find it compelling when applied to those other circumstances, as a devil’s advocate.

          2. “Except that you haven’t made out a case for the cost.”

            I’ll tell you the god damn cost. Fucking Obamacare. Thank you Al Fucking Franken for casting the deciding vote.

        2. “Ron is actually saying cost/benefit analysis”

          Without having an accurate picture of either.

          1. Yes and admitting as much but just assuming that the facts much fit his prejudices.

  15. Lastly, if having to get an ID is a burden, why does Reason support giving valid IDs to illegal immigrants? Getting an ID is a burden. Why would anyone who supported open borders want to impose such a burden on immigrants?

    The answer of course is that having a valid ID is not a burden but essential to operate in the modern economy. Giving them and getting them is therefore in no way a burden, unless of course you have to show one to vote.

    1. I would assume that Reason is against the I9 requirements to show an ID in order to keep a job.

      1. And they should be. But getting a job is not the same thing as voting. My getting a job in no way effects your job. My job doesn’t cancel out your job. My voting illegally does cancel out your legal vote or even if we voted the same way dilutes the effect of your vote.

        So just because requiring an ID for a job is wrong doesn’t mean requiring one to vote is wrong. They are two different things.

    2. I’ve never seen anyone argue against getting an ID. The argument is against *forcing* people to get an ID to solve a purported problem that hasn’t been shown to be a serious problem. Show me that it is a serious problem and I’ll probably support voter ID laws. Saying that it *could* be, but you’re not sure, doesn’t cut it for me.

      1. Except that no one is forcing you to get an ID. If saying you have to have one to vote is “forcing you”, then saying you have to have one to do any other business with the government is also forcing you.

        I seriously doubt that you or Ron or anyone else would support ending the requirement to show ID and proof of income to get welfare or to file your taxes. Yet, by your logic you should.

        1. Big difference: getting welfare isn’t on the same level as voting.

          Voting may not be a right in the same way that natural rights are, so I won’t call it a right. I don’t have a good word for it off the top of my head. But as I said above, I strongly believe that if government claims the power to tax and jail me if I don’t live by its rules, then I have should have a say on what those rules are and/or who gets to set them. It’s not just some privelege handed out by the government. It’s sort of a fundamental component of what constitutes a legitimate government. Not the *sole* component of what constitutes legitimate government (the other major one in my eyes being strong protections of negative rights), but still, an important one.

          If you don’t believe that is the case, then OK. We can agree to disagree for the time being. But that’s where I’m coming from.

          1. Big difference: getting welfare isn’t on the same level as voting.

            Yes it is. Once the government creates a benefit, I have a right to access to it just like everyone else. They can’t consistent with equal protection deny me that right on spurious grounds anymore than they can deny me the right to vote. So it is exactly the same thing.

            Moreover, filing my taxes is even more of an issue than voting. I have to by law file my taxes. I don’t have to vote, I just have a right to. Yet, I have to have a valid ID to file my taxes. If making people have a valid ID is a burden for voting (a totally elective activity), why isn’t it even worse to require it for filing my taxes (something required by law)?

            I strongly believe that if government claims the power to tax and jail me if I don’t live by its rules, then I have should have a say on what those rules are and/or who gets to set them.

            For sure you should. But you only get a say through your vote. And that vote doesn’t work if it is canceled out or its influence reduced by people voting illegally. Your point makes the case not just for your right to vote but also for the government going to great lengths to ensure the vote is fair and stopping people from voting illegally.

            It makes the case for requiring an ID just as much as it makes the case for you to vote.

            1. I fundamentally disagree with you welfare. Welfare is a benefit handed out by government and funded by other people’s money. As I expalined above, in my view universal sufrage is one of the key components of what constitutes a justly constituted government. You can disagree with that if you want to. But you’re going to have to make a pretty solid case to convince me.

              Regarding taxes, serious question: at what point in the filing process do I have to show an ID? I don’t think I have ever had to do that. I get my forms in the mail, or download them online, and then mail them in. Unless you are referring to having a SSN?

              1. I can’t file unless I have a valid tax number or SS number. To do that I have to go to the IRS or Social Security office, prove who I am and get a government issued card with my name and number on it. Without that, I can’t file my taxes. It is a process no different and no less burdensome than getting a diver’s license. The only difference is they don’t take my photo.

                And welfare is exactly analogous. The issue is not whether we should have welfare. The issue is that if we have it can the government require you to have an ID to get it. Just because it is a bad idea doesn’t mean the government is free to put ridiculous and arbitrary burdens on getting it. The government couldn’t require everyone have a passport or give a blood sample to get welfare. They can only take reasonable precautions to prevent fraud. Just like they can take reasonable precautions to prevent vote fraud.

          2. Your’s and Ron’s argument boils down to this; because a very small number of people are too stupid or lazy to have a valid ID, the other 99% of the voters should have to risk their votes not counting due to voter fraud. Bullshit.

            1. No, the argument boils down to this: stupid and lazy people are still subject to the government’s rules and so should still be able to vote. Making it harder for them to do so should only come in response to actual evidence of a need to do so. I’ve not seen that evidence to my satsifaction. It really is that simple.

              1. You are just restating the argument. Everyone is subject to government rules. That is true. And every adult citizen has a right to vote on those rules. There is two parts to that right, the right to show up and do it and the right for it to count properly. It doesn’t do any good to show up if your vote doesn’t count. When you allow people to vote illegally, you are taking away the legal voters’ right to vote just as surely as you would have had you stopped them from voting at all.

                So again, because a very small number of people are too stupid to have an ID, every other voter must see their right to vote be denied by fraud.

                1. So again, because a very small number of people are too stupid to have an ID, every other voter must see their right to vote be denied by fraud.

                  And again, you seem to miss the point. Show me evidence this is happening in any signficant way, and I’ll flip. I’ve stated that several times in this thread. I have yet to see the evidence.

                  1. Show me evidence this is happening in any signficant way, and I’ll flip

                    See the examples of Philadelphia RC and I give below. And now that I have done that, you show me an example of anyone being denied the right to vote because they didn’t have an ID. You are claiming this is a burden even though it goes completely counter to experience. You can’t get a job, have a bank account, rent a place to live, or even get government benefits without a valid ID. Tell me, who exactly are these people?

                    The only examples you might be able to produce is people being denied the right to vote because their ID was expired. I get it you have to renew you r ID sometimes. Okay, we can fix that by requiring it to be a government photo ID. Make it so an expired one counts. That solves the problem of it being out of date and also stops people from voting in someone else’ name.

                    1. There seem to be a small number of cases, based on what I could find on Google. One could argue that people without IDs won’t try to vote anyway, so there is no opportunity for them to be turned away. You could also argue that people without IDs are unlikely to vote regardless of the ID requirements. Those both seem plausible for me. So in short, I can’t point to significant numbers of cases where voter ID laws stopped people from voting who wanted to, and I think it’s difficult to come up with that number.

                      But this goes back to what I said in one of my first posts: For me, it isn’t enough to say that a law won’t do any harm. It should also do some actual good. Which circles back around to evidence that voter fraud is a significant enough problem relative to the burden of requiring IDs, and that voter ID laws will solve at least some portion of that problem.

                      The only evidence posted today that I find persuasive is that of the Philly issues, and even then, I’m not sure how voter ID laws would address that particular problem. It’s not enough to flip me. I remain open to such evidence, though.

