Voter ID

Voter ID and Rigged Elections

Voter ID laws are actually an attempt to rig elections


Rob Crandall Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom

"If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised," Donald Trump told The Washington Post on August 2. "The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times."

Trump was reacting to recent federal court decisions that threw out strict voter identification laws in North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. The main source of contention in the cases had been the requirement that voters show a government-issued photo ID before being permitted to cast their ballots.

Proponents of strict voter ID laws say that they are necessary to prevent voter impersonation, a form of fraud in which individuals cast more than one ballot. Opponents counter that the demand for photo identification is meant to suppress the turnout of minority and poor voters, who are less likely to have such documents. In other words, they say voter ID laws are an attempt to rig elections against those candidates who are more likely to be supported by minorities and poor people.

Voter impersonation fraud appears to be almost non-existent. In the wake of 2000's ballot-counting fiasco, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 created the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to improve voting systems and voter access. In 2007, the commission issued its Election Crimes report, which reviewed what data there was and analyzed numerous anecdotes about voter fraud. The report noted that many experts "asserted that impersonation of voters is probably the least frequent type of fraud because it is the most likely type of fraud to be discovered, there are stiff penalties associated with this type of fraud, and it is an inefficient method of influencing an election." The penalties include $10,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.

The New York Times reported in 2007 that a five-year Department of Justice crackdown on voter fraud had yielded just 86 convictions. In 2014, Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, reported finding just 31 cases of voter impersonation fraud out of 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014. Politifact calculated in 2015 that you are 13 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to stumble across an instance of in-person voter fraud in Texas. In other words, Trump's allegation is a hallucination.

What happens if you look at the question from the other direction? Do strict voter ID laws significantly skew electoral results? The evidence is mixed.

For example, a 2013 study by Indiana University law professor Michael Pitts looked at the total number of ballots cast in the 2008 and 2012 Indiana primaries. He also counted the total number of provisional ballots cast and the total number of provisional ballots counted. Ultimately, Pitts finds that provisional ballots resulting from ID problems amounted to a minuscule 0.026 and 0.012 percent of all ballots cast in the 2012 and 2008 primaries respectively.

"With the lack of evidence of actual instances of in-person voter fraud, it's quite possible that even though the actual disfranchisement caused by photo identification on the overall electorate is slight, the actual disfranchisement is vastly higher than the amount of in-person voter fraud that would occur," Pitts argues. "From this perspective, one could easily conclude that a photo identification law does much more harm than good."

By triggering grassroots anger, strict voter ID requirements may actually mobilize voters among the ethnic and demographic groups allegedly targeted by the new rules, according to a 2016 study in Political Psychology. This argument is bolstered by a 2007 University of Missouri study that found that Indiana's photo ID laws appear to have actually increased Democratic turnout by 2 percent in the 2006 election. Two University of Georgia political scientists estimated in their 2012 analysis that state's new stricter voter ID laws did reduce turnout in the 2008 election by 0.4 percent. But they also reported that they could "find no empirical evidence to suggest that there is a racial or ethnic component to this suppression effect."

Earlier this year, a working paper by some political scientists at Bucknell University and the University of California, San Diego, challenged the weak consensus that strict voter ID requirements do not appear to have significant disenfranchising effects. Trying to account for all sorts of demographic, partisan, ideological, and ethnic variables, the researchers examined what happened to voting patterns before and after states adopted strict voter ID requirements. Their analysis focused on individual voter turnout data from 2006 to 2014 derived from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

The researchers find that "Hispanic turnout is 7.1 points lower in strict voter ID states than it is in other states in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primary elections. For Blacks, the gap is negligible in general elections but a full 4.6 points in primaries. For Asian Americans the difference is 5.4 points and 6.2 points."

When they take partisan and ideological differences into account, they estimate that Democratic turnout drops by 8.8 percentage points in general elections and even Republican turnout drops by 3.6 points. Interestingly, strict photo ID requirements result in a drop in turnout for strong liberals of 7.9 percentage points, but among strong conservatives turnout increases by 4.8 percentage points. "Strict voter ID laws appear to diminish the participation of Democrats and those on the left, while doing little to deter the vote of Republicans and those on the right," they observe.

It is not a coincidence that all but one of the stricter voter ID laws have been adopted by states in which the legislatures are dominated by Republicans and signed by Republican governors. Stricter voter ID laws don't prevent election rigging; they are instead an attempt at election rigging. Trump is a nominal Republican, so it is not a surprise that he favors laws that he believes will rig the election his way.

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  1. “Hispanic turnout is 7.1 points lower in strict voter ID states than it is in other states in general elections”

    Does the study purport to determine whether that Is because the voter ID requirement keeps out legitimate voters in the low-turnout states, or because the absence of a voter ID requirement allowed illegitimate votes to be cast in the high-turnout states?

    1. That’s kinda the essential question. The answer that its suppression of legal voters seems pretty much assumed by the anti-ballot security side.

      1. just as Ernest said I didn’t even know that a stay at home mom able to make $7k in a few weeks on the computer . look at more info >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        1. From my deep supply of responses to posts like yours…


    2. And how is this measured.

      Do strict voter ID states happen to have fewer Hispanic voters?

      And if not, what preclude especially Hispanic voters from obtaining a DL or ID compared to the rest of the population?

      1. I can think of two things: illegal residency status and no way to prove citizenship.

        Some people are here that shouldn’t be, some who are have no way to prove it.

        I say to both that if voting is important to you, become a citizen or find your bloody birth certificate.

    3. This article is bullshit. Everyone knows the democrats let illegals, felons, dead people, pets, and dead pets vote. The same unethical pieces of shit that get behind a mobster like Hillary, and support scumbags like the Occupy movement are also backed by other crooks like George Soros and have operatives like ACORN out there committing as much voter fraud as possible.

      It’s also comical that the same pieces of shit (democrats) that claim to be for minorities are insistent that said minorities are all too fucking stupid to get an ID card to vote.

      1. I thought we were supposed to be submitting secret ballots.
        I don’t recall having to check off a box that shows my race, gender, ethnicity, or any other characteristic – just who I want to vote for.
        So, how do all these, anti-proving-that-you-are-who-you-claim-to-be experts, come up with all these “statistics”?

        1. Most progressives have roomy assholes, I hear.

    4. That line told me all I need to know. If you don’t have the wherewithal to come up with an ID, then your there to vote yourself another handout. Only the Liberals could set the bar so low and keep a straight face.

    5. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for 25470 dollar this 7-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least 97 dollar per hour. I work through this website. Go here…

  2. Voter fraud must be a huge problem for all the effort Team Red puts into combating it. I wonder how many millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the last election.

    1. There were enough to cost Dino Rossi the Washington governorship in 2008. Not just dead voters that naturally skew Team Blue, but the boxes full of ballots in Deep Blue King County that were “discovered” the night of the election when the race got “holy shit” close. And of course they kept recounting until Team Blue won.

      1. Yep, a box of ballots found during the second recount in Minnesota sent Al Franken to the senate….

      2. My son went off to graduate school in 2009 and never came home. He has properly registered to vote in the two different states that he has lived in since. I still get a ballot for him every year despite sending at least one back “not at this address”. I destroyed the ones that I didn’t send back.

        How many people don’t destroy ballots addressed to former housemates that no longer live there? “Uh… he’s not here anymore. He moved out right after he mailed in his ballot…”

        King County now is 100% mail-in voting.

        1. King County, WA? The county that had the fix in for Christine Gregory’s first election to WA governor. No voter fraud there.

  3. My question is this:

    “Voter impersonation fraud appears to be almost non-existent.” How do you know that if no one was checking?

    The analogy I use is this:

    If you run a bar and consistently check ID, that deters underage drinkers from coming there. If you never check IDs then the number of underage drinkers is unknown. You can’t say with certainty that no underage people are in your bar.

    1. This exactly. I was hoping that Bailey would look a little closer at those claims rather than just recite what they say. Also, worth noting that Indiana went to great lengths to make sure no one was excluded for a lack of ID. You could even get a valid ID at the larger polling places themselves, and that was on top of a big “get you ID” drive that took place for months before the actual election.

    2. Exactly. The Democrats are constantly saying “There’s no concrete evidence of voter fraud, amd constantly moving to prevent the collection of said evidence.

      1. Yes the dems seem hypocritical on this.. but then I wouldn’t expect libertarians to be all for government mandated IDs, either.

        1. I’m not, I also don’t want to have an ID to do anything. Guns, driving, bars, the airport, hotels.

        2. Well, I don’t mind loose emigration either, but when it’s tied to a Give Away State that has people stampeding to the border to drop anchor babies, etc etc., then I have to do a rethink. So, with voter ID, when you have a government properly contained within a box to determine streets and road signs and pick up garbage, ID’s seem like gestapo asking for “your papers”. Tie the ballot process in with people being able to vote themselves a huge chunk of my labor, then I’d rather know they’re validly voting.

