Democracy

Are Voter ID Laws Antidemocratic and/or Unconstitutional?

A puzzle about the former; an argument about the latter

|

Many of the commenters on yesterday's post about The Real Enemies of Democracy seized on something I said about voter ID laws, which have been upheld by the Supreme Court, but also much criticized by various scholars and voting rights groups. Some people were very angry that I seemed to be criticizing those laws as undemocratic, other people seemed not to understand what the paper said, so I thought I'd offer two clarifications.

Are voter ID laws good or bad? I don't really know. The scholarship I know on the topic suggests that voter ID laws don't really have a measurable effect on fraud or perceived election integrity; but they also don't really have a measurable effect on turnout. See, e.g., Cantoni & Pons; Highton; Ansolabehere (feel free to supply more and/or better studies in the comments). So maybe that means they are just a political distraction, not particularly good or bad, not important.

On the other hand, the fact that so many political groups with real skin in the game spend time fighting about voter ID laws makes me wonder if the studies are missing something. Why would legislatures spend political capital enacting them if they didn't do something? Why would groups spend scarce resources fighting them if they didn't do something? So maybe the groups who are affected by the laws know something that isn't showing up in the studies.

Yet back to the first hands, sometimes it happens that the studies are right and the people with real world experience are wrong. For instance, this fascinating investigation by Scott Alexander into weight-lifting rest periods, ultimately concludes that peer reviewed research was at least as reliable as the folk wisdom among committed bodybuilders, and indeed ultimately incorporated into some of their practices. Maybe the same thing is true of voter ID laws, and ten years from now political activists will have moved on to something that matters more. So I just don't know.

But in my view, none of that is necessarily relevant to the constitutional question about voter ID laws. To clarify my views on that, here's what I wrote in another part of the paper that I didn't quote yesterday:

Instead, there is a different vision . . . that may now hold favor at the Court. It is more modest in some respects, and more radical in others. That vision is one where the judiciary is neither championing particular substantive values nor pursuing procedural values such as perfecting democracy. Instead, it is focused on following the rules enacted by we the people and our agents. This vision explains the Court's general lack of enthusiasm for unenumerated voting rights cases. Professor Karlan focuses on Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, where the Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter ID law. In her objection to the decision, she quite plausibly argues that the voter-fraud justifications for such laws are overstated, and that the partisan motivation for the laws are understated. But the decision makes much more sense when viewed from one step further back. The Constitution contains many different provisions dealing with the franchise – a rule tethering the right to vote in federal elections to the right to vote in state elections, rules against discrimination on the basis of race, color, previous condition of servitude, sex, or age, and so on. But it contains no universal suffrage principle and no anti-partisanship principle. And it is unlikely that these principles can be found stashed away in the original meaning of other constitutional principles either. The Court's deferential test in Crawford may thus reflect a skepticism about the positive law pedigree for the entire enterprise.

We could say the same thing about some of the more recent Supreme Court decisions repeatedly stopping the lower federal courts from stopping states from burdening the right to vote, such as the 2020 decision in Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee. There, the Supreme Court quite controversially intervened to stay a federal court decision, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, extending a Wisconsin deadline for counting absentee votes. Much ink has been spilled about the Court's use of the so-called Purcell Principle as a justification for such interventions. But I suspect that a more fundamental formalism animates those decisions as well. What in the Constitution actually authorizes federal district judges to extend state deadlines, and otherwise micromanage the franchise? A skepticism about that kind of judicial activity makes it especially natural to stay the lower courts.

This same vision also explains the Court's unwillingness to supervise partisan gerrymandering . . .

(For more, read the whole thing.)

NEXT: Lakefront and the Public Trust Doctrine Today: A Litigation Roulette Wheel

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Voter ID laws, conceptually, aren’t bad. In person voter fraud isn’t a real problem, but there’s an important principle that you want people to believe in the system, and if they see everyone getting ID’s checked at the polling place, it increases public confidence.

    In theory, overly restrictive Voter ID laws that attach fees to the ID’s, make them hard to get, apply discriminatory rules (shooting licenses are OK, but student ID’s are not), etc., could be bad for democracy. But the actual evidence shows that people want to vote and overcome the hurdles. So there’s little practical effect.

    Why do Republicans push them so hard anyway? Probably because politics is an area where you have limited control over the stuff that really matters. Litigators know this. The most important determinant of whether you win a lose a case is the facts, and you can’t do very much about the facts. So you put a ton of work into the things you can do something about. You may only be increasing your chances of winning by 1 percent, but you only can do what you can do. Republicans, in the absence of more effective ways of increasing their chances of winning, try to do voter suppression even though it doesn’t work very well for them.

    I suspect eventually this will die down, either because some sort of grand bargain is reached on voter ID along with a bunch of other reforms (as Sen. Manchin is proposing) or because Republicans decide that voter suppression is hurting their already decimated brand with minority populations.

    1. Part of the reason Republicans lean into voter ID so hard is that Democrats are so adamant about opposing it that Republicans simply can’t believe Democrats aren’t doing a lot of impersonation voting fraud.

      Every time Democrats oppose ballot security, you make Republicans more certain that you’re cheating.

      I’ve said this before: If you refuse to allow the other guy to cut the cards, give it up: There’s no way he won’t believe you stacked the deck, and that’s just basic psychology, no getting around it.

      1. There’s also the Democratic push to keep on lowering the voting age. I think it’s 16 now in San Francisco, and I have never known any 16 year old whose vote would have been intelligent. Vote, but you can’t smoke or buy alcohol or guns? No thanks.

        1. There is a desire to let the local residents vote for things that impact them, like school boards, and also to encourage youth to get into the habbit of voting.

          A single 16yo with a gun can do a lot more damage than a single 16yo with a single vote. The “cost” of youth voting in low-impact local elections is far lower and the potential benefit of increase civic engagement may be worth it.

          1. The lowly mosquito has killed more humans than all the lions, tigers, bears, & sharks — way more.

            Same thing with 16-year-old voters — and do you want them on juries?!?

        2. I was intelligent enough at 16, but I was still an utter fool. The problem with young voters is that they’ve accumulated too little life experience to have shed their childhood illusions.

          The particular problem with 16 year old voters is that it would be more efficient to just give the extra votes directly to their HS teachers.

          1. “that it would be more efficient to just give the extra votes directly to their HS teachers.”

            I’m not sure this comment could be more out of touch if it were beamed in from Mars. Yeah, there’s one thing all high school students can’t resist and that’s the awesome charisma and persuasion of their high school teachers!

            1. You beamed in from the Planet Pink Flamingos with its special diet.

              1. Behar’s Benighted Bromide!

      2. And Brett — Dems do cheat…

        “Vote early and often for Curley…”

        1. “Dems do cheat. As evidence, I cite a guy who died 60 years ago.”

      3. The logic Brett is describing is an example of circular logic. Republicans claimed that we had to pass restrictions on voting to combat voting fraud, but they couldn’t demonstrate the existence of any significant amount of fraud, making it clear that their actual objective was voter suppression. (Note in particular that Republicans were only concerned about in person voter fraud, not fraud involving mail-in ballots, which were favored by Republican voters. Of course, once the 2020 election happened and more Democrats than Republican voters used mail-in ballots, Republicans suddenly professed to be concerned about mail-in ballot fraud.) Democrats naturally oppose Republican efforts to suppress the vote in ways that favor Republicans.

        Brett then cites Democratic opposition to voter suppression as evidence of voter fraud. This is silly. If Republicans weren’t trying to suppress the vote, Democrats wouldn’t be opposing Republican efforts to suppress the vote.