      2. No one is forcing anyone to get an ID. Get an ID. Or don’t. Whatever. But casting a ballot isn’t a free-for-all.

        You can’t vote in a state where you are not a resident. You can’t vote if you’re a minor. You can’t vote more than once in the same locality. You can’t vote in multiple localities. You can’t cast a vote on behalf of someone else. You can’t vote if you’re not registered to vote. You can’t vote if you’re dead.

        Now, either these basic precepts matter, or they don’t. If they don’t matter, then we’ve decided to allow the government elect itself based on the honor system. What could possibly go wrong?

        If they do matter, then we need voter IDs. Because there’s absolutely no way to enforce any of them without verifying – to a reasonable degree of certainty – that the person standing before you is who they claim to be, and that they’re permitted to cast a ballot in this particular election.

      3. The argument is against *forcing* people to get an ID to solve a purported problem that hasn’t been shown to be a serious problem.

        You are also “forced” to live in the state and precinct where you intend to cast a vote, you are “forced” to register yourself with the state electoral commission, you are “forced” to give a name (supposedly but without proof your own name) when you show up to the polling place, you are “forced” to avoid politicking and proselytizing at the polling place, you are “forced” not to tamper with the ballots or voting machines, ….

        Voting is all about the things you are “forced” to do in order to keep the process honest. Understanding that voting is a political privilege and not a natural right is inherent to recognizing that the state has the power to set rules, since the state is accountable for the honesty of the outcome.

        1. +100. If voting were a “natural right” everyone would get to do it regardless of age or citizenship. The right to a fair trail is a natural right. That is why anyone regardless of age or any other circumstance is entitled to it.

        2. I don’t really have a serious problem with anything you said there. The question is whether or not another requirement above the ones you listed is justified? Yes, the state has the power to set rules. That alone does not mean all rules are good ones.

          We disagree on whether this is a good and needed rule. That’s fine. I don’t think you’re a racist or anything. I just think you’re more convinced than I am that voter fraud is a problem.

          1. I just think you’re more convinced than I am that voter fraud is a problem.

            If even 1 fraudulent vote is cast, legitimate votes are diminished. I don’t understand how voting can be so quintessential to our way of life and yet not important enough to be done honestly.

  16. I think this is bullshit. Of course fraud goes on–did politicians who demonstrate venality daily suddenly become honest? Why is demanding an ID for voting different in kind from the other things requiring identification?

    I think that libertarians lose their shit over this issue because of our legitimate distaste for government-issued identification in the first place, but I think that’s a totally separate issue.

    1. The more unusual thing is treating the absence of prosecution as evidence of absence.

      There are a ton of jurisdictions where police are rarely or never punished, much less charged, for excessive force or manslaughter. Does that mean that we should accept that “only a couple rare bad apples, not a problem worth worrying about or changing legislation” explanation that the cop defenders give?

      1. Wisconsin went decades without police ever being found responsible for deaths of people in custody, partially because they were allowed to investigate themselves. Does that mean that it was a bad idea to introduce legislation to prevent it or change the laws surrounding it?

      2. The worst fraud appears to occur in jurisdictions where one party has almost total control. Naturally, those aren’t going to be volunteering their fraud.

      3. Regarding the police example, there is ample evidence of police misconduct without relying solely on conviction rates. If you have ample evidence that there is serious voter fraud going on, by all means, present it. I’m not against voter IDs on principle. I could be swayed relatively easily.

        1. If you have ample evidence that there is serious voter fraud going on, by all means, present it

          How is this evidence supposed to be collected, exactly?

        2. If you have ample evidence that there is serious voter fraud going on, by all means, present it.

          104% Voter turnout would seem to be indisputable proof of blatant voter fraud. There has been significant reportage on organized voter fraud (albeit of a slightly different form than is prevented by voter ID). The before-after of AZ’s voter fraud laws shows a perceptible (albeit small) effect on electoral returns directly following, especially in my district (AZ-07).

          1. I’d be happy to look at some links if you have them.

            1. I looked up the 104% number. According to this, that and similar numbers are *registered* voters. As I mentioned above, this could be due to outright fraud, but it could also be due to shoddy record keeping. It should be investigated and rectified. If actual fraud occurred, it should be punished, and it certainly would move me closer to supporting voter IDs than I am now. Nothing I see above in the Red State article is conclusive, and I hardly think Red State is giong to downplay the problem.

              1. Investigated by whom? The same people who either fucked up or intentionally perpetuated voter fraud? The DoJ, which is also insanely politicized and which has also published some real whoppers and lies with statistics (particularly wrt the Drug War)? Which of our bureaucracies would you like to entrust with the task of investigating fraud (which is most likely D in nature) — and before you answer, keep in mind two facts:

                1) These agencies have not noticed a long-standing and grave discrepancy between their voter rolls and Census data, despite such being within their mandate. In fact, they were beat to the punch by a small-time partisan e-rag.

                2) These agencies are overwhelmingly populated by D statists, and have a bureaucratic prerogative to favor the interests of those who will expand their mandate and funding.

                Deductively, voter ID laws make sense. Empirically, they have been very helpful in third-world countries which have previously had poor election integrity, as well as post-Communist Eastern Europe (though I concede that evidence in the US is scarce either way).

                1. Hey, you’ll get no argument from me that our system is broken. But if this really is a problem, and if it really is almost exclusively perpetrated by Democrats (which I don’t buy, but let’s roll with it), then a Republican president, Republican governor, Republican state attorney general could all initiate investigations and would have strong incentives for doing so. Legislators could at least launch investigations and compell testimony under oath.

                  And one needn’t rely only on government. Intrepid investigative journalists, bloggers, or activists can try to obtain information. That has helped hold goverment accountable in the past. Make that information public and I truly believe you’ll see widespread public outcry. Government will be compelled to punish the perps. Sure, hardcore team partisans will turn a blind eye, but that doesn’t describe the majority of voters. The majority of voters want the system to work with integrity.

                  If you’ve given up on all of that, and think that our system is just unredeemably corrupt and/or impotent, and that even a sincere electorate is powerless to fix it, then why do you think one more law (voter IDs) is going to fix things? That’s an honest question.

                  1. Or instead of all of that Lynchpin, how about we just check IDs at the polls? Why depend on the media and all of that when you can just check people’s IDs.

                    And again, show me any evidence that anyone is actually going to be affected by this? I mean evidence of someone who tried to vote but couldn’t because they didn’t have an ID and more importantly that such people exist in numbers in any way significant.

                  2. If you’ve given up on all of that, and think that our system is just unredeemably corrupt and/or impotent, and that even a sincere electorate is powerless to fix it, then why do you think one more law (voter IDs) is going to fix things?

                    I wouldn’t quite say that I’ve given up. In fact, the success of our AZ law has been quite encouraging to me. The fact is that enforcement in the current system is complex and handled mostly at high levels of government (i.e., DoJ or state-level bureaucracy). In contrast, voter ID is enforced at the precint level by poll workers (who are generally more mixed in allegiances than the perma-bureaucracy) and are enforcing a relatively simple test (checking IDs).

                    I just don’t trust bureaucracy to handle the issue, and have found the investigation into the issue sufficient to convince me that such laws would on net be good and the burden minimal.

    2. We partly lose our shit over it because of the natural, visceral recoiling one does when they’re loudly accused of being racist.