    3. Excellent analogy.

      Bars shouldn’t be checking ID’s either, and drinking age laws are statist BS.

      Face it my fellow commetariat, we’re all anti-statists on everything else, but suddenly most of us want the state requiring proof of who you are.

      It’s not that ID requirements make things difficult, it’s that they are just plain WRONG!

      1. But, again, when we’re all tied together at the hip via socialism, identity becomes important. If a I pay a reasonable 25% of my income in taxes for co-operative services that are paid for ratably and benefit ratably, and every one pays and largely everyone gets by on their own fortitude, who other people are is of no interest to me. Taking 50+% of my income and calling it a “good start” suddenly makes me VERY interested in who people are and the validity of their claims against my labor.

        So wind down the vast socialist State, keep hands off of my labor, and suddenly I become very clear and consistent on where my interest and disinterests lie. I am not the one imposing interests where there are none. That’s being done by the locust caliber parasites.

      2. Face it my fellow commetariat, we’re all anti-statists on everything else, but suddenly most of us want the state requiring proof of who you are.

        The US government currently serves two functions: actual governing, and taking and redistributing private property.

        The latter function is just like, say, voting among shareholders or HOA members, and until it has been separated from government, should require ID.

  4. I am open to the idea that Republicans engage in voter fraud too, but the idea that voter ID is some kind of election rigging because some people are too incompetent or lazy (or, possibly, illegal?) to get ID is retarded and not the kind of thing I’d expect to see proposed on Reason. Disappointing.

    1. i keep waiting to hear from the blacks who take offense at being portrayed as not competent enough to get ID. It must be a shock to folks like Ron that millions of minority individuals have identification and use it.

    2. Disappointing, but not surprising for another Happy Face Bailey effort. What is the problem with providing the proper id? Nada, and in fact most if not all countries except the US require one.

      1. And we want to be more like other countries now?

        The problem I have with voter ID requirements is that it moves us closer to a situation where people are assumed and de facto required to carry ID. Maybe that’s a losing battle.

        1. It’s the same thing as the gay marriage.
          Do we say equal protection under a law we disagree with?
          I shouldn’t need an ID for anything, but here we are.

        2. The problem I have with voter ID requirements is that it moves us closer to a situation where people are assumed and de facto required to carry ID. Maybe that’s a losing battle.

          That is where some stinky, stinky hypocrisy of the Dems crops up. I’ve never heard of any other situation where Democrats were against ‘papers please’ or a new form to fill out.

          I lived in California for several years, and never got state plates or ID due to the ruinous fees and bureaucracy-breakdowns losing track of me in the ‘system’ on shit like speeding tickets (awesome).

          I was essentially a domestically-sourced illegal alien in the jurisdiction, and CA’s penalties for not being properly state-documented yet also a natural-born citizen are pretty shitty. So the illegal non-citizens in the country with zero identity verification had far better legal climate than me.

          And due to that state-accommodation of illegal aliens, I slipped through the cracks and could vote in the state. I imagine progs haven’t figured out how to filter who needs ID who doesn’t yet at the poll station.

          But I could vote all day.

          1. Republicans should swarm into CA on election day and vote illegally, and often, for Trump, thus flipping the state red. That might change their tune.

        3. Ironically, nearly everyone who is strenuously against these regulations does want us to be more like other countries, like other socialist countries to be exact.

        4. There’s a difference between expecting people to be capable of proving their identity with some preparation, and expecting people to carry their papers at all times. You don’t get randomly detained by voting booths.

          1. No, but it moves things in that direction.

              1. More people having ID at all makes the expectation that they can produce it at any time seem more reasonable.

            1. By having to have your ID predictably once every year or two? Considering how many times a week I have to show ID transactionally as it stands now, I don;t see how adding that on top makes the slightest bit of fucking difference.

              But ok, let’s use that as reasoning to let democrats steal election after election with actual rampant voter fraud.

            2. That’s pretty weak reasoning, man. You have to have some form of ID to open a bank account, apply for a loan, or typically sign a lease for a rental property. Requiring that someone prove their identity biannually in order to exercise their right to vote is not even on the same track as requiring that someone be able to produce identification on demand.

        5. The problem I have with voter ID requirements is that it moves us closer to a situation where people are assumed and de facto required to carry ID.

          I’m not so sure that’s true; Canadians have never been required to carry citizen ID of any type on their persons for day-to-day life, but both Federal and most provincial elections require some form of voter ID, either for yourself or for the elector who is vouching for you.

          1. The only ID I have is my Costco card.

            1. Costco are clearly racist shitlords who need to check their white privilege.

    3. Hey, if the Demoncats can pay for the bus/lunch to get them to the polls they can pay for a state ID too. How do all of these po’ folk get that gubmint assistance, employment or their library books without some form of ID?

      The lack of convictions for voter fraud are small because Demoncats generally do not eat their own or bite the hand that feeds them and they probably feed too.

    4. It’s certainly the kind of thing I expect to see on Reason these days. Sad!

    5. Here’s the background as far as Wisconsin.

      As far back as 2000, the Democrats were engaging in “smokes for votes” where they’d round up indigents, give them a ride, a bunch of cigarettes, to have them go to the polls. There was no way to tell if they were in the right ward/voting area etc. There was concern they were simply busing these people from polling place to polling place to run up vote totals. So it was felt the only way to be accurate would be for people to prove who they were to cut down on the flood of “undocumented and unknowns”. Again, if the choice is between one dog catcher and another, not much to get in a twist over. When the result is giving racketeers the go ahead to ratchet up the level of impounding of my labor from 50% to 70%, then I – for some silly reason – give a major shit. I’m nutty that way.

  5. The Dems only fight Voter ID laws because it gains them higher vote totals. Fraud is almost a certainty.

  6. Ask Christine Gregoir about her first election to Governor of WA state, and the “recounts” that eventually put her into office despite the fact that she lost the election.

    1. Damn you and your fast fingers.

    2. Oh hey, we found some more ballots we “forgot” about in this box stored in an unsecured location…

  7. Stricter voter ID laws don’t prevent election rigging; they are instead an attempt at election rigging. Trump is a nominal Republican, so it is not a surprise that he favors laws that he believes will rig the election his way.

    Much like ID laws prevent airline travel, alcohol purchases, employment, applications for various benefits, etc etc. Are you serious?

    Why don’t you just tow the liberal lion and come out and say it: you think certain groups are too stupid to get IDs. Even though millions of them have identification in the form of driver’s licenses and other state-issued credentials, and use those credentials every day for a million things.

    1. Don’t forget how easy it is to get fake IDs?

    2. Much like ID laws prevent airline travel, alcohol purchases, employment, applications for various benefits, etc etc. Are you serious?

      Those are all terrible requirements that shouldn’t exist, at least as laws. Except maybe the government benefits one. I see no reason why the law should forbid travelling, buying liquor or being employed anonymously.
      Voting, obviously, has to register who has voted and who is elligible. As long as there is a reliable way to certify voters who don’t have ID, I don’t really have a problem with voter ID law. And I think that is the case in most states that have such laws.

    3. Not all are too stupid. Some are just too lazy.

      1. Some get sick of jumping through hoops.

  8. June 28, 2016: Bernie Sanders supporter and 38 year old attorney Shawn Lucas sues Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic National Committee, alleging fraud and deceit in the democratic party primary system.

    August 2, 2016: the very same Shawn Lucas is discovered by his girlfriend unconscious on his bathroom floor. A short while later, Lucas is dead. The official cause of his death has yet to be determined or released.

    Just another one of those remarkable but extremely unfortunate coincidences… or something else? You tell me.

    1. and there is the guy found shot to death in the “robbery” attempt. I am still trying to figure out how a person can succeed in the homicide but fail in the robbery.

      1. Yep. Add this item right smack in the middle of the above timeline:

        July 10, 2016: 27 year old Democratic National Committee analyst Seth Rich is shot in the back and killed on the streets of Washington, DC in the early morning hours. None of his valuables in his possession appear to have been taken, and the motive for the killing remains undetermined.

        This falls right squarely in the “truth is stranger than fiction” zone. You would think some hungry and enterprising young reporter somewhere would be all over this stuff, wouldn’t you?

        1. Said reporter could get mugged too, yes?

  9. It’s not the voters, it’s the party officials and lawyers you need to look at for election fraud. How many ballot boxes have been “found” over the years?

    1. This is the thing. And part of why I’m not so hot on the idea of voter ID as a lot of people.

      If there is big vote fraud, it’s not being done by a bunch of individuals lying about their identity. It’s done by people with access to the ballots or voter roles. If corrupt election officials can “lose” ballots or fiddle with voter lists, they can lie about checking someone’s ID too.

      1. I totally agree. How ever im pretty sick of hearing this bulshit that people who want IDs are trying to fux elections. We can agree against having IDs but bailey’s argument is ridiculous.

      2. Zeb, it’s both. Just look at SCORN’s bullshit ‘voter registration drives’. They registered Daddy a Duck to vote in many p,aces, as well as minors.