        1. Well, you can’t demonstrate the existence of what you’re not allowed to look for.

          But, Democrats could have cut short that perfectly predictable ‘circular logic’ by simply not opposing voter ID in the first place, but instead just demanding that the ID be available and free.

          1. “you can’t demonstrate the existence of what you’re not allowed to look for.”

            There it is folks.

            1. “There it is folks.”

              There it is folks.

              Imagine thinking that this is a zinger given the amount of legal resistance the AZ audit encountered and is still dealing with. Keep in mind how many things they cannot investigate because of people protecting their own interests.

              What are you so afraid of us finding?

              Leftists in AZ are so paranoid that they seriously believe Republicans are going to inject code and commit the fraud they’re accusing Democrats of. Yes, lets live stream our fraud to the entire world, but Democrats do it behind closed doors and its crickets.

              1. I should think applying restrictions/burdens on the people because of concerns based on “can’t demonstrate the existence of what you’re not allowed to look for” is not very libertarian…

                As to the AZ audit, it’s a partisan clown show, as the GOP Supervisors there noted.

                1. How about just being permitted to look, for starters?

              2. Imagine thinking that this is a zinger given the amount of legal resistance the AZ audit

                There is no Arizona audit. It is literally a fraudulent scheme designed to manufacture false claims of election problems. The Arizona election was already audited, by actual professionals. That found nothing. So the Trumpian clownshow hired a bunch of untrained loons to pretend to audit only two elections in only one jurisdiction.

          2. OK, let’s see how that applies to the law North Carolina passed in 2013:

            The state legislature requested information on the racial makeup of voters using early voting, and discovered that the procedure was disproportionately used by African American voters, particularly during the first seven days of early voting. They included a provision in the law to eliminate the first seven days of early voting.

            The legislature requested information on the racial breakdown of voters using same day registration, and learned that the African Americans disproprotionately used same day registration. The included a provision in the law to eliminate same day registration.

            The legislature requested information on the use of provisional ballots by voters who showed up at the wrong polling place, and learned that this provision was disproportionately used by African Americans, presumably because African Americans in the state change residences more often. Their bill eliminated this provision.

            The legislature requested information on the use of preregistration (where a voter registers before turning 18 and becomes eligeble to vote as soon as they turn 18. The data showed that preregistration was disproportionately used by African Americans. The legislature eliminated it.

            The legislature requested information on types of identification used by voters, who at the time could use most forms of government issued identification. The legislature learned that African Americans disproportionately used forms of identifcation that were not issued by the North Carolina DMV. They included a provision in the bill to require voters to present ID issued by the North Carolina DMV.

            Could the Democrats cut short the “perfectly predictable” belief that their opposition to this bill was evidence of voter fraud by “demanding that the ID be available and free?” I haven’t read the 430 pages of the transcript of the legislative debate, so as far as I know, someone on the Demcratic side may have demanded just that. Any such demand would be pure grandstanding because no such provision was in the bill or had any chance of being added, and because no Democrat was likely to vote for the bill no matter what changes were made to the voter ID provision. I’ve listed five voter suppression provisions of the bill, and there may be more I’ve missed. It’s hard to see a Democrat offering to support the bill in exchange for eliminating just one of these.

            1. “The state legislature requested information on the racial makeup of voters using early voting, and discovered that the procedure was disproportionately used by African American voters, particularly during the first seven days of early voting. They included a provision in the law to eliminate the first seven days of early voting.”

              That is what bigots do. Especially when the are obsolete and therefore desperate and disaffected.

              People who defend that conduct are lousy people. People who associated with those who engage in and defend that conduct are substandard, too.

              Carry on, clingers.

        2. ” Republicans claimed that we had to pass restrictions on voting to combat voting fraud, but they couldn’t demonstrate the existence of any significant amount of fraud,”

          Really?

          Let’s turn this around:

          1: What evidence would you accept for the existence of vote fraud?
          2: Is it possible to collect such evidence?
          3: Have the Democrats fought tooth and nail against allowing anyone to collect such evidence?

          In Arizona we know, to the extent that we can know anything, that people requested absentee ballots and voted in the name of other people (because we have video of a guy saying it happened to him). Why hasn’t the Arizona Sec of State looked into that?

          Well, she’s a Democrat, and Democrats like vote fraud

          1. A video of a guy saying it happened? Well, that’s the kind of slam dunk evidence that satisfies number 1 for all reasonable folks! lol

            1. Really? So we only have to get a video of one guy saying that vote fraud happened?

              Because Project Veritas provided that last year, for Minneapolis absentee vote fraud supporting Rep Omar.

      4. Likewise I find conservatives reluctance to make it easier for people to get the requisite ID interesting.

        1. Um, you got a cite for that?

    2. “discriminatory rules (shooting licenses are OK, but student ID’s are not)”

      Concealed carry licenses [shooting licenses?] are issued by a state agency, student ids are issued by an unregulated office, often totally private. Its not the same.

      1. Don’t you have to be 21 to buy a handgun?

        Hunting licenses presume adult supervision — it’s illegal to be in the field without one, hence the child needs to be licensed too.

        1. “Dr. Ed 2: Don’t you have to be 21 to buy a handgun?”

          You may today, but I bought my Ruger auto pistol from the local hardware store when I was just 14 years old. No permit or license required, just the cash.

      2. Acceptable ID, prove ID, and residence. Student ID does not prove residence.

      3. Hunting licenses are issued by a State agency, and are often restricted to residents of that State.

        Now, let’s consider a simple example: a Dartmouth student from CA.

        That student has a CA driver’s license. To get a NH driver’s license or State ID card he would have to give up his CA Driver’s license.

        He doesn’t have a car in NH, but does have access to one in CA when he goes home for the summer.

        So he doesn’t want to give up his CA driver’s license.

        Conclusion: this person is not in any reasonable sense of the word a “resident of NH”, and should not be voting in any NH elections.

        He should be voting absentee at home, or else not voting at all if it’s not important to him. What he absolutely should not be doing is voting in the State that he’s just visiting for 4 years.

        Legally speaking, you can only have one driver’s license from any and all US States at any given time.

        Since you’re only allowed to vote once in any given election, requiring a current valid State ID in order to vote decreases people’s ability to illegally double vote.

        If you don’t think this is a good thing, then you’re the one with the problem

        1. Do you have any evidence that students are voting in two places?

          I mean, like a video of a guy saying they did?

          1. No, but I have plenty of evidence of students in NH voting there, despite having no local ID.

            Which shows that they’re not residents, and have no intention of becoming residents, and therefore shouldn’t be voting there.

            1. You have evidence of students in NH voting illegally and/or both there and somewhere else? Let’s see it.

              1. I congratulate you. I didn’t realize someone as stupid as you are could actually type.

                You do very well to overcome your handicaps.

                Now, would you care to try responding to what I actually wrote, or is reading comprehension just totally beyond you?

                1. So, you don’t have the evidence? I am Jack’s sense of shock.

        2. Obviously varies from state to state. I registered to vote in Colorado last year with only my Washington Driver’s License as ID.

        3. ‘ Conclusion: this person is not in any reasonable sense of the word a “resident of NH” ‘

          A person who sleeps in New Hampshire every night for most of the year seems to have a colorable claim to resident status, except perhaps in the shambling minds of right-wing polemicists afraid of the votes of educated persons.

          1. Are they paying income taxes there? Do they own property there? Do they occupy a lease there for a year or more?

            No? They show up there for a while, “go home” for the summer, and keep an out of State ID card?