      The idea that asking the simple question, “Do ye be who ye say ye be?” when committing one of the most dangerous acts a citizen can perpetrate on his fellow man, it’s not fucking racist.

      It’s not. It’s not. It might be a waste of time and money, there may not be that much voter fraud, but waving it off as racist is inflammatory attempt at creating a diversion.

      To me, the more people scream “Racist” when you simply ask to see if you’re eligible (and to possibly verify if, you know, you may have already voted) tells me that someone’s trying to hide something.

      Bugs bunny: He’s not in here, he’s not in here! Whatever you do, don’t look behind this door!

      1. I’m so fucking tired of treating people as morons who require our wise intervention. Holy shit is that racist and arrogant.

  17. I think Sinead O’Connor summed it up nicely – “I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got”

    1. Ah, the 90s, when the most horrifying thing you could do was tear up a picture of the Pope.

  18. It says much about Ron that because of a single flawed study, Ron is in here insisting voter id laws never prevent any fraud.

    Forget common sense for a moment, and how silly Ron’s assertion is, and just look at how vigorously he’s protesting the objections.

    1. Yes. And please allow me to kick Ron when he is down by mentioning that he is still a firm believer in man made global warming despite large numbers of studies claiming to confirm such being later revealed as flawed.

    2. Would not the burden of proof be on those proposing voter ID that is HAS prevented fraud?

      And beyond that- that it has prevented enough fraud to warrant it’s existence?

      Then the argument could be on the amount of fraud warrants requiring ID. That is, though, how the terrorists win.

      1. “Would not the burden of proof be on those proposing voter ID that is HAS prevented fraud?”

        Nope, Ron is making the assertion here.

        1. The maker of the assertion was the party who proposed the law/enacted the legislation. Not the author of this article.

          This article simply points out that they have not met this burden of proof.

          1. “Voter ID Laws Suppress White, Latino, and Black Voting About the Same Amount”

            Wrong.

            1. I’m confused. Are you making the assertion that those people who didn’t come out to vote did not stay at home because they had no ID, but instead were all frauds and THIS explains the lower turnout?

              Man, you ARE the worst justice on the court.

              1. No, I’m pointing out Ron’s assertion.

                1. NO. that’s not how this works.

                  One cannot claim that the refutation on one’s assertion is an assertion.

                  You: “The sky is blue.”
                  Me: “Actually, this study shows the sky isn’t blue at all.”
                  You: “You have the burden of proof since you’ve made the assertion that the sky isn’t blue.”

                  See the issue?

                  1. sorry, wrong reply. However, your comment makes no sense. The studies support the statement quoted.

          2. Prove to me that illegal search and seizure is a problem, and maybe I’ll consider an amendment or something.

    3. K: One single flawed study? Recall the specific study asks if ID requirements differentially suppress minority group voting? Answer NO. What are its flaws?

      I also point out that the GAO report noted that five out of ten studies (all ten of which I suggested are more flawed because they used state-to-state comparisons instead of time series data on individual states) also found no suppression.

      What you all seem to be objecting to is the observation in the GAO report suggests that because the DOJ has not prosecuted any cases for voter fraud, that such fraud must be rare, to which JT retorts that I am treating absence of prosecution as evidence of absence. Well, yes provisionally. Got any evidence that voter fraud is a significant problem?

      With respect, to some extent, you all are hand-waving when it comes claiming that there may be large amounts of hidden and occult voter fraud. (There may also be a starship fleet of purple space squids hiding behind the moon getting ready to invade – absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – just saying.)

      Finally, with regard to Reason and immigrant IDs see my colleague Ed Krayewski’s article, A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform.

      1. “K: One single flawed study? ”

        I’m sorry, there was more than one?

        “What you all seem to be objecting to”

        Sorry, Ron, you seem to be thick so I’ll make it clear, I’m objecting to you drawing conclusions from data that don’t support said conclusions. No need to guess now.

    4. We are talking about the guy who continues to smugly assert that libertarians are “smarter” than others based on a highly flawed study.

  19. Another aspect to this is the purported “burden/difficulty” poor/minority wannabe voters have in obtaining proper ID. At the risk of seeming hard-hearted, one might ask what that task is so much more onerous than, say, traveling to the store, the school, the post office, the emergency room, ….

    1. because you travel to the store, school ,etc., without having to pay for an ID in order to do something that is your right as a citizen.

      requiring an ID- or a new/valid ID- is a form of taxation. Getting a Driver’s License amounts to a tax of $X/year on your right to drive. So any amount required to get an ID- even just for voting- can be seen as a tax on your right to vote.

      Of course, taxes (when paid by the poor) impact them disproportionately.

      1. “right to drive”

        Que?

        “So any amount required to get an ID- even just for voting”

        Well, it’s a good thing many places have dealt with that by making the ID free to low income citizens.

        1. even the burden of traveling to get the ID can be construed as a burden on their time- which is money.

          And, you’re correct. there can be no right to drive if you have to get permission to do it. So, therefore, there is no right to vote if you have to get permission to do it.

          1. Isn’t it a burden on their time — which is money — to actually *vote*?

            1. Yes, but it’s not an additional burden beyond the actual act.

              1. The actual act involves proving you’re ok to vote.

                What now.

              2. One might argue that obtaining an ID, like riding a bus to the poll, is in fact part of “the actual act”.

              3. “Yes, but it’s not an additional burden beyond the actual act.”

                By this logic registering to vote is a burden that should be done away with.

                1. K: Of course, some states have enacted election day registration.

                  1. K: Of course, some states have enacted election day registration.

                    No potential for fraud there, either, I guess.

                2. Yes, potentially registering to vote is a burden as well. The actual act has not- to this point- required you show ID. Therefore this is NOT part of the act, but an additional and new burden.

                  Obtaining an ID cannot be done on the same day as voting- at the same location- typically.

                  If they did this, that would most likely eliminate the burden- but it would also make the requirement more of a joke than it already is.

                  1. I don’t think you or the supporters of the “burden” argument realize how silly the argument makes you sound.

                    Yes, technically all of the act of voting is a burden, as you admit, but you then draw a completely arbitrary distinction on what is simply too difficult to be allowed as a condition, and lose the debate.

                    Because, unfortunately for you, trivial burdens are allowed. I know, it sucks, but that’s the world we live in.

                    1. I think you’re conflating issues, but- as your inability for rational argument has shown- I am no surprised.

                      After all, she kept us hidden in the garret when the soldiers came. She died without a whisper.

                    2. “I think you’re conflating issues”

                      Doubtful, more likely you have no counter to “yes it is a burden, a trivial one. Courts have repeatedly said in the past that trivial burdens are generally allowed, so your argument fails”

                    3. The burden of voting and the burden added to provide ID in order to vote are 2 different things that you have equated.

                      The arguments you’ve supported are flawed.

                3. Yep. Just cast a vote every time you hit McD’s.

          2. “even the burden of traveling to get the ID can be construed as a burden on their time- which is money.”

            It’s nice then that places have provided buses to take them to get their free ID.

          3. There is no universal “right to vote”. Your franchise is a product of your citizenship, and exercising it is dependent on your eligibility to vote in a particular election at a particular time.

            It’s not about permission, it’s about self-ownership.

            In the past some people were systematically denied their right to exercise their franchise. In the present, some people have their franchise systematically voided. Both have the same effect and both are equally unjust.