        1. ‘ACORN’

          1. Original worked. They have nothing but SCORN for everything decent.

  10. How would you vote ten times? You go to your polling place and state your identity, then they check you off and give you a ballot. The only way that I can think of to vote more than once would be to steal your friends’ votes.

    1. you are assuming a higher level of competence among govt officials than may be warranted.

      1. I’ve never run into an official while voting: only volunteers. Either way, though, it’s very simple: is the name that you stated in the printed registry that they have right there? If so, has it been checked off? It’s a binary search and two boolean checks – it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

    2. “The only way that I can think of to vote more than once would be to steal your friends’ votes.”

      Doesn’t seem that hard if you don’t need an ID, does it? I think that’s one of the rationales behind voting by mail as well.

      1. But then you have to know their polling places. More significantly, you also have to be a terrible friend.

        1. That’s not how it works.

          The voter fraud is directly tied to “get out the vote” push drives. These groups go door to door, registering people, then vote for them on election day. They have the names, polling places, everything.

          1. ^^THIS^^

        2. Also, at least in Philly, the officials know who didn’t vote at the end of the night (maybe dead, maybe out of town, maybe in prison, maybe lazy, etc.) and then they cast ballots for those people. Sometimes you even get more than 100% turnout!

        3. “But then you have to know their polling places. More significantly, you also have to be a terrible friend.”

          Yeah, it’s not that difficult. Just as an example, a few people in a single apartment complex could vote for the entire building. A women in Ohio(?) did something similar in 2012, quite proudly. Far from being a terrible friend, she considered it to be nothing more than helping her family who were just too busy.

      2. James O’Keefe got Eminem’s ballot in their primary. So obviously it’s not that hard.

    3. Acorn (remember them), was going door to door in Philadelphia and essentially paying people to register to vote.

      Theses were, by and large, people who had no intention of ever going to the polls. Acorn then had massive lists of legitimate voters for which they can use for fraudulent ballots if they so choose, either at the any number of 100% Dem districts where Black Panthers actually stand guard outside the polls, or by simple absentee forms.

      1. Isn’t that illegal, though? They would be sued if caught, which I think already solves that problem, just the same as in most other forms of theft. But no, let’s make it illegaler and increase government involvement while we’re at it.

        1. “Isn’t that illegal, though? They would be sued if caught, which I think already solves that problem, just the same as in most other forms of theft. But no, let’s make it illegaler and increase government involvement while we’re at it.”

          The government involvement in a government process that effects the government?

          1. Yes, exactly. Glad that we’re on the same page. I don’t want the government to make it any more difficult for me to tell it what to do than it already is.

            1. “I don’t want the government to make it any more difficult for me to tell it what to do than it already is.”

              Than it already is? Why not advocate making it easier to vote if that’s what you really believe.

              When voting is actually about telling the government what to do then maybe we’ll be on the same page. As it stands now, making it more difficult to vote hurts the government, I’m for that.

              1. I do think that it should be easier to vote, but that would be tangential to the discussion.

        2. Yes it is illegal. yes, ACORN got caught (uncover camera work by O’Keefe). and then more organizations sprung up to take their place.

          This kind of stuff is rampant in the inner cities and its being going on for years. It started with busing drives. “get out the vote” movements would go around door to door and pay people to get on the bus and go the polls. they are told who to vote for and paid a few bucks for their time. Now…its just cheaper to have people go door-to-door and collect information and file the ballots themselves. There are so many 100% Dem precincts that they have complete control over the ballots. The workers get paid well, by off the books “campaign donations”.
          Every election we hear about “found ballot boxes”. how many recent state elections have come down to the wire and ended up going Dem after ballots were found? its a nice scam and it completely invalidates our election process.

          We don’t have “swing states” We have states that have such rampant inner city corruption that the fix can be made (Philadelphia for example)

      2. Hmm, that sounds like a far more efficient way to achieve voter fraud than my method although it would be more costly that my idea. Maybe if you sold the votes, you’d be able to make some money off it?

    4. How would you vote ten times?

      Register with your address.

      Register with your parents’ address.

      Register with your sister’s address.

      Register with your brother’s address.

      Register with your aunt’s address.

      Register with your uncle’s address.

      Register with your maternal grandparents’ address.

      Register with your paternal grandparents’ address.

      Register with your niece’s address.

      Register with your nephew’s address.

      That’s 10 ways you can vote there.

      People used to do that all the time with school registration. I knew plenty of people who used a relative’s address to get their kids into the school district they wanted.

      1. And of course they’d have to collude with each and every one of the relatives to make sure that they A) are not already registered, which could get you busted right off the bat, and B) make sure none of them subsequently show up to the polls to vote, which could also get you busted.

        Stealing votes from family members? Must be some interesting Thanksgivings they have around that house.

        1. Um, what? He’s saying use their address, not their actual identifying details.

          He can vote as himself, without anyone on his list knowing.

          1. They may get a notice from the government that the registration went through. If they’re like my relatives, they’d simply save the mail and give it to me the next time they saw me.

            If you’ve had to crash at someone’s home for a while because you’ve lost your job/home, it’d be perfectly normal to get mail at someone else’s address.

            When I ordered something valuable mail order, I used to have it sent to the address of a relative I knew would be home and take it inside to reduce the chance of it being stolen so it was natural for me to get mail at their house.

          2. Until one of his relatives shows up to vote at that address under their own name.

            1. You don’t use their name, only the address. If you’re American Socialist, you show up all ten times to vote as American Socialist. Just at different polling places, and as American Socialist with each of the ten addresses where you registered as American Socialist to vote. They don;t check. That’s the whole point. The democrats like it this way.

      2. Seems like voter ID wouldn’t work to stop that.

        Address doesn’t match the ID? Well, I just moved.

        1. If your address doesn’t match the ID, you can only cast a provisional ballot and then bring documents to the courthouse within 36 hours to convert it into an actual ballot.

          1. I’m currently living in my car.

          2. My address doesn’t match my ID. I’ve voted 3 times like that so far (legally).

      3. You would have to be very impressively androgynous to pass as all those different people. ID aside, you’re claiming a name. This also requires that you have a sister, living grandparents, a niece, and an adult nephew. I don’t have such relations.

        1. Not as a relative.

          Register as yourself using a relative’s address.

          1. That doesn’t work. If you provide the same birthdate and social security digits (or driver’s license digits), it gets processed as a move.

            1. I’m registered in two places.

              1. Purely by accident, though? I went through the process of registering when I moved and the counties didn’t/don’t talk to each other.

                1. Which state?

                    1. Registered in one county when I turned 17? in HS then several years later registered again after I moved so I could vote where I moved then registered a third time in CA when I moved out here.

                      So, technically, I’m registered in 3 places but only 2 places in one state.

              2. I was, too. I got called for jury duty in Indiana (based on the registered voter roles), even though I had lived and voted in Texas for 3 years.

                1. Did they send the summons to you in Texas?

                  1. Nope, my dad got it at his house (since I was registered there)

    5. I recently saw a video over at (IIRC) that showed a guy reprogramming a chip-card used for electronic voting,and he was able to vote multiple times with the same card. the reprogramming device was available online for $15. The other way is to request an absentee ballot,then go vote in person,too. If you’re a “snowbird”,you can get an absentee ballot for your home state,register as a resident in your wintertime state,and vote twice.
      Motorvoter registration automatically registers illegals,and once they cast a ballot,it never gets verified. Then there’s “provisional” ballots,for those who can’t product ID,and once those get cast,they’re counted and never verified.

      Also,somebody has to explain how some voting precincts have more people voting than there are registered voters. That has to be fraud. If a person is not registered,they should not be able to vote at all.

  11. I agree, Ron. In fact, I think asking for any form of ID is racist, wageist, sexist, and probably transphobic.

    Let’s streamline the process like this:

    POLLING OFFICIAL: Are you eligible to vote?


    POLLING OFFICIAL: All right, go on in.

  12. I really don’t care much about this one way or the other.

    But honestly, if you can’t even be bothered to go get an ID so you can vote, how likely is it that you’re actually paying any attention to the platforms of the people running for office?

    1. Being able to pay attention sounds like a form of privilege to me!

      1. Well, the democrats are asserting that blacks, latinos, and the elderly are too stupid to pay attention. Which of course is their demographic anyway.

    2. That’s all true. But the legal requirements for voting don’t include anything about being smart or motivated or having a clue about the issues in the election.

      1. Also true. But perhaps a demonstrated modicum of familiarity with the election should be a legal requirement in the future. Cause, you know, it’s kind of an important element if we want good things to happen.

        1. Indeed. I’m certainly not one to encourage people to vote if they aren’t really engaged. There is no benefit to a whole bunch of people to vote when they don’t really know what they are voting for.