            They’re a visitor, not a resident

            1. If they live there and don’t vote elsewhere what’s your problem?

            2. “They’re a visitor, not a resident”

              Is that a Liberty University law degree talking, something you think you remember from a discount homeschooling outline, or what you heard on Hannity, Carlson or Ingraham last night?

              Anyone who wishes to become consequentially involved in making the decisions in our society must do better than that.

            3. Are they paying income taxes there?

              That would seem pretty unusual, given that nobody else in the state is doing so.

          2. Rather than go round and round on this, I thought I’d go to an objective outside source:

            UC San Diego:
            Criteria to Establish Residence for Tuition Purposes
            https://students.ucsd.edu/finances/fees/residence/criteria.html
            Last Updated: June 15, 2021 8:33:35 AM PDT

            >>>
            Learn about UC’s criteria for determining who is a California resident for tuition purposes.
            Who is a California resident?

            If you are an adult student (at least 18 years old), you can establish residence for tuition purposes in California…

            To establish residence for tuition purposes, you must satisfy 3 conditions:

            Physical presence
            Intent to become a California resident
            Financial independence (we’ll skip this one for voters)

            1) Physical presence

            You must be physically present in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date of the term for which resident classification is requested. ***You must have come here with the intent to make California your home as opposed to coming to this state to go to school.***

            ***Physical presence within the state solely for educational purposes doesn’t constitute the establishment of California residence, regardless of the length of your stay.***

            2) Intent to become a California resident

            Demonstrate through objective documentation that your physical presence was coupled with the intent to make California your permanent home. Intent is evaluated as an independent element of residence, separate from physical presence, and is demonstrated by ***establishing residential ties in California, and relinquishing ties to the former place of residence.***

            You must demonstrate your intention to make California your home by severing your residential ties with your former state of residence and establishing those ties with California. If these steps are delayed, the one-year duration period will be extended until you have demonstrated both presence and intent for one full year.
            Indications of your intent to make California your permanent residence include:

            California driver’s license or a California ID Card

            Your intent will be questioned if you return to your former state of residence when the university is not in session. Documentary evidence is required and all relevant indications will be considered in determining your classification.
            <<<

            So no, the State of CA disagrees with you, and agrees with me: those students who dont' get a local State ID card are NOT residents of the State where they're going to school

        4. Conclusion: this person is not in any reasonable sense of the word a “resident of NH”, and should not be voting in any NH elections.

          That may be your personal view, but it isn’t the law. Also, voter ID laws allow the use of U.S. passports, which do not reflect residency at all.

    3. Those outside New England may not know this, but New Hampshire is a tax-free mecca — no sales tax, lower state alcohol taxes, no bottle deposit, and sells beer 45 minutes later than Massachusetts (11:45 instead of 11). And in years past, neither Maine nor Massachusetts allowed stores to be open on Sundays — NH did…

      As one who has driven a lot of big trucks, I know all of the good roads into NH from both MA & ME and the first town you come to when you do. And what struck me about the 2008 Dem Primary was that Hillary Clinton won all of these towns — she won all the towns that I would have driven a bus to were I hauling people across the border from MA or ME — and lost the rest.

      The polling was right for the rest of the state, also for the towns contiguous to these towns, but not the towns easiest to get to….

      Voter fraud is real — if the oldest American alive today is only 117 years old, then anyone born in the 1800s must be dead — yet a lot of them voted. There were people to old to have fought in the Civil War who voted.

      Voter ID would stop that.

      1. Care to offer some proof that dead people voted or our you just throwing that out there for giggles.

      2. There are 850 164-year-old voters in New York City. Yes, you read that right.

        And now for the Paul Harvey bit:

        “When New York City computerized its voter rolls over the past decade and a half, election workers had to assign some birth dates to those age-shy voters who had chosen to list their age as 21-plus — in the years before voters had to list their birth dates. They decided Jan. 1, 1850 was a nice, round number.

        As the New York Post reported yesterday, this decision has left the city with 850 164-year-old voters this year. Officials have been trying to get these voters — geezers in the view of the law, if not reality — to update their birth date, but have been mostly ignored (these people really do not want anyone to know how old they are).”

        Mind, this story was from 2014, so I wonder how that follow up ended up?

        1. ““When New York City computerized its voter rolls over the past decade and a half, election workers had to assign some birth dates to those age-shy voters who had chosen to list their age as 21-plus — in the years before voters had to list their birth dates. They decided Jan. 1, 1850 was a nice, round number.”

          You don’t get you cut your legs out from under yourself, do you?

          1. You don’t get who Paul Harvey was, do you?

            1. Yes, I do. You don’t get this thread’s arguments, do you?

              1. There are no arguments running through the thread — just something from Ed and two counter-responses. You just can’t wrap your brain around the fact that not everyone is as one-dimensionally partisan as you are, can you?

                1. Lol, ‘sayeth the pot!’

              2. Wow, you are kind of clueless about what pulling a Paul Harvey means, aren’t you?

                The gist of the story is that, faced with a requirement to record a birth date, and registered voters who refused to provide one, the elections officials had settled on putting in the record, as a place holder, a totally implausible birth date.

                This is actually a fairly standard technique, inserting impossible data as a flag that the data is just a place holder.

                The result is, yes, the registration records show impossibly old voters, but it isn’t because somebody who died decades ago is still having their vote cast by somebody else fraudulently.

                And THAT is the rest of the story.

                1. The result is, yes, the registration records show impossibly old voters, but it isn’t because somebody who died decades ago is still having their vote cast by somebody else fraudulently.

                  Um, yes, that’s the point. Dr. Ed is lying about this.

      3. oter fraud is real — if the oldest American alive today is only 117 years old, then anyone born in the 1800s must be dead — yet a lot of them voted.

        No. They. Didn’t. You. Degenerate. Liar.

    4. Keep dreaming. The AZ ballot count was completed last week. This week, they are finishing up the inspection of the paper, folds, etc, and the audit should be complete by the end of next week. 9-10 other stare legislatures sent observers, and were uniformly impressed at the procedures used. The rumors right now are maybe 200k fraudulent or miscounted ballots, with that likely to increase when the ballot integrity audit portion is completed. Maybe. We really don’t know yet, but the Biden/Garland DOJ seems to be soiling themselves right now over this audit. We shall soon see.

      1. What is the basis for the 200k fraudulent? Or is that too much and it enough to say that there are 200k bad votes. Let me guess they were all for Biden.

        Wisconsin check of the election found 27 fraudulent votes out of 3.3 million or 0.0008%. Arizona cast roughly the same number of votes so a fraud rate of 0.06% or 75 times the rate in Wisconsin. How do you get that much extra fraud? That is what I am waiting to hear.

        1. Running ballots through a machine without sourcing the ballots will reveal the same numbers every time, because it’s a machine counting them.

          1. They did a handcount in Georgia and found almost no change. This is just throwing more on the wall to see what sticks.

            1. Whether you count ballots by hand or machine does not make any difference, with regard to the claims of fraudulent ballots, which were made by election workers claiming to have observed unfolded ballots printed with selection bubbles prefilled and on the wrong paper.

              1. Please provide a citation for this hot air.

                1. You’re kidding right? This stuff has been in affidavits and court filings since November.

                  But you, like nearly every other person commenting and forcefully weighing in with their 2 cents, are completely and totally ignorant of what you are talking about. Because you figured a thousand misleading mainstream media headlines can’t be wrong, can’t be misleading and must be telling the full story. The sheer volume and effectiveness of propaganda is astounding.