        1. yeah- so someone’s not going to have an ID, but they are going to have 2 non ID documents proving they are who they say they are?

          I don’t see this getting used all that often.

          1. Well, you’re a partisan looking for excuses, who would expect you to admit you’re wrong.

            1. A partisan?

              Well, when they poured across the border I WAS cautioned to surrender- but this I could not do.

      2. And the states where acquiring an ID is free?

        1. Should have refreshed.

          Hey Spence, shift those goalposts any faster and they’ll make a whoosh sound.

          1. There’s no goalpost shifting.

            Words have meanings.

            The fact is that getting an ID where one was not required before IS a burden placed on voting (and often a tax burden too).

            Is this burden justified by the ends? The studies seem to say “No.”

            1. How do the studies say no? How do you recommend we distinguish citizens from non-citizens? Pinky promise?

              Going to the store and such are not constrained by a requirement for citizenship? Voting is (if you believe the constitution)

            2. Nonsense. No one gets to anonymously waltz into random voting booths and cast a ballot. Identification has always been required. Lying about your identity in order to cast a ballot has always been illegal.

              All we’re doing is ensuring that the process of identification is reliable, and that the people checking IDs are accountable and competent for actually doing their job. Because – shockingly – people in positions of power and responsibility have been known to abuse their authority if they think they can get away with it.

  20. This is one thing where I don’t get either side. No, voter fraud is probably not much of a problem, and no, an ID probably doesn’t do much to limit fraud, but no, getting a photo ID is such a minimal requirement that who really cares? And for the people who are too lazy and stupid to have an ID but still want to vote, well, who cares. Their votes are going to be as stupid and uninformed as they are.

    1. Bad analogy- but the language here reminds me of the argument for CCTV.

      If you’re not doing anything wrong, who cares if you’re being recorded?

      1. You’re right. It is a bad analogy.

        1. well, since it wasn’t an analogy at all I get the point 😉

    2. Any, the stupid and uninformed are abundantly represented in Congress as it is.

      1. As are the people who don’t read!

  21. If getting ID is an unfair burden, why is registering not one? The only times I have ever been denied voting is when I moved and forgot to register. Registering to vote serves no purpose other than setting me up for jury duty. Yet, I am required to do it weeks in advance in order to vote. That is a huge burden. And its a hell of a lot bigger burden than producing an ID, something I have to have for a million other reasons anyway.

    So, why isn’t Ron and the rest of you liberty loving Libertarians arguing for ending registration? Ron already told us voter fraud is a myth. Why not just let anyone who wants to just show up and vote? Since there is no danger of fraud and registration is clearly a very significant burden, why shouldn’t we be doing that? I don’t see how anyone who objects to producing an ID as too burdensome can’t then also object to registration. The same logic applies in both cases and really even more so in registration, especially if you operate under the assumption that vote fraud never happens.

    1. Sounds good to me. Producing a driver’s license or some other kind of documentation that shows you live in the precinct should be more than enough.

      1. Why even that? Ron is adamant that vote fraud doesn’t happen. What if I do my bills paperless or the bills are all in my roommate’s name or I live with my parents? And a driver’s license is an ID. And getting one of those is a burden.

        If producing an ID is too much of a burden, producing a bill is certainly too much of one.

        If you buy what Ron is saying, then any form of security is a waste of time and money and an unfair burden on voting. If it is wrong to require a valid ID, I don’t see how it is not equally wrong to require people register weeks in advance of the election or produce some proof they live there.

        1. Registering is a pain in the ass and a burden. A water bill or a photo ID? Not remotely.

          1. I agree. But that is not what Ron and the rest of these people are claiming.

          2. Unless you don’t happen to pay a water bill in your name or have an ID.

            How can so many be blind to this?

            1. What are you failing to get? FUCK THOSE PEOPLE. If you’re too feckless to participate in society in the most basic way, fuck you.

              1. Ah, yes. There’s the liberty loving in all of us.

                Hey- don’t participate in a way I deem acceptable? FUCK YOU- I AM THE GOLDEN ARBITER OF HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE YOUR FUCKING LIFE!

                1. Unless you don’t happen to pay a water bill in your name or have an ID.

                  Then you can’t do a lot of things. Yet, people like you never seem to care about that. Someone in that position can’t even get government aid or file their taxes, something that is required by law. Yet, you never care about that. You only care about voting.

                  Having an ID is not a significant burden. If it were, you would object it in other contexts.

                  1. “Yet, you never care about that. You only care about voting.”

                    Straw man much?

                    The inability to compose a rational argument is astounding.

                    First, I oppose the concept of government aid of federal income tax- so it follows that I would think the point is moot that these things require ID. Also, we are talking about voting- not the welfare state. (which apparently everyone is cool with as long as it provides “free” ID and transportation for voting.)

                    1. No Spencer,

                      Your inability to understand a rational argument is astounding.

                      Also, we are talking about voting- not the welfare state.

                      And the two are analogous in the sense that the government can’t impose unfair burdens on the access to either. Even if you object to the welfare state, which I do, if there is going to be one, the government can’t impose unfair burdens on how people access it. For example, I disagree with the welfare state, but also think that since we have one the government ought to administer it in a fair way. So, say requiring everyone have a passport to get welfare, as opposed to a valid ID, would be objectionable.

                      The larger point is that people have to have a valid ID to do nearly everything in society and things like traveling and working and having a bank account and such that are much more important to the individual than voting. Yet, no one ever talks about the need to limit this or make it less necessary to have an ID, except when we talk about voting. And the reason for that is that having an ID isn’t a burden and those who claim it is in the context of voting are making a spurious argument.

                2. Ah, yes. There’s the liberty loving in all of us.

                  It ain’t fucking liberty. I would gladly trade requiring voter ID for eliminating identification requirements for obtaining employment, alcohol, cigarettes, handguns, and a slew of other actual rights people possess. Hell, if you did it right, you could eliminate a lot of other “burdens” on voters. This is about a political process that has serious ramifications for everyone because of the collectivization inherent in government. You should be freer to buy things or hire people than to cast a vote.

        2. You are the one advocating for an increase in burden for no reason. I think the burden is on you to defend that, not Ron to defend a position he has no obligation to take.

          1. I really am a glutton for punishment. Even though I should know this is hopeless, let me try and explain to you a little how logic and rhetoric work.

            The point is that Ron’s justifications for not requiring ID, if true, apply equally well and in fact better to registration. So if you believe Ron’s point, registration should also be abolished. But no one, including Ron would support that. Therefore, Ron’s arguments are not true because if they were registration would be an unfair burden. And we know registration isn’t.

            1. Don’t speak in absolutes.

              I don’t mind investigating the uselessness of voter registration.

              1. Of course. Having a voting system where no one has to register, produce an ID or show any proof they live there beyond their word would work perfect. That is the system you advocate right?

                1. I’m not saying that. However, if there was evidence showing that registration doesn’t impact the veracity of the vote- then I’d think it would make sense to remove it as a requirement- or at least discuss it.

                  see, I’m data and fact driven in my decision making- upon the bedrock of liberty. I make no assumptions that barriers must be erected because I think they need to be.

            2. It’s relative. Registering in the US is more of a burdensome process than registering in, say, Israel, where citizens are automatically registered when they turn 18. There are lots of ways of doing registration, but that’s a one-time process (unless you move) with an obvious practical necessity behind it (generating a list of eligible voters). Since requiring an ID to actually vote serves no purpose, it’s not the same, and nobody is required to support something that serves no purpose because he supports something that does.