  13. Those poor, disenfranchised minority communities! Of course we need to abolish voter ID laws. How can you expect non-white groups to be able to navigate the maze of regulations required to get a photo ID, what with their less evolved brains? Voting is a sacred and vital function of democracy, we shouldn’t expect people to expend even the slightest bit of effort to involve themselves in the process. Next you will be demanding that they actually understand the positions of the politicians they vote for!! Racism! /Progthink

    1. At the rate the democrats are going with their opposition to voter ID laws, I expect them to start trotting out the 19th century work of Dr. Samuel Cartwright to justify their position.

  14. One of the enjoyable things about being Canadian is that sometimes you get to see your American cousins go absolutely bonkers over nonsensical issues and the secret motivations of the opposing sides.

    Canadian voting requires photo ID, or at least multiple documents that confirm your current address. It’s never had adverse effects. Yes, voter fraud is a legitimate issue. Yes, you should require some kind of ID in order to vote. No, requiring that is not an attempt to disenfranchise specific groups, unless that specific group is completely illiterate morons. Nor is it ‘election rigging’ to expect a basic form of identification as Bailey suggests. If you can’t get any of the basic forms of identification as described by Elections Canada, frankly you’re too incompetent to vote in the first place. Failing to get identification is self-elimination, not persecution. Get over it and stop turning it into a moronic culture war fight.

    1. Well said. Canadians in some ways are way more sensible than Americans.
      And the Canadian flag is wa-a-ay cool.
      Too bad about that parliamentary system though…..

  15. Ron, your blind faith is impressive. No need to check IDs – fraud doesn’t happen, because.

  16. Politifact calculated in 2015 that you are 13 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to stumble across an instance of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

    1) Did they calculate the same odds in Chicago or Philadelphia?

    2) Politifact: a source we can all trust. They won a Pulitzer!

    1. No one bothers with vote fraud in Chicago. The outcome is never in doubt.

      Philadelphia however…..but of course.

    2. Isn’t PolitiFact the group that recently declared it TRUE that it is easier to buy a gun in California than it is to buy a Happy Meal? Just sayin’…


      1. It is, though, because McDonald’s doesn’t deliver.

      2. I did;t realize the forms for buying a Happy Meal were that much more difficult. Also, does the Sheriff’s departments in most CA counties have more stringent tests of Happy Meal need than they do for guns?

    3. just because they couldn’t find any voter fraud doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. They may not have tired very hard,and once fraud has been committed,it’s very difficult to find.
      the idea is to prevent vote fraud from being able to BE committed. Preemption.
      (like “progressives” think they can do with gun violence.)

      You have to be registered to vote,and you have to be able to prove at the voting place that you are actually that person on the list.
      We also need better controls on absentee ballots.

      1. “TRIED” very hard. Reason needs an edit function.

  17. I guess the DNC was disenfranchising its minority members when they required IDs at the convention.

    Heartless bastards.

    1. Those are delegates, not voters.

      1. But they vote, right?

        1. No, they consecrate the bond of obedience to the Dread One, Cankles.

  18. Call me a skeptic, it it’s somewhat…implausible…that people who suspect that darkest motives and unspeakable horribleness to abound without goodwise government regulation, suddenly think that people are pure as saints when it comes to voting.

    Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, especially in a setting of pretty lax monitoring and regulation in the first place.

    Anyway, it’s not a big deal either way, but the complete lack of self-awareness or consistency on the pro-government side here is quite humorous.

  19. I’m just wondering who all these people are. How many are we talking about here? Why can’t they get IDs? How do they function in society without an ID, given that you have to have an ID to do damn near anything? And honestly I can’t see such people casting well-informed votes.

  20. As I’ve said before, voter ID laws strike me as a solution in search of a problem.

    1. L: The evidence says that you are correct.

      1. Technically, Ron, the lack of evidence.

        Which, since we have no good way of collecting any evidence, is not super-persuasive.

      2. The evidence you looked for that exclusively supports your position. More like you arrived at a conclusion that supports your belief structure and then hunted down progressive backed ‘evidence’ to support your conclusion.

        As opposed to an honest hunt for the truth.

    2. they are a solution to HEAD OFF a problem. to prevent unauthorized voting BEFORE someone casts a ballot.
      Because once a ballot is cast,it gets counted,and never verified that it’s a legitimate vote by a registered voter.

      1. in programming,I believe it’s called “error trapping”.

  21. Folks: As I have earlier reported and linked to in this article, the weak consensus is that voter ID laws don’t really achieve all that much “suppression.” My main point is that Republican politicians who support stricter voter ID laws are hoping that they will keep Democratic voters away from the polls. As I have earlier explained:

    My general view is that voting should be made easier, although as we’ll see, there is precious little evidence that it makes any significant difference in electoral results. I also don’t have much regard for the idea that we need tighter voter ID laws to prevent voter fraud, since most research shows that voter-impersonation fraud is extremely rare.

    Just as it’s sleazy for Rep and Dems to make it hard for third party candidates to get on the ballot, it’s sleazy to try to stop people from voting by erecting legal barriers based on bogus concerns about voter fraud.

    1. My general view is that voting should be made easier

      That’s my only complaint here.

      1. I actually think it should be. The more restrictions you have, the easier it is to abuse those restrictions in a way that systematically disenfranchises your opponents.

        1. Having said that, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with voter ID laws, I just think they are of questionable value.

      2. Easy voting is insecure voting. Early voting, ballots by mail, all that crap blows big holes in any ballot security scheme.

        What we have now is probably more like an IT system with a five year old firewall and no security auditing function to speak of. When asked “has this thing been hacked”, the answer will be “there’s no evidence”, when anyone can look at it and say “Your security is shit. So bad, you can’t even tell if you’ve been hacked”.

      3. Agreed. I want to make voting very difficult for stupid people.

    2. “My main point is that Republican politicians who support stricter voter ID laws are hoping that they will keep Democratic voters away from the polls.”

      Well, I guess Rs and Ds are on the same page in their belief that Democratic voters are too stupid to get IDs.

      1. Let’s be honest, at the very least, anyone who would vote for Hillary should be spayed and neutered, at a minimum.

    3. it’s sleazy to try to stop people from voting

      No one has shown that it is even remotely difficult to obtain ID. To hear you tell it, would-be minority voters are being asked to cough up $30,000 dollars to vote.

      based on bogus concerns about voter fraud

      You haven’t demonstrated that they are bogus. The comments have poked a million holes in the findings of the research.

    4. “The greatest argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

      – Winston Churchill

    5. RB: I think you’ve had enough of a chance to contribute here.

      Thanks. We’ll take it from here.

      1. Nah, don’t be an ass, he can comment whenever and however he likes.

        1. It’s always good when the writers get into the comments.

          1. I totally agree. The opportunity to engage the author should be appreciated. For example, I’ve always wanted a piece of Krugman. I’m sure that will never happen. At least Ron has the balls to defend his work.

    6. JFK would not have won in 1960 without the mob and Daley fixing the vote.

      1. And swallowing the bitter pill that was LBJ as a running mate.

    7. The statement that a voter ID law is itself an attempt to rig elections is utter rubbish. The author gives no evidence for this statement at all, regardless of why he thinks Republicans insist on it. Voter ID is a logical precaution to ensure the voter is who he/she says and to prevent voting more than once. Whether or not it is currently used to prevent fraud, it is essential to doing so .

      I find it very difficult to believe the stats that there is so little fraud. I remember distinctly seeing a video from a well-known news organization, of a woman who worked FOR the Democrats in monitoring elections in an inner city precinct, who blatantly admitted she had cast seven votes for Obama. It happens. The relevant fact is, you can’t prevent voter fraud without voter ID. Period.

    8. Democracy: the belief that the average person has an above average understanding of all the issues at hand. I doubt voter impersonation is much of a problem. The kind of fraud we ought to worry about is the fraud perpetrated by those in power and close to the booth and votes.

  22. “In 2014, Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, reported finding just 31 cases of voter impersonation fraud out of 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014”

    He “reported finding” eh?

    That hardly constitutes proof that that’s all there was.

    Lets see his methodology and his procedures for confirming the identity of individual voters.

    Somehow I doubt he actually rigorously checked 1 billion ballots.

    1. We all need hobbies.

    2. And just who the fuck IS Justin Levitt? What kind of professor? What were his investigative methods? What political affiliations does he have? This is just weak writing. A first year freshman HS student on a debate team would destroy these citations of evidence. Yet it’s supposed to pass muster at Reason?

    3. the idiot just went to various state election boards and looked for what fraud THEY found,he didn’t search the ballots himself. And if an election board is RUN by people who do NOT WANT to find election fraud (DemocRATs),there won’t be any found.

  23. A lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack.

  24. Fuck Nextdoor. The busybody cat ladies make it a horror. I left when they were losing their shit over Stonewall Jackson Elementary

  25. I got carded buying beer the other day.

    I yelled “You can’t ask that, you racist!” and walked out with my beer.

    1. All the better to put them on the defensive. So they forget to make you pay. Which is of course, also racist.

  26. Speaking as someone who has done both; if a putative eligible voter can successfully apply for unemployment, they can get a photo ID.