            2. https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/georgia-audit-documents-show-unsecured-missing-ballot-batches-ballots

              “Records suggest more than 100 batches of absentee ballots in Fulton County could be missing. ”

              The biggest question has always been: did Fulton County officials work to “count” tens of thousands of illegal ballots?”

              The answer is “yes”, which is why Democrats are fighting so hard to block audits of what happened

              1. “suggest” from John Solomon’s website.

                Lol.

                1. Yes, the guy who was fired from a website with virtually no journalistic standards — The Hill — for reprinting Russian propaganda without even the pretense of actual reporting.

        2. “Wisconsin check of the election found 27 fraudulent votes out of 3.3 million or 0.0008%.”

          https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/26/200-000-wisconsin-voters-did-not-have-show-id-april-election/5246892002/

          “MADISON – Nearly 200,000 voters dubbed themselves indefinitely confined for the April election, allowing them to cast absentee ballots without providing a photo ID.

          Those voters will automatically receive absentee ballots this fall.

          The spring election for state Supreme Court saw an unprecedented level of absentee voting as people tried to keep away from others because of the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the globe.

          Of the nearly 1 million people who voted by mail, about 195,000 labeled themselves indefinitely confined, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. That’s more than 2½ times the nearly 72,000 who called themselves indefinitely confined in 2019. ”

          Biden’s margin of victory in WI was less than 20k votes. Over 120k votes were cast by “new voters” who went out of their way to get registered without showing valid State photo ID.

          But there were only 27 fraudulent votes. I’m curious, are you really stupid, really ignorant, or just a lying partisan hack?

          1. None of this proves fraud, there was a pandemic and so of course there were more who claimed indefinite confinement.

            1. Bullshit

              There was no limit on normal voters voting absentee. the ONLY reason to claim to be “indefinite confinement” is because you wanted to be able to vote without including a copy of your State Photo ID.

              And the State Supreme Court ruled that it was a violation of the law to use “fear of Covid” as grounds for being “indefinitely confined”. So anyone who did what you suggest was violating the law.

              So thank you for agreeing that there were > 100k illegal votes in an election decided by less than 20k votes

              1. You’re full of it.

                https://wkow.com/2021/01/08/use-of-indefinite-confinement-increased-statewide-for-2020-election/

                “Republicans in the spring took Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell to court over a Facebook post encouraging people to mark ‘indefinitely confined’ on their absentee ballots. They felt it was wrongly allowing people to get around the state’s voter ID laws.

                The state supreme court ruled McDonell was wrong to give that advice but, in its final ruling last month, determined it was ultimately up to voters and no one else to decide whether they meet the standard of being indefinitely confined…However, that increase is near-universal across the state. In fact, some counties that President Trump won experienced a larger rate of increase than Dane and Milwaukee counties, who were the target of Trump lawsuits….Reid Magney, spokesman for the elections commission, said roughly the same percentage of absentee ballots were marked ‘indefinitely confined’ statewide in 2016 and 2020. The difference driving the increase was more people voting absentee overall.”

                1. One of the take-aways from last year’s election is that you can’t actually count on the courts to enforce election laws, no matter how clear they might be, if the judges think there’s a ‘good’ reason for violating them.

          2. You should note that all those casting votes as indefinitely confined were listed on the voting role and that Wisconsin requires an ID to register to vote. Many of the people you mentioned received a ballot because they were listed as confined for the spring election, an election the Republican refused to move back. I would suggest that these people votes were not challenged in the spring, so why consider them different in the fall.

            Bottom line here is that you through out a conspiracy with no proof, as is commonly done.

            1. Bottom line is your full of garbage.

              It’s trivially easy to get a list of all registered voters, and when they last voted. Which means you can find people who haven’t voted, go online and request an absentee ballot, claim to be “indefinitely confined”, then send the ballot back in without need a picture of that person’s ID.

              “Indefinitely confined” is for people in nursing homes, who can’t get out, have no photo ID, and have no reason to get a photo ID.

              Are you seriously trying to claim that population jumped by a factor of 2 in 2020?

              Got some support for that claim?

              1. Indefinite confinement can be for any number of reason and the court ruled that it was up to the individual voter to make that decision. While they said Covid19 should not be the sole reason, they essentially left the door open to use the condition.

                Also note this has nothing to do with fraud because these are voter who already have registered.

            2. Most civilized countries require either a person to show ID when they vote, not only when they register, or effectively require voting in person on a single day with measures like inked fingers to prevent double-voting.

              The US is uncivilized in this respect.

        3. There’s a lack of nuance in discussion about the 200k figure. It means that there were 200k ballots with suspicious circumstances that strongly indicates, but does not objectively prove, fraud.

          If you want to know what those inconsistencies are and why they’re important, watch the audit and read about it. The entire thing was livestreamed.

      2. Hayden, you are the one dreaming if you believe those numbers, or that this audit is even slightly non-partisan. Were any of these supposedly impressed observers Democrats?

      3. “We really don’t know yet, but the Biden/Garland DOJ seems to be soiling themselves right now over this audit. ”

        Lol, no one takes that seriously. Even the GOP Board of the County pointed out what a partisan clown show the ‘audit’ is.

      4. “The rumors right now are maybe 200k fraudulent or miscounted ballots, with that likely to increase when the ballot integrity audit portion is completed. Maybe. We really don’t know yet, but the Biden/Garland DOJ seems to be soiling themselves right now over this audit. We shall soon see.”

        Babbling, delusional, bigoted, stomped-to-irrelevance ‘stolen election’ right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        The hallucinating dullards get to rail and flail, mutter and sputter, whine and whimper about all of this damned progress as much and as long as they want — but they will continue to comply with the preferences of better Americans (the liberal-libertarian mainstream).

        So carry on, clingers . . . and thank you for continuing to toe the line.

        1. Agents of the Chinese Commie Party can only win by cheating.

      5. The rumor is the rumor. The ballots were supposedly in batches of 50, and were triple hand counted. The story was that the original batches were coming up 2-3 short, that is 4-6%. Of course, there may be later batches with more than 50, and these may or may not be mail in ballots. This may have been where they were finding blank pieces of paper, instead of ballots.

        It’s looking like the ballot quality audit is taking a bit longer, or possibly just the analysis part, but they are saying right now that the results should be out sometime later next month. We shall see.

      6. uniformly impressed at the procedures used

        Were they uniformly impressed that the Cyber Ninjas (!) brought blue pens with them to the fraudit, which could be used to alter ballots?

        Weird how actual Arizona elections officials bipartisanly regard this entire process as an embarrassing joke.

  2. I’m not sure about that one. Arbitrarily excluding citizens from the vote sure seems like a violation of the equal protection and/or due process clauses. (Not to mention, in the case of laws that indirectly discriminate on the basis of race or gender, the specific constitutional provisions on those points.) And then of course there’s the question of how a mandatory voter ID that you have to pay for is different from the kinds of poll taxes that are forbidden by the 24th amendment. Taking all these things together sure gets you pretty close to a “universal suffrage principle”.

    As for examples of professionals getting it all wrong, I can’t believe that I, the non-American, have to remind you of the fact that NFL teams punt on the 4th down way more than they should.

    1. How is having a law requiring a very simple and effective way for you to prove that you are eligible to vote in certain elections arbitrary? ID is literally required for everything else we do in this country.

      1. It isn’t, that’s not the proposition that gave me pause. I was just hesitant about the general idea that there is no constitutional rule/principle in favour of universal suffrage.

        In the example you’re giving, that’s a classic twofer of 1) yes, there is a rule in favour of universal suffrage, but 2) exceptions can be made if they’re the least intrusive way to obtain a legitimate goal. (In this case the goal of preventing non-eligible individuals voting.)