              1. an obvious practical necessity behind it (generating a list of eligible voters)

                So lemme get this straight:

                Generating a list of eligibility is important, but establishing a one:one correspondence between the registered person and the list item is not? In what business would this be an acceptable way to maintain a database? How many customers would accept this as a reason for an error on the part of that customer?

                1. Is motive completely unimportant to you? The fact that multiple Republicans are on video saying, essentially, that the point of these laws is to suppress the vote of people who tend to vote for Democrats? That this is the single purpose of these laws? Why do you pretend like that’s not the case?

                  A regulation that serves no purpose is something libertarians should be against definitionally. I am apparently more of a libertarian than you. Yuck.

  22. I should go tell my bank that asking me for my ID won’t hinder anyone from stealing my identity and money. Or not.

  23. Cop falsely accused by DUI suspect of sexual assault. Body camera exonerates him.

    Another beneficial side effect is body camera evidence often allows for prosecution of people making these kind of false complaints

    Increase the Justice!!!!

    http://tinyurl.com/lv6jaw3
    [Open in new window]

    Booya body cameras!!!!!

    1. I bet you people didn’t realize that Dunphy is actually a Markov chain. Observe.

      I am not necessary to get away ration tips were take spent of his still lower but beat cosmos despite to a right from there have after et alone force, when scores for belief

      Uncanny.

      1. It’s part of my charm, and if anybody knows CHARM, it’s Warty!

  24. Dead people voting, ala http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news…..30371.html is often attributed to campaign worker mistakes. Is it possible that the “mistakes” would be harder to make if the dead people had to present IDs to vote? Or is that suppressing the zombie vote?

    1. heh campaign worker. *poll worker

    2. I mean it would never occur to a political party in say Chicago to keep track of the obituaries and make sure that dead people were kept on the rolls and then have campaign volunteers show up and vote under the names of the dead people.

      I mean that would never happen.

      1. It has been a long-running ‘joke’ in New Jersey that dead people vote in Hudson County.

        1. Its a running joke in a lot of places. And everyone knows that there are precincts that get 100% or more turn out. How does Ron and the rest of these people think that happens?

          Its very simple. Ron himself admits that voter ID doesn’t supress any one group’s vote. And that shouldn’t suprise anyone. So why does Ron think the Democrats are so fanatical about stopping it? Because they give a shit about the franchise? Only Tony is dumb enough to believe that.

          If it’s not because it suppresses their supporters votes and not because they care about principle, why? It is because they use the lack of ID requirements for fraud and the proof of that is them being so fanatical and in the 100% turnout in places like Hudson Country New Jersey.

          1. Please link to evidence of these claims. There are chain emails out there claiming various instances of 100% turnout and other voting conspiracies, but they are all basically made up out of thin air.

            1. http://www.phillymag.com/news/…..ladelphia/

              Bloated rolls provide opportunity for the unscrupulous to pad the vote for a particular candidate and the turnout. Fortunately there are poll watchers legally certified from both parties that assure that can’t happen. However, in 75 Philadelphia polling sites, the Republican poll watcher was at first either barred from entering or thrown out. It took three hours before a Common Pleas Court judge issued an emergency order that they must be allowed in. A lot can happen in those three hours.

              In Philadelphia, voter turnout in 20 of the wards was 97 percent and greater. That is 97 percent of the bloated voter rolls that probably include dead people. Zombies are in these days, and in Philadelphia, they vote.

              And there is no reason to believe Philadelphia is anything special. It is not like the Democratic machines in other places can’t do the same thing.

            2. There was a claim of 104% voter turnout made above. From what I can tell, this comes out of several counties in Colorado where voter *registration* exceeded census numbers. That is hardly the same as +100% voter turnout.

              Maybe there are other cases. I haven’t seen evidence of them.

              1. I haven’t seen evidence of them.

                Read the link above and you will no longer be able to claim that. At least not honestly claim it.

                1. Tony fails to respond when presented with evidence. There’s a shocker.

                2. That instance doesn’t show how requiring ID to vote would make a difference, does it?

                  1. That instance doesn’t show how requiring ID to vote would make a difference, does it?

                    Yes it does. The reason why the turnouts are so high is because people are voting twice and voting illegally in place of people who are on the rolls and unable to vote because they are dead or in prison or whatever. Require an ID and they will no longer be able to do that.

                    1. but they’re doing this due to understood fraud by not allowing observers. Without observers, who knows they’re checking ID?

                      Wow…

                3. I had not heard of that. It’s troubling, to say the least. I agree that it should be investigated.

                  Two points, though. Regarding the zero vote total for Romney, that surprises me, but voter fraud is far from the only conclusion. Example.

                  Regarding the Republican observer being prevented from entering for three hours, yeah, someone ought to get hammered for that. I don’t see voter ID laws helping with something like that, though.

                  1. No one said that voter ID would stop all vote fraud. It would just stop this kind of fraud. And it would stop a type of fraud that observers are not going to catch. It doesn’t matter who is observing the polls, they have no way of knowing if that person is who they say they are.

                    1. That’s not so much evidence as partisan speculation (to which you add a big helping of your own). But don’t mistake me as someone who thinks our election system sans IDs is a pristine exemplar of democracy. It has tons of problems, and I’m for large changes. Just so happens that in-person voter fraud is not one of those problems, and national efforts by Republicans to suppress the vote with phony in-person voter fraud crises as the excuse is one of those problems.

                    2. and I’m for large changes

                      Outlawing the opposition is a large change, but if you were honest about your desires, you wouldn’t get to even pretend with your “true libertarians” schtick below.

  25. Govt should provide free ID services in states that require such ID to vote, and heck … Free taxi ride to and from the ID producing authoritah.

    That’s the only leg the anti ID people have

    1. And a free pen to mark the ballot, or a free servant to mark it for them so aren’t burdened with moving, and another servant to work for them while they’re voting…

  26. ‘Right to drive?’ Oh please, not this debunked idiocy again!!!!!

    PRIVILEGE to drive.

    Smooches!

    And yes, it is the most dangerous daily activity the average adult engages in.

    1. PRIVILEGE to drive.

      That is right. Just like it is your privilege to some day get shot by a criminal so I don’t have to and to ensure that no one, criminal and non criminal alike is ever at risk of being shot by a police officer wrongly.

      Every day when you get up in the morning Dunphy you should think, today might be the day I get to die for the benefit of the common good and be proud and never forget that your ultimate duty as a cop is to die in the name of caution and public safety.

      1. Smooches!

        It’s my privilege to shoot them before they shoot me. Risk not that concerning, although my best friend was shot and killed lod by a BGD. Thanks, but I know the law respects self defense for cops and noncop a, so I’ll take Sgt Esterhaus’ (sp?) warning to heart and ph33l your love for us working class heroes,

        Smooches!

        1. although my best friend was shot and killed lod by a BGD.

          I’ll put this one in the file with Morgan Fairchild and powerlifting.

          Because its astronomically unlikely.

        2. It’s my privilege to shoot them before they shoot me

          No its not. You might get it wrong and kill an unarmed person or worse a innocent bystander. And those people’s lives are less valu8able than yours. That is why we pay you. The deal is you get paid and agree to take the risk so that the rest of use are safe. So if you shoot someone you better be right.