    1. That’s really not the point, though. Every citizen who is 18 and hasn’t committed certain felonies in certain states has the right to vote. Even if they are stupid and lazy and don’t care about the election. Whether or not they are informed, engaged and responsible voters is irrelevant.

      I’m not saying that voter ID is a horrible thing because of this necessarily. But whether or not we think someone can get and ID, or is a good voter, has nothing to say about whether someone’s right to vote has been taken away.

      My general position is that any law that violates anyone’s rights is bad. And I can think of many scenarios in which a strict ID requirement would disenfranchise some people. Of course, voting is not a natural right, but a political one, so more restrictions are probably acceptable. I tend to think it doesn’t matter much one way or another, but as many people point out, we don’t really know.

      1. If you can think of such scenarios, there should be lots of examples of them. Yet there are not

        1. Why should there be lots? All it takes is one for it to be unjust.

          Suppose I go to the poll late in the day, but forgot my wallet.

          I really don’t have that strong of an opinion on this. And you know well that I’m more inclined to worry about nerdy philosophical principle than practical politics.

          1. What if you forgot to bring a punch pen? Why is the government providing them for voter use? It seems to me the government has no responsibility for accommodating that convenience for the voter. This is where ideological dissection of the voting process goes overboard, it’s not intended to be an ideological process, it’s intended to be a practical one.
            Practicality is what dictates things like convenient punch pens, not ideology. Is libertarianism even about tally collection minutia, or are we just applying blind dogma down to the amoebic level, for subjects that aren’t even on the political flavor wheel?

            I think that’s what teams D and R have done with this issue, they’ve overlayed dogma onto bullshit. Of course you check IDs for voting, because how else would anyone know who the fuck you are? There’s no libertarian angle on that. There are no prefect systems, but that sure sounds like the most practical idea. This is just Democrats once again arguing against all common sense with dogmatic minutia. We shouldn’t fall prey to that, we have a bigger battle to fight, and we’re going to need every last legit vote we can get.

      2. I would argue that a right is something that exists without government. I have a right to free speech (I must provide my own podium or press). I have a right to self defense with whatever weapons I can lay my hands on.

        A vote does not exist without a government. It is not a right. It is a privilege of Sovereignty. To exercise it, it is only reasonable to ask that I demonstrate that I am indeed the Sovereign.

  27. The researchers find that “Hispanic turnout is 7.1 points lower in strict voter ID states than it is in other states in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primary elections. For Blacks, the gap is negligible in general elections but a full 4.6 points in primaries. For Asian Americans the difference is 5.4 points and 6.2 points.”

    Does anyone have any data on the rates of Hispanic and Black acquisition of things like conceal carry permits are in states and districts which allow it?

    1. I am not sure whether it’s racist or fascist to ask that question.

      *checks progressive heirarchy o’ victimization*

      Hmm…I will have to get back to you.

  28. Politifact calculated in 2015 that you are 13 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to stumble across an instance of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

    Back in 2004, when I went to vote and checked in, I noticed that both of my paternal grandparents had both checked in.

    My grandfather died in 2000 and my grandmother had had Alzheimer’s for quite some time in 2004.

    In other news, I have not been struck by lightning.

    Of course, this was Georgia, not Texas.

    1. When a sentence starts with “Politifact calculated” there is really no need to keep reading.

  29. So how about, instead of an ID, everyone must answer the question “who is on the ballot” before being able to cast a vote?

  30. The truth about voter fraud is that both sides are correct.
    The Republicans want to simply require identification for voting because they are deathly afraid of 11 million south and central american socialist crossing the border and voting for the party that promises everything. (talkin to you Dems.)
    In this assessment they are right. Just look at 100’s of years of Banana Republics south of the border and you get a sense as to the mindset of these tribes. There is a reason why North America succeeded so greatly and South America has much higher poverty. This should make every free market citizen take pause on how our elections could be influenced in the next 25 years.

    Conversely, Democrats may looks into placing tariffs and taxes on Indian imports. Most Indian friends that I have are very conservative. They vote Republican because that is the way they were raised.

    So this voter suppression thing is really just racial and cultural warfare.

    I didn’t say I agree with it….but I do understand why the politicos fear voters.

    And stop with the Pseudo science about “no evidence exists that voter fraud would happen. Of course it does and would increase in the future.”

    1. We don’t need to look at the banana republics south of the border to see corruption and voter fraud. Chicago and my own home state’s capitol, Boston, both have long histories of corruption featuring voter fraud.

  31. Voter ID laws are actually an attempt to rig elections

    No, voter ID laws are an attempt to ensure that everyone who votes 1) does so at their registered polling place and 2) only votes once. Get a grip, Bailey. Also, get bent.

    1. Alos, 3) to prevent non-citizens from voting.

  32. Consider the state of Alabama, where the Republican controlled state legislature passed a law requiring a DMV issued voter id and then the following year voted to close all the DMV offices in majority-black districts. That was totally because they care about voter fraud.

    Also consider that absentee ballots are far more likely to be used for voter fraud than in person voting. This is why Republicans are also backing much stricter controls on absentee ballots even though that would negatively impact predominantly Republican leaning voters.

    1. Derp.

      Late in the day on 30 September 2015, Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill said that “state election officials ‘will issue (photo voter I.D. cards) on [their] own” to ensure residents in affected counties retain the ability to obtain state-issued ID for the purposes of voting.

      Secretary of State John Merrill, Alabama’s chief election official, said late Wednesday that the state’s closing of 31 county driver’s license offices won’t leave residents without a place to get the required I.D. card to vote.

      But the head of the state office of the American Civil Liberties Union said “people are right to be worried” about the closings ordered earlier in the day. “It’s going to have a huge impact on the ability of people to get a state-issued I.D.,” ACLU Executive Director Susan Watson said.

      Merrill said state election officials “will issue (photo voter I.D. cards) on our own” at county Board of Registrars offices. “Every county has a Board of Registrars,” he said.

      1. I still can’t figure out how anyone got registered to vote in the first place.

    2. The. The media should have no problem producing angry voters who were denied to chance to vote because of this. Where are such examples? If you can’t produce them, why should anyone assume they exist?

        1. I scanned it quickly, but I didn’t see anyone who was actually denied a vote who was entitled to one. Its a long article though.

          I did note that the “voter integrity” group seems to have a fairly low success rate in challenging voters, but that they nonetheless seem to find a non-zero number of bad registrations that should not be the basis of anyone casting a ballot.

  33. You know what is never produced? Any actual people who want to vote but could not because the didn’t have an ID. If it is the case that ID requirements disenfranchised people, the Democrats should have problem producing examples. They don’t do this out of kindness I guess.

    The other program here is the turnout studies do not question if the extra voters in the non ID states are actual voters. They just assume they are. I see those studies as evidence that ID laws stop fraud. Absent evidence of lawful voters who are denied the vote, that is the only rational conclusion I can see.

    This is a new low for reason and especially Bailey.

    1. Especially since the progs claim that so many people are disenfranchised that it will swing elections. So we’re talking at least thousands of people.

      1. And yet, they never produce them.

        1. J: And yet you could read the studies to which I link and see if you think any disenfranchised voters have been “produced.”

          1. They are related to turn out. Show me actual people in significant numbers.

          2. Ron, let me spell it out for you. If the democrat have their way and steal enough elections, you are going to lose a lot more Liberty than seeing a few people potentially miss out on a chance to vote. If you don’t understand that, maybe you shouldn’t be writing for a libertarian publication.

    2. Democrats want to be able to bus unregistered voters to the polls the day of without having any of them register before hand.

      1. “Democrats want to be able to bus unregistered voters to the polls the day of without having any of them register before hand.”

        Specifically, the polling station that needs to most votes. Remember a lot of the busing in new voters is more about local elections than national elections. A whole bus load showing up in another precinct can tip a close local election.

  34. In 1996 I voted for Harry Browne in Pennsylvania, then I drove to my parents’ house in NJ to watch the election. I got there before the polls closed and on a lark, I went to see if I was still on the voter list. Sure enough I was and I cast a 2nd vote, this time for Bob Dole.

    1. M: Hmmm. Do you ever wonder what the statute of limitations is for this federal crime? 🙂

        1. Just long enough to sneak back in for the next presidential election.

    2. My parents paid me to vote for Bush in 2000 (also a federal crime – I was poor and in college). I took their money and voted for Harry Browne anyways.

      1. They fucked up. We have mailed ballots where I live. were I going to do that I would ask for signed incomplete ballots for cash on the barrel.

  35. Don’t forget the people most disenfranchised by voter ID: sleazy unpopular politicians who can’t win without fraud. Those poor dears. http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2504163

  36. Yes, it should totally be on the honor system. End registration. Everyone just goes to a web site that does not track cookies and click on who they want. Whoever gets the most clicks wins. Whoever designed the Obamacare website can set it up. Need to make sure there are lots of put in for law enforcement. Also since POTUS impacts whole world, election should be open to whole world. Open borders.