        1. Well, go back to the 14th and 15th amendments. Why wasn’t the 14th amendment enough to do the job? Because voting wasn’t viewed as one of the privileges and immunities inherent in citizenship. And, why did the 15th amendment penalize states with loss of representation if they de-franchised adult males except on certain basis, rather than just prohibiting them from doing it? Because deciding who got to vote was viewed as one of the reserved powers of states.

          So, from an originalist standpoint, or even just textualism, yeah, it’s pretty clear that there’s no constitutional rule requiring the universal franchise.

          Now, that’s not clear from a living constitutionalist standpoint, but that’s just because living constitutionalism doesn’t constrain meaning at all.

          1. Voting was retroactively made a right protected by the 14th amendment in Reynolds v. Sims. This was accomplished via “an exercise of the amending power by this Court,” according to Justice John Marshall Harlan II.

          2. And, why did the 15th amendment penalize states with loss of representation if they de-franchised adult males except on certain basis, rather than just prohibiting them from doing it? Because deciding who got to vote was viewed as one of the reserved powers of states.

            That’s the fourteenth amendment; the fifteenth amendment does just prohibit denying the vote based on race outright.

            Great point other than that!

            1. Fair enough, I really should have re-read them, it’s been decades since my memory was photographic.

      2. It does not offer proof of eligibility. It only proves that you are you. How many people risk a bunch of prison time to impersonate a voter? Seriously.

        1. You can’t prove that there aren’t a lot of people double or triple voting, vote from the grave, etc because it is very rare to arrest anyone for that, though we know it happens, because some places (most often Dem strongholds) routinely have more votes than voting aged citizens.

          1. You clearly just make things up you say here. Please cite evidence that any jurisdiction in the United States routinely has more votes than voting age citizens.

        2. It does not offer proof of eligibility.

          It proves that you are the same person as the person listed on the sheet that contains the names of person who will be handed a ballot and allowed to vote.

          How many people risk a bunch of prison time to impersonate a voter? Seriously.

          According to this argument, it is unlikely that voting fraud has ever taken place anywhere, that voting fraud is usually detected, and that the spoils of office would certainly be an insufficient inducement for anyone to engage in fraud.

          1. It proves that you are the same person as the person listed on the sheet

            Of course being on the list doesn’t mean that a person is actually eligible to vote. One of the finding of a study done at Old Dominion University was: “Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”

        3. If you are an illegal alien violating not only immigration and identity theft laws but also gun and drug laws, why are you going to care about one more law???

      3. Native Americans living on tribal land are having a difficulty time meeting the address requirements due to the way the reservations are largely rural and lack traditional residential addressing systems. Many use PO boxes, which aren’t always allowed under voter ID laws. So while it may seem simple and reasonable to require a valid ID to vote for those of us that live in more traditional neighborhoods, voter ID laws currently disenfranchise native american voters.

        1. Prior to E-911, this was a problem in Maine as well.
          But now everyone has an actual numeric street address — that is ONLY used when bureaucrats request an address.

          I think you will find that the tribal governments assigned street addresses — people may not know them, but I believe they exist as this was a Federal (post-911) mandate.

          1. “I believe they exist”

            Ed is a crazy partisan and even he can only muster that he ‘believes’ this. This is really the level of argument on that side.

            1. Queenie is a crazy partisan who provides NO evidence of any sort, yet attacks others for doing no worse than she does

              1. Greg is Ed, right?

    2. “Arbitrarily excluding citizens from the vote”

      Sure, arbitrarily excluding citizens from the vote is wrong. But, what’s arbitrary about voter ID?

      As a citizen, I have the right to cast one specific person’s vote, in one specific precinct, once per election. Verifying who I am is fundamental to implementing those qualifications on the right.

      1. As a citizen, I have the right to cast one specific person’s vote, in one specific precinct, once per election. Verifying who I am is fundamental to implementing those qualifications on the right.

        Wait. Didn’t you just say that you have no such right, because it’s not covered by the P&I clause? I quote:

        from an originalist standpoint, or even just textualism, yeah, it’s pretty clear that there’s no constitutional rule requiring the universal franchise.

        So what stops a state from saying, for example, that people whose last name starts with “B” can’t vote?

        1. It’s a statutory right, not a constitutional right, at least at the federal level.

          “So what stops a state from saying, for example, that people whose last name starts with “B” can’t vote?”

          On the basis of the federal Constitution? Nothing. (Being an originalist means accepting that sometimes the Constitution means something you don’t like, an annoyance living constitutionalism spares its followers.) Mind, there would be some 15th amendment consequences to that decision.

          1. “Mind, there would be some 15th amendment consequences to that decision.”

            How’s that?

            1. See above, I had the 15th and 14th confused.

      2. Brett, what is arbitrary? It is that the wrong people want to impose the requirements. Government officials are not the boss of voters. Voters are the boss of government officials.

        In an election, it is not the government’s interest at stake. It is the sovereign People’s interest at stake. If they are as concerned as you are, the People are free to decree in the constitution whatever voting requirements will allay their concerns. Absent that, letting government officials try to choose their voters is wildly arbitrary.

        1. letting government officials try to choose their voters is wildly arbitrary

          It is the legislature that sets the requirement for voting. If its requirements are not arbitrary then enforcing those requirements is not arbitrary.

          1. Swood, you missed the point. The legislature is as much part of government—and as much a pack of self-interested special pleaders—as is anyone in the administration.

            The rival parties here are the entire government on one hand, and the sovereign on the other. But it is supposed to be no contest. The sovereign gets to demand from its government a jealous defense of the sovereign’s power, prerogatives, and freedom to decide all questions at pleasure—including the questions of who shall vote, and who shall hold office.

            Government office holders, whether legislative, administrative, or judicial, who purport to constrain the sovereign in its exercise of the constitutive power are wildly out of line. Aggrieved citizens with concerns about election integrity enjoy membership in the joint sovereignty. They should take their grievances up with their fellow joint-sovereigns, to discover whether it is the sovereign’s pleasure to amend voting procedures.

            It is utterly outside the framework of American constitutionalism for government office-holders to resort to government power to rule in this member of the joint sovereignty, or to rule out that one. Doing that turns American constitutionalism upside down. The sovereign People rule the government, the government does not rule the sovereign People.

            1. Is there any more textual support for your “sovereign People” arguments than for the “sovereign Citizens” argument? In practice, does there end up being any difference in effects?

              1. Michael P, founding era documents are saturated with references to what you refer to as, “your ‘Sovereign People’ arguments.” The Declaration of Independence is about that, and little else. The first 3 words in the Constitution, writ large, are one such reference. Hamilton’s numbers among the Federalist Papers repeat the reference almost monotonously. When Ben Franklin famously replied, “A republic if you can keep it,” the “you” he referred to was the sovereign People.

                In practice, it matters because folks who ignore or underestimate the role of popular sovereignty in American constitutionalism will end up either wrong, or at least subtly off track, on just about everything to do with American constitutionalism. The present controversy over voting restrictions is an outstanding example. Folks who conflate the government with America’s sovereign naturally fall into the error of supposing government is empowered to restrict voting. Folks who understand that public office holders enjoy their places at the pleasure of the voters see it otherwise, and more accurately.

                Here is a challenge for you. Re-read Madison’s Federalist 10, noting especially his uses of the word, “Liberty.” Ask yourself what ideas Madison meant to invoke with that word. Libertarians do not hesitate to say he is talking about individual rights. That interpretation makes the entire essay look frustratingly confused. Read that way, parts of the essay look like they contradict other parts. It makes you wonder where Madison got his reputation for political brilliance.