          And you think it is wonderful that you get to shoot people for fun now. Well, those days are numbered. People are getting tired of it. You won’t have the ability forever. Some day we will get a just system that puts people like you in a pound you in the ass prison for life whenever you fuck up and shoot the wrong person.

          Sorry but your days of being an unaccountable baboon and being held to no standard of professional conduct are going to come to an end. And when it does, people like you, who are utterly incompetent and incapable of doing anything but fucking up, are going to have a real hard time. Welcome to the real world pal. The world the rest of us live in where when you fuck up and kill someone, you go to jail.

    2. Let’s see, other than the right to travel freely, I don’t really see anything related to driving in the constitution, certainly not any power given to government to deny it or bestow it as a ‘privilege’ as they see fit.

  27. Libertarians should not be in favor of laws that cost people time and money to solve a nonexistent problem, especially if they were enacted with the intended purpose of getting between people and a basic right. Nobody supporting voter ID laws is expressing a libertarian position. This is an issue where you can separate the principled pro-liberty wheat from the partisan Republican chaff.

    You can claim all you want that voter fraud is a real problem but we just can’t detect it. The correct liberal and libertarian position on enacting a bureaucracy to deal with a problem we can’t detect is that we don’t fucking do that–we err on the side of liberty.

    1. Oh shit. Tony just made a valid- coherent- argument.

      And he’s right.

      WTF, Tony? W. T. F.?

    2. I…actually agree with most of this post.

      /nervously looks around for signs of Ragnar?k

      1. I know. It’s weird in here today…

        1. Let’s see all the things Tony gets wrong…

          1. nonexistent problem: yet there is evidence that some fraud occurs and it has on occasion been in closely contested districts (i.e. possibly affecting the outcome);

          2. basic right: voting is not a natural right (what would voting in the absence of government even mean?); moreover, how could somebody else casting a vote to restrict my rights possibly be one of their “basic rights” anyway?

          3. partisan Republican chaff: according to the communist who would line his enemies against the wall and put a bullet in their heads, who has explicitly identified himself as a Democratic partisan;

          4. we just can’t detect it: can’t, won’t, and don’t are three different things;

          5. enacting a bureaucracy: you mean the state and federal electoral commissions that already exist?

          6. we err on the side of liberty: the liberty to enslave your fellow man through the polls? How the fuck is that a liberty?

          1. 1) citation please. Also, it is possible for something to be so rare that it is statistically zero- meaning, for all practical purposes, nonexistent.

            2) Are basic right and natural right equal? It’s an enumerated right of the citizenry. I think that qualifies as basic.

            3) Ad hominem. Meaningless statement.

            4)the argument made by others was that fraudsters are so good as to go undetected. (and your statement is nonsense in regard to what Tony wrote.) Also, no evidence to support this differentiation in this case.

            5)Yes. It’s not enacting one, you are right. It is, however, increasing one.

            6) Is this argument is against voting all together? Is this not the same statement that could be used to describe any tyranny of the majority?

            1. citation please. Also, it is possible for something to be so rare that it is statistically zero- meaning, for all practical purposes, nonexistent.

              What do you want cited? That voter fraud exists? Fucking Google can answer that question for you, but here’s a politics StackExchange question about it with some citations. The emphasis on “documented cases of a narrow type” of course fits into the technocratic “statistically meaningless” game, but I’m not playing that game. It happens, requiring ID would catch it, end of story.

              Are basic right and natural right equal? It’s an enumerated right of the citizenry. I think that qualifies as basic.

              It is not a right in the sense that free speech or freedom of religion are rights. That was my point. It is a positive “right” (i.e., a privilege) and thus legitimately subject to restriction by the state.

              Ad hominem. Meaningless statement.

              A response in kind, ignore it if you don’t like it.

            2. the argument made by others was that fraudsters are so good as to go undetected. (and your statement is nonsense in regard to what Tony wrote.) Also, no evidence to support this differentiation in this case.

              If the election officials are complicit in the act, how is it going to be detected? My response to Tony was just English pedantry, but the larger point is that the numbers we know are just the numbers that have been paraded around. Every two-bit hack posting an article about how “it’s nonexistent” is reporting second- or third-hand information as fact. And the first-hand sources that exist have every reason to lie. This includes partisans of both parties; at no point have I said that this phenomenon was exclusive to one party.

              Yes. It’s not enacting one, you are right. It is, however, increasing one.

              I have said elsewhere that it would be a clusterfuck in this country, and this is why. The culture of incompetence and intransigence is staggering, and people like Tony make it possible. You could fire half the election officials, put the fear of prosecution into the rest, and magically administer the freest and fairest elections in the history of this country for a fraction of the cost.

              Is that likely to happen? Well, no, but neither is any of a libertarian’s wishlist, so what else is new?

            3. Is this argument is against voting all together? Is this not the same statement that could be used to describe any tyranny of the majority?

              Indeed, which is why voting is not a right. Any way through which you can commit aggression against your fellow man cannot possibly be a right. So it can be restricted, and said restrictions cannot be an abridgment of liberty by definition. Thus the arguments about them must stem from another source of principles.

              1. Voting is a privilege not a right? Where does this shit come from? Voting is the first right. With no voting, nothing about government is legitimate, including the constitution that protects speech and such.

                1. With no voting, nothing about government is legitimate, including the constitution that protects speech and such.

                  Now factor in the ineligibility of fradulent votes and low voter participation, and why my dear boy you might just get to understand why government isn’t legitimate!

                  Voting is a privilege not a right? Where does this shit come from? Voting is the first right.

                  Of course you don’t understand, because to you government is God, and the first thing God gives us is the right to stuff ballots and feign legitimacy!

    3. The requirement to prove citizenship is in the constitution. The entire process of voting is inherently a government function that costs money.

      That’s like saying saying no true libertarian should support voting because government reps cost money.

      Your straw man about it being to suppress votes falls on deaf ears. Your basically telling all the minorities who support the law they’re a bunch of uncle toms and KKK members. Fuck off you racist piece of shit.

      1. The requirement to prove citizenship is in the constitution? Really? Where? Where must one PROVE (constitutionally) that they are a citizen?

        Please cite the clause so I can stand corrected.

        1. The 15th Amendment.

          Lest you start getting pedantic, the Constitution also only says that habeas corpus can’t be suspended except under certain circumstances; it doesn’t say it has to exist in the first place!

          1. Reread the 15th amendment.

            1. Why don’t you make a point instead of ignoring mine?

              1. To say the rights of citizens exist is not equal to saying the citizen is burdened with proof of citizenship to exercise those rights.

                to say habeas corpus can’t be suspended implies directly that it is the assumed normal state of affairs- without specific exceptions.

                It is not the same at all.

                1. So non-citizens should be able to vote?

    4. Re: Tony,

      Libertarians should not be in favor of laws that cost people time and money to solve a nonexistent problem,

      Or wear plaid.

      Get it? No true Scotsman… Ok.

  28. By the way, I paid my “poll tax” today by affixing a stamp to my ballot. Stamps are so racist.

    1. Unfair burden.

    2. You mean you had to pay to vote? I bet you had to travel somewhere at some time in the past to get the stamps too. Suppression! Suppression! Suppression!