    1. Ron is a racist who honestly believes expected Hispanics to have an ID is beyond them.

      If this affected White turnout Bailey would be writing about the need to take personal responsibility and get an ID.

      Articles like this are why reason are called lefties pretending for a pay check

      1. Yeah, it’s starting to resemble more of a campus SJW derpfest than a Libertarian publication. They want twitter to like them. I say fuck Twitter.

        1. The assumption of bad faith is one of the tells. It is not that the Republicans are wrong and honestly trying for fair elections but in the wrong way. No. They are trying to fix the election.

          1. I wish there were more principled libertarian writers here. Frankly, I find the comments much more enlightening than most of the articles anymore. The mantra seems to be “evil stupid redneck Republicans” and “immature wrongheaded, but well-meaning Democrats”

            I don’t really give a shit about intentions anymore. Arguing on the level of intentions is a win for the statist each and every time.

            1. Or at least get couple “balancing” voices in the other direction. If you can publish Dalmia and Richman, you may as well give space to Mark Steyn (shit, on US police/security theatre the man is downright Balkovian) or Iowahawk.

              Though, to be fair, Judge Nap gets to write occasionally and he strikes me as more GOP-friendly than any Reason staffer by a good margin.

              1. And they do have occasional contributions by real libertarians, like Stossel. *Sigh*………need more Stossel, and less Chapman and co..

  37. Question, Ron, why is voter registration not considered racist and restrictive?

    1. Ding fucking ding.

  38. Last year I was waiting at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station for my train and struck up a conversation with an elderly black man. He had taken the train from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to care for his sister after her surgery. While he was in the city his driver’s license expired and now Amtrak wouldn’t sell him a ticket back. He also lacked a smartphone to buy a ticket for BoltBus/MegaBus.

    How come no one ever talks about all the everyday hassles of life when you don’t have an ID?

    I couldn’t even take my bicycle on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry without having to produce ID.

    1. Because doing that doesn’t get Democrats elected.

    2. No smokes. No beer. No bars. No hotels. No flying. No trains. No driving. No buying things with a credit card that says”check id”. No bank transactions.

      1. You think Ron would want poor people to have IDs.

        1. The other day I was at my bar. An older man came in and sat nearby. We got to talking while the bartender was on the other side of the bar. He just moved back to the state, and hadn’t been to this bar in 20 years.
          When the bartender asked for his id, he only had the temporary paper. This was not enough, he was told. He needed his old state one as well.
          This was a 50 something year old.

          Or, a few years ago I went out the day after my birthday for drinks. My license was now one day past expiration. I was not served.

          1. My “favorite” is the arbitrariness of it all. I went out with a friend for his 21st birthday. Of course we’d already been drinking at the apartment all evening, but we wanted to make it official that he was 21. So at 11:50 we get in the car and drive to a World of Beer. Two minutes before midnight, we have to stand outside because he’s not technically 21 yet.

            So stupid. There is no difference in the person he is between 20 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 58 minutes and the person he is two minutes later. Fuck the state. (and age of majority laws)

            1. If it was anything like WA state, I could totally see the liquor board doing that as a sting. They’re real assholes here.

        2. No John. Socialists are elitists at heart. They want the ‘little people’ to be deprived of these things and be happy with the scraps the state affords them. The socialist itself not being subject to such constraints. After all, some animals are more equal than others.

          I have a retired CA college professor aunt who thinks this way.

    3. I’ll take ‘things that never happened for a thousand, Alec”

  39. Obama official calls black voters less sophisticated… which makes me the racist… or something:

    It’s also the case that ? well, yes, so it would, empirically more likely affect African Americans. Also, understanding within political science, that people who register to vote the closer and closer one gets to Election Day tend to be less sophisticated voters, tend to be less educated voters, tend to be voters who are less attuned to public affairs. That also tells me from the literature of political science that there are likely to be people who will end up not registering and not voting. People who correspond to those factors tend to be African Americans, and, therefore, that’s another vehicle through which African Americans would be disproportionately affected by this law.


  40. Also since liberals are so concerned that Blacks and Hispanics are too stupid to figure out how do vote, we should just estimate Blacks and Hispanic populations for each state and add that number to the total votes for all democrats running. If you disagree, you’re obviously a racist who wants to disenfranchise ignorant minorities. And what about women? I’m assuming they’re too stupid to figure out how to vote too right? Oh shit lets just end elections so no minorities or women are disenfranchised.

  41. By the way, putting aside the purpose of voter ID, and focusing on the difficulty of acquiring it, look just how impossible it is to get an ID.

    Thousands of immigrants in the country illegally on Friday took a big step into California life — and its clogged freeway commutes — by completing an American rite of passage: waiting in line at the DMV.

    The first business day of 2015 was also the first time in more than two decades that they could sign up for a driver’s license in this state. California is now the 10th state, and by far the largest, to permit immigrants living in the country illegally to drive.

    At least 2,000 people in the Bay Area, and more than 9,300 statewide, made appointments in advance and crowded DMV branches from Pittsburg to Redwood City. Others braved walk-in waits, lining up as early as 4 a.m. in freezing weather outside a Department of Motor Vehicles field office in East San Jose.

    These are people who are illegal immigrants, and they managed to get themselves to the DMV so they could legally drive. All while literally dodging La Migra.…..w-licenses

  42. The argument here is = we shouldn’t care about the potential for voter fraud, because doing so (by asking for ID) makes Democrats less likely to participate?

    I’m not sure ‘how people react’ to being asked for ID is really all that relevant, or amounts to an argument that proof of identity is an undue burden to anyone. Maybe lots of democrat voters have unpaid bills or outstanding misdemeanors. The fact that ID laws upsets certain people isn’t a veto-by-data.

    The whipping out of “Studies” seems often a replacement for actually presenting a reasoned argument. It just makes a vague appeal-to-authority of “hard #s” and says there are some observable facts which may or may not relevant. It doesn’t demonstrate why those things matter, or why they should matter.

    Voter impersonation fraud appears to be almost non-existent.

    isn’t this the standard handwave of the leftists? defending against ID by suggesting that one-very-narrow-type of fraud is uncommon?

    Aren’t there *lots and lots* of other forms of fraud which remains completely unaddressed by that claim? Its like saying one should never worry about getting a cold, because you see, Bird Flu is extremely rare.

    1. Have there been any credible arguments wanting to do away with voter registration? I can’t find anything on the web. When I google anything regarding Identification and voter registration, I’m slammed with articles about why demanding ID at the polling place is worse than Slavery.

      But nothing comes up about voter registration being racist.

    2. G and all: If voter fraud is totally existent, where are all the “studies” showing the evidence for massive amounts of voter impersonation fraud?

      Also, other forms of fraud are “unaddressed” because Voter IDs would not prevent ballot box stuffing, abuse of absentee voting, buying votes, etc. Voter ID laws are supposedly solving the problem of voter impersonation fraud.

      1. Try and grasp the irony that you are being lectured on impersonation fraud by someone who may be involved in impersonation fraud, Ron.

      2. Ron, I actually agree. I doubt that voter fraud is very prevalent (at this time). However, the progressives stuck their foot in it when they claimed that the ID requirement was racist, because by logical extention, anything else that requires ID– especially when required to exercise a right… is racist is it not?

        Therefore, my conceal carry permit ID requirements are ipso facto racist. But I don’t see a lot of Democrats getting the vapors over that.

        I do understand the core of the voter ID issue. Republicans are convinced that a bunch of ineligible voters (who tend to swing ‘free stuff’) are rushing the polls. Democrats are concerned that a bunch of ineligible voters (who tend to swing ‘free stuff’) would be denied at the polls. Where to strike the balance?

      3. How would you prove it without ID requirements? Hence, the point.

      4. Wouldn’t this–

        The researchers find that “Hispanic turnout is 7.1 points lower in strict voter ID states than it is in other states in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primary elections.

        suggest that 5-7% of the Hispanic vote is coming from people whose ID is questionable?

  43. I need ID to drive, ID to buy booze, ID to buy cigs, ID to get into the court house, but the most important civic duty we have I can just walk up and tell the voter guy my name and then vote. Something wrong with that picture.

    1. I can understand the libertarian argument against voter ID from the perspective of objection to ID requirements for anything.

      I don’t see it the way Ron outlines it here, which seems to be grasping at straws and suggesting that any ‘rules’ are bad if they affect turnout.

      Also – the idea that “there haven’t been a lot of convictions” also strikes me as stupid

      the places where fraud is most rampant are the urban districts where there’s been effectively 1-party rule for decades. Prosecutors don’t pursue these investigations? My shocked face is unfortunately at the cleaners.

      1. I think it’s very libertarian to argue against paperwork/identification/licensing requirements for a lot of things. But sometimes, to exercise a right, someone, somewhere demands ID and I can either present it, or forego that right. I sucked it up and when through the EXTREMELY onerous ID requirements to be able to practice my second amendment rights, but I don’t remember fresh young democrats protesting at the gates screaming that my conceal carry permit requirements were racist. Which by logical extention, they are.