                Then read Federalist 10 again, on the different assumption that when Madison wrote, “Liberty,” he meant the word to invoke government founded on popular sovereignty, on majoritarian principles. In that light, everything else in the essay reads more naturally.

                That is the difference. The internal contradictions are gone. Keep the principle of popular sovereignty in mind, and you will discover that the American system of government is less challenging to understand than you may have supposed.

    3. “Arbitrarily excluding citizens from the vote”

      God you are insufferable.

      Netherlands
      “Voters must present their polling notification and a piece of photo ID (passport, identity card, or drivers license (a passport or ID is compulsory from the age of 14)).” wikipedia

      1. I believe all, or most, EU nations require ID to vote, and so do most countries around the world.

      2. Yeah, but they don’t have constitutional rights. So what’s your point?

        1. There’s a Constitutional right to vote without proving that you are the one voting? Learn something every day.

    4. “And then of course there’s the question of how a mandatory voter ID that you have to pay”

      Please name the States that require you to have a State ID that you pay for in order to vote. That do not allow people who can’t afford the ID to get one without paying for it.

      I’ll wait

      1. Do they provide the requisite documents to get the voting ID for free?

        1. Provide the State you want to complain about, with links backing up your claims. Otherwise you’re not worth anyone’s time

          1. I didn’t make a claim, I asked a question. I guess you can’t answer.

            1. You implied a claim, phrased as a question. My respobse is to ask you whether you can provde evidence of instances where the cost of providing the underlying documentation has in the last couple years prevented anyone from procuring a state Photo ID? Or are you asking a hypothetical question with no evidence that it isn’t merely hypothetical?

        2. What you are talking about is your birth certificate, since if you are otherwise eligible, you should have your immigration papers. But if you can’t provide some proof of citizenship and legal age, then why are you voting in the first place?

          Sure, in the distant past, you might not have had a birth certificate. The birth of at least one of my grandparents, born over 120 years ago, was instead recorded in the famiy bible. But the number of people living today born in this country who weren’t issued a birth certificate is vanishing small. My guess is that few born after WW I weren’t issued a birth certificate, and in the last century, that has dropped to near zero.

          1. I think the usual concern is people who have lost their birth certificate or other essential documents. Most often this is attributed to homelessness, perhaps with concomitant mental illness, leaving them without a secure place to store such documents.

            I don’t think this is a sufficient justification for removing the requirement, though.

    5. And then of course there’s the question of how a mandatory voter ID that you have to pay

      As far as I have looked at it, every state that requires voter ID offers free IDs. (The vast majority of people already have ID, of course. It’s rather difficult to get through daily life without one.)

  3. Since we live in a republic, or representative democracy or what have you, being undemocratic is a bit of a straw man, no?

    So to me, the real question is, who is ‘authorized’ to choose the representatives, right and how we ‘authenticate’ those choosers?

    To the extent that the laws prevent more authorized users than unauthorized users from voting, it is bad. To the extent it prevents more unauthorized users from voting that authorized, it is good.

    Of course the real fight is over which unauthorized users allowed and which authorized users prevented should be considered ‘harmless’ error.

    Obvious heuristic: The sum of the two < margin of victory.

    1. When the term “undemocratic” is used in this context, it doesn’t mean litterally mean “without democratic process” but rather that it erodes the democratic process and makes it less democratic in nature. It’s only a straw man if you misunderstand it.

      To the extent that the laws prevent legal voters from being able to vote, they are violating civil rights. Your construct, when applied to other laws like speech or gun rights or religion would get serious pushback. There’s no middle ground where saying the law is good even if it disenfranchises 10% of legal voters. The belief is that those 10% aren’t even arbitrary but part of the design of the law itself, but even if it is arbitrary, it’s still a violation of civil rights.

      1. “To the extent that the laws prevent legal voters from being able to vote, they are violating civil rights.”

        To the extent that the laws allow illegal votes to happen, they are ALSO violating civil rights.

        Voting is a zero sum game. Every single illegitimate vote is the exact same thing as denying someone the right to vote.

        My civil right to not have my vote stolen through vote fraud is exactly as valuable as your civil right to vote legally.

        Are you a legal US citizen? Then with a reasonable amount of effort you can vote. And if you’re not willing to put in that effort, then you’ve chosen not to vote, which is also your choice.

        I am a legal US citizen, I put in the effort needed to vote. But I can’t stop you from double voting, illegally, when there’s no ID check on you before you vote, or before you get an absentee ballot, or before you send that ballot in.

        Which means any attempt to allow those things is a violation of MY civil rights.

        And you don’t get to claim to be a defender of democracy while violating my right to have my vote count

        1. Your vote would still count it would just be diluted. You know, the way Californians voting for their Senators are diluted.

          1. Bzzt, wrong.

            The Californians get to vote for their Senator, i get to vote for mine. No dilution happens in either case, other than by illegal voting.

            If it’s really important to you to have your vote count “more” when picking a Senator, you are free to move to another State.

            That’s entirely different from having my vote stolen, which is what happens when an illegal vote is allowed that is the opposite of mine

            1. Your vote isn’t stolen, it still counts. It’s just diluted in your fantasy hypothetical.

              Unfortunately in the real world people in populous states who vote for Senators get their vote vastly more diluted because they only end up with the same representation as those in less populous states.

              1. You are, of course, allowed your opinion. But many here do not accept your argument that there is a distinction between you not being allowed to vote, and your vote being cancelled by an illegal vote. For many of us, your attempt to draw this distincrion is facetious. Repeating it doesnt make it anny more persuasive.

                1. Well, one obvious difference is that if you’re not allowed to vote, then your preferred candidate is guaranteed to be denied one vote. If an illegal vote is cast, it may be either for your preferred candidate or against him/her.

            2. Open wider, Greg J.

              Guys like me are not done imposing progress — reason, science, education, tolerance, modernity, inclusiveness — on whimpering, powerless, obsolete right-wingers.

              You might think you could catch a break after a half-century of losing in the culture war, but you would be wrong.

  4. Voter ID is ok by itself. But the problem is the same states that live voter ID also make it hard to get ID. For example there are many counties where they have no DMV, they charge high fees for the documents that you need to get an ID. If you have a day job where you can not take off, or don’t have a car it is even more difficult. What is funny is that commentators will respond saying that it is desirable to make one put in effort to vote, and thus proving my point.

    1. What high fee documents? I have lived in a few states and not sure what you are referring to.

    2. See my comment below. Without photo ID it can be impossible to get photo ID.

      1. Then why not put all the emphasis on that point? It was always obvious that Democrats would get more traction demanding that the ID be available, than demanding that it not be required.

        That they none the less settled on demanding that it not be required was a factor in convincing Republicans that vote fraud was common.

        1. What “convinced” Republicans that “vote fraud was common” was the realization that they could use the bogus conviction to keep Democrats from voting.

          Why must you blame GOP misbehavior on Democrats?

          1. I’ll make you a trade (if we were in charge, hypothetically); full restoration of gun rights after you serve your time and pay your fine and you also get full restoration of voting rights after you serve your time and pay your fine.

            1. I’d go for that. I think full restoration of all rights at the end of the sentence should be a universal rule.

              Democrats want just the voting right restored, to maximize the number of voters who have nothing to gain from the 2nd amendment being upheld.