  29. By the way, I’m not really even for voter ID laws, it’s just that this article and it’s conclusions are not good.

    1. Then your logic is flawed- if you think that’s the case.

      The article shows 2 things (as reported in the study):
      1)Voter suppression- if it happens at all- is not disproportionately impacting certain races over others.
      2) There is no evidence of voter fraud that these laws purport to prevent.

      I think the conclusion follows logically.

      1. No it doesn’t. You aren’t very good at logic.

        1. Yes it does.

          A- Cases of Voter fraud that have been prosecuted by the DOJ in the last decade do not exist.
          B- Laws to prevent crimes that don’t exist have never been prosecuted should not be enacted.
          C- Voter ID laws were enacted to prevent a crime that doesn’t exist.
          D- Voter ID laws should not be enacted.

          1. So if we got rid of murder-no murder for decades-we shouldn’t have anti-homicide laws?

            1. No one is talking about repealing laws against voter fraud.

              1. Yes, simply not enacting new laws.

              2. No one is talking about repealing laws against voter fraud.

                Just not enforcing any of them.

            2. No. What we shouldn’t do is, if there are no murders by ninja throwing stars, require and id and registration to buy ninja throwing stars since they are deadly weapons used to murder.

          2. My bank has never been robbed- therefore my bank should not require an ID to withdraw money.

          3. Cases of Voter fraud that have been prosecuted by the DOJ in the last decade do not exist.

            This is a very long way from proving voter fraud doesn’t exist. Especially in a system that is so effectively blinded to voter fraud by the lack of security.

            1. And if you don’t require IDs to vote, how would you ever know it was happening anyway? Maybe if some Democrat got a case of conscience I guess.

  30. Lets say that ID-relevant voter fraud hasn’t happened at all. Voter ID laws are still a good idea because you know someone is going to try it the way this country is going. Zimbabwe had clean elections and then they stopped being clean.

    Voter ID laws are the electoral equivalent of locking ones door. The costs are extremely tiny and the basic security deters the vast majority of attempts at a crime. The voter registration records are another problem that also demands attention.

    I don’t think voter fraud is much of a problem in America but the hysteria of voter ID opponents is almost enough to make me suspicious.

    1. “Voter ID laws are still a good idea because you know someone is going to try it the way this country is going”

      Wait- I’m not very god at logic?!

      OMFG. Also, you can lock your doors if you want- but forcing me to lock my doors in order to live in my neighborhood is fucking retarded.

      1. Um. What? Voter ID is not remotely like forcing you to lock your doors. Again, you suck at logic.

        1. I’m showing you how horrible your analogy was. You used the locked door analogy- and it’s massively flawed and inaccurate.

      2. but forcing me to lock my doors in order to live in my neighborhood is fucking retarded

        The state is the analogue of the resident in this example. Just as you are more likely to be robbed if your doors are unlocked, voter fraud is more likely to occur if the state does not check identification.

        It is not a perfect analogy (not least because of the association of voters with robbers), but you misunderstood it nonethelees.

        1. You are assuming facts not in evidence. (actually, you’re making an assumption in the face of contradictory evidence.)
          “voter fraud is more likely to occur if the state does not check identification.” NO. NO it’s not- at least it’s not proven. You might WANT it to be so- just like you might WANT it to be true that your house is more likely to be robbed without locking the doors. Without evidence it’s nothing but a hunch.

          1. I have no more desire for voter fraud to occur than I have desire for robberies to occur. I also don’t like murders, rapes, assaults, and other kinds of theft, either! But that doesn’t mean that mitigating your risk is not a sound strategy.

            People make a mountain out of this molehole for reasons I cannot fathom. It is a fucking ID card, it is not an imposition, it ought to have been done forty years ago, that we are still fighting about is absolutely bizarre.

            Either voting is so important that it should be done honestly or it is so unimportant that it can be impeded mercilessly. Either way, ID is not a fucking big deal.

            1. Yes, personally mitigating your risk is fine. For the state to mitigate it’s risk at the expense of disenfranchisement is not.

              1. Disenfranchisement is the fucking job of the state. It takes people and throws them in cages. There is a process and there are rules but that is what it does. That we get to elect the people who make these rules is a very small concession, but it ought damn well to be given to us faithfully and honestly.

  31. Last thing on this IDs are racist schtick.

    There’s a push to allow felons to vote.

    If we don’t ask for any type of ID when you go to the voting booth, felons already have a right to vote. We can officially stop demanding the right of felons to vote.

  32. Okay, so here’s how voter fraud works in practice. You have a precinct run by one party (coughdemocratcough). So, you get towards the end of the polls and everybody in line gets to stay until they’ve voted, right? Man, look at all these people still in line, who all happen to be partisans and poll workers! So you close the doors and you start voting people that didn’t show up. If you’re just voting straight party ticket, you can vote a lot of people real quick this way.

    This happens, and none of you can tell me otherwise. Will voter ID cut down on this? Possibly, depending on how it’s implemented.

    1. How would voter ID cut down on that specific problem? Like, at all? (I presume you have a single shred of evidence for your rather alarming claim.)

      1. I think you just got an alarming boner with that story.

        1. I think Republicans are far more likely to engage in that kind of shenanigans, because they don’t believe in democracy and have no scruples, in general, so no.

          1. Projection, it’s what’s for dinner!

    2. Man, look at all these people still in line, who all happen to be partisans and poll workers! So you close the doors and you start voting people that didn’t show up.

      You lost me between those two steps.

      This happens, and none of you can tell me otherwise.

      That bolded part, that is an assertion. Evidence to back it up?

      1. Who is going to report it?

        We aren’t talking about throwing out elections after the fact because of some vague possibility that shenanigans occurred, but instead of implementing processes to prevent shenanigans from occurring in the first place.

        You have to understand that voting is not a form of liberty. It is an essential check on the abuse of government and so fits broadly within the liberal tradition. But if it can itself be abused, it is no check at all.

  33. Ot: yet related/hilarious:

    ? Admitting his confidence in Cook County ballot integrity is shaken, State Representative Candidate Jim Moynihan (R-56), was shocked today when he tried to cast a vote for himself and the voting machine cast it for his opponent instead.”While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” said Moynihan. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

    lol.

    1. Voter fraud doesn’t really happen! Or if it does it isn’t significant or doesn’t matter anyway.

  34. Does anyone living in a city which borders a state ever considered driving across state lines and voting for their local representatives?

  35. If getting an ID is such an insuperable burden on voting, then why isn’t having to register also an insuperable burden on voting?

    Could someone explain that to me? I mean, to be eligible to vote (generally), you have to be registered (hilariously, this is often done when you are . . . wait for it . . . getting a photo ID). And this apparently is just fine. But somehow, to be eligible to vote in any given election, getting a photo ID is just wrong, somehow.

    How can one be fine, and the other be wrong?

    1. If getting an ID is such an insuperable burden on voting, then why isn’t having to register also an insuperable burden on voting?

      See my post above. If you don’t think that if some relatively simple voter-id system was enacted, that democrats wouldn’t be going door-to-door registering poor people to vote (oh wait, which they already do) they wouldn’t take the second simple step of also helping get their free id… and then drive them to the polls, and carefully instruct them on how to cast their votes… yeah.

  36. Anybody who can look at these numbers and tell themselves there is no voter fraud going on is an idiot. IMHO.

    As the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported last week, six of Philadelphia’s 66 wards handed the president victory shares of 99 percent or better. In 20 of the wards, the Obama vote totals exceeded 97 percent.