      2. Exactly. If you want to do away with IDs in all circumstances, by all means, sign me up. I’m completely unmoved by arguments that, in this one very specific situation, IDs are a terrible burden and it’s totally unfair to require one.

      3. ‘rules’ are bad if they affect turnout.

        How about we let go of the stupid prog notion that the act of voting is some innately holy human right. Like Stalin said, it’s not the voters that matter, it’s who count the votes. The honesty and integrity of vote counting is MUCH MORE important to me than the fact that I got to vote because I am not looking for some Kindergarten-level “I participated!!!” ribbon. I’m an adult with standards who doesn’t want to live in a society where everyone is coddled and patronized so they won’t notice how much they’re being duped by those in charge.

  44. I realize that I’m a strange old guy (at least by today’s standards) but if I really badly want to do something I make the effort to do whatever I need to in order to be able to do that something. So if voting is truly important to me, I’ll get an ID. If I can’t get myself off of the couch and go get said ID, how badly do I really want to vote?

    And frankly given the alleged importance of voting, it shouldn’t be made easier. It should be something that requires some effort and commitment.

    1. According to Loretta Lynch, your white and therefore more sophisticated.

      1. You’re.

        Apparently the lack of sophistication is all mine.

        1. Don’t tell Irish.

  45. Ballot access laws do more to rig elections than voter ID laws

  46. BTW, putting aside voter ID issues, I’d like to take an aside and note that the media has been chock-a-block with ‘election rigged’ stories, and the stories largely lean “they’re not”. I presume that these stories lean this way because Hillary won the election and money in politics is no longer a major issue?

    Because man, I’ve spend most of my adult life with liberals, progressives and Democrats in general telling me the entire system is rigged. Funny how NOW they’re not rigged.

    1. Only losers scream “cheater”

  47. The astonishing thing to me is that nobody bats an eye at having to produce ID to get a gun ,which is an actual enumerated right, but to produce such an ID to exercise a purely political right is some kind of outrage.

    I’d love to see a lawsuit which gathers up all these “ID requirements are a racist unequal burden” opinons and uses them to challenge the mandatory IDs for gun buyers.

    1. Well dems had little concern for gun registration until black people starting buying guns so…..

    2. We should just rewrite the articles replacing the word voting with gun buying.

    3. See my hundreds of posts above.

    4. I bat an eye at having to produce an ID to get a gun. And to get on a plane, and to buy beer and to get a paycheck.

      Though I will agree that there is better reason to verify identity for voting than for any of those things.

    5. And if wishes were fishes we’d all have a fry…

  48. Exactly how is a identification such an onerous barrier in the first place? Hell, North Carolina will issue you one for free for voting purposes. What is so fucking hard about obtaining an ID card that leftists apparently just can’t quite pull it off?

    1. Or another way of putting it is; why would you be against it unless you wanted to have the ability to commit voter fraud?

      1. Well, if you wanted to commit voter fraud, you couldn’t object to voter ID laws on that basis and win the debate. No, you’d stick that particular soldier inside a Trojan Horse called Anti-Racism, and have well-intentioned folks like Ron Bailey let it inside the gates every single time.

      2. That’s pretty much it, in my mind.

        Now, to be fair, 50 years ago there was widespread disenfranchisement of blacks. However, that was 50 fucking years ago. From what I can tell, you can get over 100% turnout in majority black districts these days, so it doesn’t seem to be a problem any more.

        1. Exactly. Poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses – all of those things actually WERE rigged to prevent black citizens from voting. They were fashioned in such a way that they would always be able to reject people on that basis. An ID card, though? All you need is proof of identity and residency, and at most a small amount of money, $15-20. That’s it, that’s all it takes. Explain to me how that’s difficult to complete.

        2. From what I can tell, you can get over 100% turnout in majority black districts these days

          What you did there, I sore it.

    2. I’d be fine with giving out ‘free’ voter ID cards.

  49. If having a photo ID is an untenable limitation on voting, what about voter registration requirements? Since the position seems to be that we take every voter and every ballot completely at face value, what’s the point of registering, anyway?

    1. Voter registration is BS too.

      The entire republican (not Republican) premise is that people are capable of making good choices, and are generally honorable enough to govern themselves. Anything less means that we should go back to tolerating kings / dictators / politburos deciding everything.

  50. if the voter this kind of law “suppressed” were rich white guys, then the gop would be calling it a poll tax and the democrats would be shouting “every vote counts” at the top of their lungs.

    1. You’re probably right about that. So why isn’t anyone screaming that voter registration isn’t suppressing the vote? If they can’t even register that seems nominally more racist than possibly suppressing them at the polling place, no? If we’re going to keep ringing the “racist” bell, why do we only ring it two inches before the finish line, instead of before the start of the race?

  51. If I deposit money in a bank I can use my secret password to check whether it was counted as deposited. Until every voter gets a hash or password to verify (online or newspaper) how his or her vote is counted, elections are bound to be fraudulent. Lysander Spooner pointed that out when the high-tariff Red Republicans were occupying the South and faking “secret ballot” elections after the Civil War. Verifiable is the word you want.

  52. I’m willing to entertain the libertarian argument against being required to produce a government ID for something like travel. It can be argued that it is an undue restriction to the traveler. In the case of voter ID, though, if a person votes multiple times, then it is the rest of us who are disenfranchised. If a person travels freely, without ID, I am not affected.

    I’m open to any other mechanism that would ensure that only eligible citizens can cast votes and that they can only do it once.

    You want to talk about how if even one voter is disenfranchised by voter ID laws, that it’s unacceptable? Well, one fraudulent vote disenfranchises the entire electorate, so we’d better figure out an alternative because neither case is acceptable.

  53. RE: Voter ID and Rigged Elections

    Voter ID is a preposterous idea for a number of ideas. First, as everyone knows, personal ids weigh a ton. How many times has one read or heard of people getting hernias and slipped discs when pulling out their driver’s license, state id card, etc? Too many to repeat. These overbearing documents always occur during elections cycles which in turn raise health insurance premiums for other people. It would be wise to allow anyone and everyone to vote when and where they wish. Voter ID also is discriminatory against people who have multiple personality disorders. Just because a number of people are inside one person’s head doesn’t mean all those other people should not vote for the candidate of their choice. Then there is the issue of traveling. Many people like to visit other counties, indeed states, and allowing them to vote in different areas of our country only allows them to enjoy the natural beauty of the USA. Lastly, implementing voter id would suggest there has been cheating when it comes to voting. As we all know, both parties have never had an incident where there was any cheating just so their candidate would get elected. Therefore, let us all erase any notion of voter id if we are to continue down the road political suicide.

  54. “…almost non-existent…” does not mean that it is not a problem….Just ask Norm Coleman.
    Don’t let your fear of “papers” overwhelm your common sense.
    But then, most people that have common sense aren’t found in the Libertarian Movement,
    letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  55. We don’t really know how common voter impersonation is because Democrats have rigged the system to allow it to happen undetectably. The study they like to cite didn’t prove voter impersonation never happens; absence of proof is being confused with proof of absence. They looked at legal records to try to establish rates. They missed cases that were in states not reporting data, that were never detected or reported, that were never prosecuted or convicted. Common sense suggests that those categories would include the majority of cases. The idea that likely Democratic voters are too dim-witted to come up with a photo ID that most of us carry every day seems outrageously patronizing. More likely is that Republicans are generally too strait-laced to cheat wholesale, while Democrats believe they get the votes of most cheaters and dim-wits. Frankly, if somebody’s too dim to come up with one of the required forms of ID, they probably don’t know enough to be casting votes anyhow. Fund and Spakovsky’s book “Who’s Counting” covers these and other issues with real data. It’s a whole $10 on Amazon!

  56. The statement that a voter ID law is itself an attempt to rig elections is utter rubbish. The author gives no evidence for this statement at all, regardless of why he thinks Republicans insist on it. Voter ID is a logical precaution to ensure the voter is who he/she says and to prevent voting more than once. Whether or not it is currently used to prevent fraud, it is essential to doing so .

    I find it very difficult to believe the stats that there is so little fraud. I remember distinctly seeing a video from a well-known news organization, of a woman who worked FOR the Democrats in monitoring elections in an inner city precinct, who blatantly admitted she had cast seven votes for Obama. It happens. The relevant fact is, you can’t prevent voter fraud without voter ID. Period.

  57. Go back 120 years- polls open 6 AM to 6 PM. Hitch up horses to get to polls, get there at a rate of 4 mph. Deal with horses at polling place. Vote. Get back home. All with a longer and much more physically demanding work day than today. Did we hear complaints about how it was too difficult to vote?

    1. Only white people have horses.

  58. What a pile of bull****! Every one has or can get an ID with very little effort. The welfare collectors have to have an ID. ID is required for the most mundane transactions. To say requiring it to vote disenfranchises anyone is bull****!