              1. Brett, you posit that Republicans are justified in pressing for voter ID laws because Democrats are so dead-set against them, and Republicans just can’t believe Dems are up to no good. So why doesn’t the same justification work for Democrats? Republicans push for these laws so hard, that Dems just can’t believe there isn’t a nefarious motive.

                1. Because there’s nothing actually “nefarious” about requiring every voter to have a valid State ID.

                  You can not legally function in our society without such an ID. There’s only three kinds of adults in the US who can survive w/o an ID:
                  1: People who are living “under the table”. They get paid in cash at work, with no paperwork, and they pay all their bills with cash. Which is to say: they’re not paying income tax or SS tax on their earnings. So A: They’re criminals, and B: They’re not paying the taxes that will be imposed on the rest of us by the politicians they want to vote for. This kind of person doesn’t deserve a vote
                  2: People who are here illegally. Also shouldn’t be voting
                  3: People who are completely dependent upon another adult, who DOES have a photo ID, to provide the means of life to them.
                  Since this person has a validly ID’d person, they CAN get a photo ID if they want one. If they don’t, that’s their choice

                  The Democrat position, from the beginning of the push to require photo ID, has always been “this must not be required”, not “we must make sure that unfortunates who don’t have ID can get one”

                  If you’re a law abiding, tax paying or government aid receiving individual, then either you have the ID needed to vote, or you want it and are blocked from getting it. There has never been the slightest legitimate grounds for the Dems to oppose Photo ID requirements

                  1. Thank goodness our election laws are not controlled by ignorant, partisan, superstitious bigots.

                  2. There has also never been the slightest legitimate grounds for Republicans to push hard for voter ID laws. We now have states that require ID, and states that don’t. Can you cite any evidence that the states that don’t require ID have a significantly higher incidence of voter impersonation fraud? Can you cite any evidence of significant voter impersonation fraud anywhere?

                    If not, then I guess Democrats have a legitimate reason to wonder why Republicans want these laws so badly.

        2. I have never opposed IDs but rather said the ID should be appropriate to the task, which is to match a face with a name in the poll book. Any number of IDs should be acceptable for this task.

          1. Ever seen what underaged college students can produce for ID?

          2. Nope.

            The task is to prove that you are an adult US Citizen who is a resident of the locality where you are voting. If you’re a CA resident, you should not be voting in NH elections, even if you happen to be there on election day.

            That is why requiring an ID issued by the State where you’re voting is the right thing to do

            1. But that is not how you vote. You register to vote, which require proof that you can vote in the location you chose to vote at. The ID is to show that you are in fact the person whose name is in the pollbook and is registered to vote. A CA ID does not allow you to vote in NH because you would first have to be registered to vote in NH.

              1. Vote registration, which happened at some time in the past, doesn’t nothing to prove that you are CURRENTLY a resident of the State where you’re voting.

                In any event, “living in a location for some period of time” does NOT equal ” a resident thereof”. A “resident” is a person who makes their “permanent home” there, not someone who just happens to be there right now.

                The place your driver’s license / State ID card is from? That’s where you’re a “resident”. And that’s the ONLY place you should be voting. Because you’re deciding who represents and governs that place. If you’re not a resident, you don’t have the requisite “skin in the game” to justify having part of that decision.

                1. You are wrong. College students are allowed to vote where they go to school and are not required to change the address on their ID. Also many legal IDs do not show citizenship or address.

                  1. So what? Having an out of state DL is still having a state issued photo ID. My wife used her AZ DL to vote in MT.

                    1. So what? Having an out of state DL is still having a state issued photo ID. My wife used her AZ DL to vote in MT.

                      But that’s what Greg is arguing against. He thinks your wife committed voter fraud.

      2. Um, no. Roughly 85% of the population has a driver’s license. How did they get these licenses in the first place if it’s impossible to get licenses without licenses?

    3. “For example there are many counties where they have no DMV, they charge high fees for the documents that you need to get an ID.”

      These are both not true. Lib propaganda.

      1. Put photos on EBT cards and accept those…

        1. Except that we have, in some states, illegals being isdued EBT cards.

          1. If the goal is to verify identity when voting, is that a problem? If EBT cards were issued in another person’s name, that would be a problem for using them to vote. But if they correctly identify the holder, them being issued to people who can’t legally vote seems like a voter registration problem instead. They shouldn’t be on the voting rolls in the first place.

            So those cards might be usable to vote, but not to register to vote.

    4. You’re not making sense. The same documents you need to get ID are the same documents you need to get a job. Every job requires you to provide proof of eligibility to work in the US. So how can you have a job without the documents to get an ID? Further, what states don’t let you register at the DMV when you get your drivers license?

      1. You do know lots of people don’t have jobs or driver’s licenses, right?

        1. Then they can get a State ID card. Which they need to open a bank account, cash a check, or do many other activities.

          1. Many people have not opened a bank account in decades or cashed a check in the same period. You need to get out of your bubble.

            1. And never gotten government benefits?

              I am probably not the only one here who believes thst you are making this shit up. Making up that there are more than a handful of peole in this country that dont have, ot havent had a state issued photo ID.

              As I pointed out above, almost every native born citizen was issued a state authorized or issued birth certificate. And those who weren’t, are dying off quickly. Anyone else has had immigration papers.

              1. The argument seems to be that there is a minute fraction of people who have reasonable problems meeting the requirements, and so the solution is to remove the requirements for everyone rather than help those people (who, as you point out, are seriously impaired in trying to do things that are quotidian for everyone else).

              2. I recall some years ago the Democrats litigated this point, and one of the reasons voter ID was upheld was that they could not produce anyone who was qualified to vote but who couldn’t actually have obtained ID.

    5. You can get a passport at the post office.

      1. Many libraries too.

  5. Voter ID only prevents voter impersonation. How much of that is there? The effect, however, is to disenfranchise minority voters.

    I learned first hand just how difficult (if not impossible) it is to get photo ID when you do not have photo ID (in the aftermath of having been shot and disabled for several years). I was living in NYC at the time and I had to have Schumer’s office persuade State to issue a passport which was the only form of photo ID I could get.

    1. It must vary by state but I’ve found it fairly easy to get a photo ID without already having one. In fact my wife went through the process when she move to IL because for whatever reason she didn’t want to surrender her KY driver’s license, so she went through the process of getting an IL license as if she had no other ID. She just needed her birth certificate, social security card, and a renter’s agreement for her IL address.

      I went through a similar experience when I was younger, as all my identity documents had been lost during a custody dispute when I was a kid, so I had no birth certificate, no social security card, and no ID. I guess I’m somewhat fortunate in that I knew what county I was born in so I could request a birth certificate, then took that to the social security office to get a new copy of my social security card, and then to the DMV to get a photo ID

      1. “She just needed her birth certificate, social security card, and a renter’s agreement for her IL address.”

        Just those? I mean, the first two can mean a laborious bureaucratic challenge (and sometimes fees).

        1. “laborious bureaucratic challenge”

          Give me a break, going to the social security office is not “laborious”

          You have a low opinion of your voters to think they can’t undertake simple tasks.

        2. I’m guessing you didn’t read the second paragraph of my comment, when I mention I had to get those very two documents for myself before I could get an ID

          Considering how much you need an ID for these days I’m always surprised to hear how many people supposedly don’t have one

          1. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve shown my ID to another person in the last ten years. I’ve got the same bank account, job, doctor, etc. during that time. The grocery store, liquor store, etc., know me and never ask for it. And I’m middle aged, imagine I were an elderly shut in!

        3. You are ignoring the very real benefits that people without ID’s gain by getting an ID.

          Seems pretty heartless to say as long as we can get your vote without it you don’t need an ID.