    On Monday, the Inquirer reported that in 59 of Philadelphia’s “divisions” — these are subsets of wards, wherein fewer than 1,000 people might be registered to vote — GOP nominee Mitt Romney failed to win even a single vote. Collectively, the votes for Obama across these divisions added up to 19,605, to Romney’s zero.

    However, Barone noted that turnout rates in these areas was sometimes reported to have exceeded 90 percent, a level of enthusiasm that he said should arouse suspicion.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..-obama-in/

    1. But Ron has studies RC. Studies by top men who say voter fraud isn’t an issue. Why are raining on Ron’s faith in top men?

  37. I’m serious about this:

    What argument against requiring photo ID to vote isn’t equally an argument against requiring registration to vote?

    1. There is no argument against it. Both could be done hand-in-hand.

      We demand a minimum level of identification when we povide housing, food stamps, welfare, medicaid, medicare etc., I think we can find it within ourselves to engage in some level of identification we vote.

      And as I said above, if you’re in the Slate identified disenfranchised groups who are on welfare, are a senior on medicare, are on medicaid or food stamps, supply them with an ID… for free at that time.

    2. I beat you to it. I made that very argument above. And you are absolutely right it does. Ron’s problem here, among others, is that his points prove too much.

    3. My serious answer is that it is only one of degree. It’s easy to register. Volunteers go door to door and people don’t even have to leave their homes.

      If getting an ID were made similarly easy in some way, then that would remove the burden objection on my part.

      1. . It’s easy to register. Volunteers go door to door and people don’t even have to leave their homes.

      2. Fuck Reason’s squirrel

        That is just horseshit. Registration only helps me vote. An ID in contrast is something I need for a million other good reasons and will likely have anyway. Registration is for that reason a much greater burden. Moreover, I can’t register the same day. I can get an ID on election day and go vote. More people don’t vote because they forgot to register than don’t vote because they don’t have an ID. Almost no one doesn’t have an ID. It is a total bullshit myth made up by people making a completely indefensible argument.

        1. After doing some Googling, it appears that numbers typically range in the mid single digits to about 10% of people not having valid IDs. I would call that significantly more than “almost no one”.

          1. “Valid IDS”. The problem is not that they didn’t have an ID, it was that they had let it expire. That is a different issue. If you want to say that these laws go too far by requiring the ID to be “valid” meaning it hasn’t expired, I would agree with you. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t require ID. They just need to change the laws to allow out of date IDs count. There is no reason they shouldn’t. All that matters is that they once were valid and they show the person holding it to be who they say they are.

            1. They just need to change the laws to allow out of date IDs count

              Provided that

              1. The older IDs are not easier to counterfeit than newer ones;
              2. The state has no record of a newer ID being issued for the person; and
              3. An expired ID is only used as proof of identity and not eligibility to vote;

              then yes, I could say that would be acceptable, although my preference would be not only for expired IDs to be inadmissible but invalidated ones as well (that would require cross-state tracking to be truly effective, though).

              Also, just because 10% of people don’t have IDs doesn’t mean 10% of “likely voters” don’t have IDs. If you weren’t going to vote anyway, then the requirement for ID that you can’t meet is irrelevant.

              1. All true. I am okay with it just having to be a “valid” ID meaning we have some confidence it is correct, not that it has to be current.

            2. That would certainly go a long way to removing the burden objection.

      3. It’s easy to register. Volunteers go door to door and people don’t even have to leave their homes.

        You have cited the exact process by which so much voter fraud occurs, of the sort that voter ID would address, as an example of why voter ID is not necessary.

        Truly, you cannot be this naive!

        1. “so much voter fraud occurs”

          FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE!

          1. Scream louder, it will definitely make your point better.

            Who the fuck is going to report it?

  38. Since the government already makes an ID for anyone who wants one, there is no additional “cost” of these laws to the government. The law don’t require anything the government isn’t already doing other than the two seconds it takes to check and ID. So the “cost” such as it is is to people who don’t have an ID. Ron never bothers to ask exactly how many people fit that description. If these laws are going to result in a significant number of people not being able to vote who otherwise would have, there should be thousands of examples of people meeting this description and being denied voting in the states that have ID requirements. Yet, these examples don’t exist. At best we have a few anecdotes and various internet troll and bullshit about how “well I am a Libertarian and refuse to have an ID” or “my daughter is 25 and lives at home and doesn’t have one” or other such nonsense.

    We know for a fact that turnout in some big cities is so high as to be totally unexplainable. And we also know the voter rolls are bloated with dead people and people who no longer live there. So the opportunity for fraud is there. Yet, Ron and others argue we should not slam that door by taking two seconds to check an ID because there is this mythical population of people out there who might not have an ID

    It is just fucking ridiculous and frankly beneath the quality of thinking and writing Reason seeks to uphold.

  39. If requiring an ID is really an unfair burden, then Libertarians should be urging the government to change the rules requiring banks to see valid IDs in order to set up accounts. Further, while they certainly shouldn’t be pushing for laws, Libertarians ought to at least admit it is foolish and unfair for business to require ID when people cash checks or use a credit card. Just because it is legal doesn’t make it right and clearly the businesses of this country are putting an unfair burden on people.

    The arguments against voter ID fraud work just as well in those contexts. If having an ID is an unfair burden, then we have a much poorer society for so many places requiring one to do business.

    The don’t do that of course because requiring ID is not a burden and absolutely sensible where preventing fraud is an issue. Ron only decides IDs are a burden here, I think, because Reason and its staff are just loath to admit that either major party is right about something. In this case the Democrats really are just wrong and the Republicans manage to be right, even if it is out of self interest or by accident. But instead of just telling it like it is, we get the usual warmed over “well sure one side is lying about this but the other side is just as wrong” too cool for school bullshit.

    1. Re: John,

      If requiring an ID is really an unfair burden,

      Well, it’s not. The increased cost argument is nothing more than a red herring. The notion that poor people can’t get IDs is ridiculous, considering that a lot of people migrate to this country to live like the “poor” live, which is an improvement in their well-being. The poor in this country can more than afford to get an ID.

      The ONLY reason the DOJ is so set against voter ID laws is because it imposes a burden on the fraudsters by making them present valid IDs to undocumented immigrants so they can vote Democratic. That is it. There’s NO other reason. The DOJ couldn’t care less about the tribulations of the poor.

      1. Perhaps you mean “if it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so be it.”

        Examples of Republicans admitting the purpose of voter ID requirements:
        here,
        here,

      2. here,
        and here.

        If you favor this policy, not only are you not expressing a libertarian preference, you are supporting a policy because and only because it might help elect more Republicans by suppressing the vote.

        1. It’s amazing how nobody can find an actual honest-to-God legitimate voter who was suppressed by these laws. It’s almost like they don’t exist because all the people who would be affected are actually not legitimate voters.

          Also, of course fucking Republicans support laws for self-serving reasons. Why do you think the Democrats, designated party of labor unions, is pro-immigration? They think it will get them more votes!

          Your problem is that you can’t understand the difference between an insult and an ad hominem.

  40. You can be assured that nobody, or, at the most, very few people fornicate because of the lack of prosecutions where fornication laws proscribe such behavior.

    Ayup.

    1. That is right. There were almost no prosecutions under the old sodomy laws. Clearly sodomy wasn’t going on back then. right?

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