  59. “U.S. Election Assistance Commission” ” Department of Justice””–couple of stalwart agencies to be sure.

  60. “U.S. Election Assistance Commission” ” Department of Justice””–couple of stalwart agencies to be sure.

  61. Oh, so requiring a photo ID instantly makes one out to rig elections….Suck it up clueless – Why & how does requiring someone to produce proof of who they are when stopped by a cop, when using a credit card, registering for college and the list goes on and on?

  62. The only problem that I have with the voter ID laws is that many of them were passed in election years close to the time of the election, so that the charge of voter suppression was a valid suspicion.

    I think a voter ID law that goes into effect 2 or more years in the future would be less objectionable because it would give both parties time to get the word out voters.

    I doubt that voter ID laws will do much to prevent election fraud. Most of the fraud seems to happen at the counting stage.

  63. ID’s are for convicted criminals. PERIOD!

  64. Why aren’t we using indelible ink like the Iraqis did during their elections after Saddam was deposed?

    Dead voters can’t walk in to get their thumbs dipped in indelible ink. People can’t vote twice due to the ink. There’s no need to print “I Voted” stickers when a voter’s thumb clearly signals that he or she voted. No gov’t-issued ID would be necessary. Absentee voter fraud (such as when a household member fills in the votes for family members who may or may not be dead and who may or may not want to vote as their ballot is marked) would not happen because all absentee votes would be abolished (no way to ink their thumbs).

  65. One other thing to consider:

    “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” H. L. Mencken

    Who are the most disenfranchised voters? They are the voters who are too young to vote or haven’t been born yet.

    With all the massive spending on entitlements that favor the elderly like Medicare and Social Security, if we really want to limit disenfranchisement, we should absolutely ban all gov’t debt so that today’s spending cannot be pushed onto future generations who can’t vote in their own defense.

  66. Great column and very interesting. Supports my long held suspicion that leftist tend to support the ends justifying the means and the right tending to support the cleanliness of the process justifying the actions. Helps a tiny bit to explain Obama’s dislike for America and his focus on transformation.

  67. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the US voting system to have every legal voter on a list and to send them a card which has to be produced when voting – a card which is given up to staff when voting?
    If you are not registered to vote then you don’t get a card. The onus is then on the voter to ensure that they are on the roll.

  68. Strict voter ID laws may not prevent all of the election rigging but obviously have a significant impact on this practice. Since we require photo government issued ID for pretty much everything allowing people to vote without verifying their identity is silly. 7.9% difference in results is a clear indicator of fraudulent voting on similar level.

  69. I’m calling total bullshit on this one. Reason is really going downhill with idiotic articles like these. I know it’s fashionable to be reflexively anti-ID among libertarians but this viewpoint is fucking ridiculous. It’s basic common sense. There’s no way to know if a voter is legitimate without ID, no fucking way. Only an irrational nut job would believe otherwise. And there are plenty of examples showing how easy it is to cast a fraudulent vote without an ID. And there’s significant proof that large numbers of illegal aliens vote as well as proof of multiple voting and dead people voting. As for proof of the extent of voter fraud? Likely impossible without voter ID.

    If ID isn’t important, try getting rid of it completely for other everyday uses. See how that goes.

    This is just complete idiocy. Maybe Reason should change its name to Unreason.

    1. I’m a libertarian, and I have no problem with voter ID. This is an an-cap issue, not a libertarian issue. Except of course for the cosmos who use it to break the ice with cute leftists at cocktail parties.

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  71. I’ve got this new card game. 3 cards face down, one is a queen. If you guess which one is the queen, you win! But, you never actually get to see the cards. I just tell you whether the card you picked is the queen. If you ask to see the card, it’s because you are trying to cheat. If you ask me to prove that one of the cards is a queen, it is because you are trying to cheat. But don’t worry, the game is fair, and there is no evidence that I am running a con. Because nobody is allowed to see the cards.

  72. I love when “statistics” are not based on what is actually happening, but on what some people chose to observe. All these statistics are based on arrests and convictions of voter fraud, but make no effort to determine how many committed fraud and DIDN’T GET CAUGHT! It could be huge. We don’t know, and the writer has not even ventured a guess. Anyone care to guess how many people smoke pot, compared to how many people have been arrested for it? How about shoplifting? Speeding?

    This article is typical of all propaganda. Start with the conclusion, then pick “facts” to support it, and ignore everything else.

  73. How does one tell the difference between an absence of voter impersonation and successful voter impersonation?

    1. Exactly. From other coversations on this topic, the best I can tell, the answer to your question is “because racism, and shut up.”

  74. Interesting article… until the very end:

    “Stricter voter ID laws don’t prevent election rigging; they are instead an attempt at election rigging.”

    Nothing in the article shows this conclusion. The fact is a lot of people just think it makes sense to require ID for voting. You have to have ID for other important things – flying, driving, buying beer (which is a pretty important thing.) It makes sense to require ID to vote so that people arent trying to game the system. Now, just because something makes sense to a lot of people doesnt make it right. They could very well be wrong. But saying that they are attempting election rigging… thats absurd and immoral.

  75. it’s a one-time task to get a photo-ID suitable for voting. it’s not like you have to do it every time you vote. and photo-ID is necessary to obtain nearly every government service or benefit,necessary to buy alcohol,drive a car,and just to get into many government offices.

    To NOT require photo-ID for voting is irrational,or criminal intent.

  76. I didn’t really care all that much about Voter ID laws until the left started to make it such a big issue using obvious canards such as racism and classism. Methinks they doth protest too much, if you get my drift. I mean, American citizens of any ethnic background are more than capable of obtaining a driver’s license, student ID, or non-driver ID card. I don’t have any numbers on this, but based on the fact that I see more than just wealthy white people in the MVA, getting on planes, buying beer or cigarettes, opening accounts in banks, etc., I assume this to be the case.

    And as far as discriminating against the indigent…you need state-issued ID to apply for unemployment, for one thing, and I’m pretty sure you need it for all other welfare benefits.

  77. Oh, and just curious, but how do the leftists and the Progs who believe that requiring an ID to vote feel about requiring ID to exercise other rights? Such as those involving the 2nd Amendment, for instance? I’m sure they take an ideologically consistent, logical, non-hypocritical stance.

    1. ^believe that requiring an ID to vote is wrong, that should say…

  78. Wow, Libertarians will eat up any bullshit put out by leftest think tanks and the leftest media. They will happily go off to the re-education camps, as long as they can smoke pot on the way.

  79. From this perspective, one could easily conclude that a photo identification law does much more harm than good.”

    I don’t see the harm in affecting voter turnout one way or another

    There are many important things we do every day that require a photo id. It is bizarre in the extreme that a photo id isn’t required for voting.

    Note that in places like Germany, you have to show your photo id on request.

  80. The DoJ of Obama (product of the most corrupt political machine in the country) fails to find voter fraud.

    In 2012, some voter districts in Philadelphia and elsewhere had ZERO votes for Romney. Simply statistically impossible. Even the soviets knew to throw some votes to the opposition.

    Minorities are less likely to have ID’s? They are also far more likely to be those committing voting fraud.

  81. Libertarians for pointless freedom-restricting bureaucracy!

  82. Libertarians for “papers please” before exercising the most fundamental right of democracy… what pathetic rightwing shits you all are.

    1. You’re thinking Fourth Amendment…try to keep up.

  83. The hard bigotry of blatant low expectations. If it is free and provided by the government why is it that poor and “minorities” are less likely to get one? What does this say about the (efficiency and inequality inherent within the) federal government?
    If it is incapable of handling ID cards, it sure as shit can’t run single payer anything.

  84. The researchers find that “Hispanic turnout is 7.1 points lower in strict voter ID states…

    No voter fraud, eh?

  85. I love the people trying to make the “secret ballot” argument. Having to show ID to go INTO the polling place and vote is NOT the same as having to identify yourself ON YOUR BALLOT.

    I love how much Reason flip flops on issues like this as long as it allows them to continue virtue signaling.

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  87. Strict has many definitions of meaning but this definition seems to apply to the point Reason is making here:

    2. stringent or exacting in or in enforcing rules, requirements, obligations, etc.:
    strict laws; a strict judge.

    The antonym the dictionary supplies that seems to apply best here for “Strict”, is “Lax”; meaning:

    1. not strict or severe; careless or negligent:
    lax morals; a lax attitude toward discipline.

    We had a voting process that was “careless and negligent” and voter ID moves us towards one that is more “stringent or exacting in or in enforcing rules, requirements, obligations”. What we did not have before voter ID laws were enacted was a Goldilocks voter ID system that was just right. It was lax and easily defrauded and probably still is in other ways.

    Still, the voter ID laws do not seem “strict” but the lack of them returns us to a point where they were very lax by definition. Since there are many forms of acceptable ID and most are free, strict is the last word I would define the voter id laws as.

    A better phrase would be “common sense”; meaning: plain ordinary good judgment; sound practical sense.

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