          Also in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada the Supreme Court upheld a Nevada law that requires people to identify themselves to the police in certain circumstances.

          1. Lol, it didn’t require them to present legal ID but to identify themselves, like verbally.

    2. “Voter ID only prevents voter impersonation”

      No, it also block fraudulent voter creation. WI picked up over 120k “new voters” from people getting special absentee ballots that didn’t require showing a photo ID in order to register & vote.

      That 120k new voters compares to the 72k who had registered that way in all the previous years it was available.

      So, let’s compare the 120k unverified new voters, to Biden’s less than 20k “margin of victory”.

      Then we can discuss vote fraud and its effects on elections.

      https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/26/200-000-wisconsin-voters-did-not-have-show-id-april-election/5246892002/

      1. There’s no evidence those were ‘new voters’ rather than voters who in a pandemic year elected to use this expanded route.

        1. There’s no evidence that they were NOT new, fake, votes, at least, you’ve yet to supply any.

          And if they chose to do that because of fear of Covid, they violated the law

          https://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/InsideTrack/Pages/Article.aspx?Volume=0&ArticleID=28110

          1. “There’s no evidence that they were NOT new”

            Lol! ‘It’s true I can’t prove there was fraud, but you can’t prove there was NOT fraud!”

      2. No, it also block fraudulent voter creation. WI picked up over 120k “new voters” from people getting special absentee ballots that didn’t require showing a photo ID in order to register & vote.

        Why are you conflating voting and registration? They’re two different things. The “indefinitely confined” thing is about voting absentee, not about registering.

        Also, Report finds 80% who claimed indefinitely confined status to vote had previously provided IDs.

    3. “The effect, however, is to disenfranchise minority voters.”

      That’s an interesting claim. You Dems say that a lot.

      What you never do is provide any proof it’s actually true

      1. There are studies that find that minority groups are less likely to have the requisite ID. But there’s also a long time libertarian argument that bureaucratic requirements will fall more heavily on populations with less resources.

        1. Too bad those with less resources can’t get any assistance from the government, since you need a photo ID to apply for any of those programs

          1. 1. Some with less resources don’t get assistance (think shut ins)
            2. Do you have to show it regularly? Because otherwise they may have had one years or decades ago but lost it since, right?

  6. Other countries have Voter IDs with no problem and no controversy. The only reason Dems are acting like its an atrocity to ask for IDs as well as fighting tooth and nail against any voting security is they know they benefit off voting fraud.

    1. For the record, here in the UK voter ID also gets people pretty angry pretty fast. But back home in the Netherlands I’ve never voted without showing ID, and that’s fine with me. (And when I vote remotely I have to mail them a copy of my passport.)

      Then again, in the Netherlands it’s mandatory to carry ID in all sorts of situations anyway, and the police can fine you if you don’t have it on you. If you live in a country where most people have no better ID than a driving licence, and where a substantial share of eligible voters don’t even have that, a voter ID that costs actual money (and time) to obtain starts to look an awful lot like a poll tax.

    2. Other countries – and some states – have widespread mail-in voting with no problem and no controversy.

      The only reason the Republicans are acting like it’s an atrocity is that they know that it is more widely used by Democrats, for a variety of legitimate reasons.

      1. Actually for many years it was older Republicans that used mail in ballots. The real controversy start when large number of Democrats began to use them. This is the reason that courts refused to limit mail in IDs. The principle of latches says you can not change a law you accepted for many years, just because it is now helping you political rivals.

      2. “Other countries – and some states – have widespread mail-in voting with no problem and no controversy.”

        Define “widespread main-in voting”. WI had over 60% mail in voting in 2020. Which nations have that much or more?

    3. Republicans have been cheating for years as well. If they really, really wanted voter ID laws, they would pass them when the stars occasionally align and they have full control of legislatures in these states that are the worst for voter fraud.

  7. The Cantoni & Pons study referenced said that “strict ID requirements have no effect on fraud,” but what they really showed was that there was no effect on criminal convictions for fraud. It’s the effect on undetected fraud that may be motivating the supporters of strict ID requirements. A different kind of study would be needed for that.

    1. Just out of curiosity, what kind of study did you have in mind?

      1. Probably the sort that usually gets shut down as “voter intimidation”: Get a list of people who are recorded as having voted, and audit it to see if they actually did vote, actually live at the recorded address, actually are who they say they are.

        Back in the 90’s I was a campaign volunteer for a candidate who was well funded, (A Libertarian rarity!) and he decided to do a campaign literature drop to every single registered voter in the entire House district he was running in. It was rather amazing how many people were registered to vote at fictitious addresses.

        Now, some of that was undoubtedly typos and the like, but I’m hardly confident all of it was.

        1. Actually, it would be much easier. You could just look at how many dead people, or people who have moved away (both of who should have been removed from the voting lists, but often aren’t), etc are shown to have voted

          1. In fact what you say does happen. I have mentioned 27 cases of fraud in Wisconsin and in some cases that was relatives voting for a dead family member. It happens but is rare and relatively easily caught.

            1. I recall hearing of cases where they went to congratulate centenarians on their achieving advanced ages, and ended up discovering SS fraud instead.

            2. No, it isn’t

              WI had 120k+ people register to vote in 2020 while claiming they were “indefinitely confined”, and therefore didn’t have to provide any id in order to vote absentee.

              Before 2020 there were less than 75k people who voted that way.

              https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/26/200-000-wisconsin-voters-did-not-have-show-id-april-election/5246892002/

              Now, it would be “easy” to catch these people. All you have to do is have Democrat Governor Evers send the State police to check every single address where such people are “registered”, and verify that the claimed person is there, is real, and is that person, not someone pretending to be two people.

              I’m sure he’ll get on that investigation right away!

              And I’m sure that Dane and Milwaukee Counties will run their own investigations, too!

              And I’m sure that if a republican ran such an investigation, the Democrats wouldn’t scream about “voter intimidation!”

              /sarc

              1. Wisconsin did not have 120K people register to vote being listed as “indefinitely confined”. You are misstating facts. You must be a registered voter to request a ballot by mail and most cases, myself included, you provide an ID. There is a provision that many used in 2020 to request the ballot without showing an ID, but these were registered voters.

                You like too many other do not understand the voting requirement and instead spin some conspiracy.

                1. From the Wisconsin Election Council

                  “They don’t have to show a photo ID but it does not exempt them from voter registration, signing their absentee certificate and having a witness on their absentee ballot,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official.

                  You can not register to vote without ID and proof of residence.

                  1. Anyone in WI can request an absentee ballot, for any reason. All “indefinitely confined” gets you is that you don’t have to include a copy of your photo ID when you send your ballot back.

                    Isn’t it amazing how WI went from 72k “indefinitely confined” voters to 200k in the space of 1 year?

                    Note: “afraid of Covid” does NOT qualify as “indefinitely confined”.

                    Gee, I wonder, could people be claiming to be a registered voter who they are not, and voting in that person’s place? I wonder if WI has some way to stop that, a way that got short-circuited by an extra 120,000 people in a year when the margin was 20,000.

                    No, I’m sure that no one did that! And that there was nothing “interesting” happening while Milwaukee shut down their vote counting in the middle of election night.

                    Yeah, that’s the ticket, there were only 37 questionable votes!

                    1. You can only get an absentee ballot if you are registered to vote get your facts straight.

                      The Wisconsin Supreme Court said it was up to the individual to decide if they are infinitely confided, so any register voter can claim this status.

                    2. “You can only get an absentee ballot if you are registered to vote get your facts straight. ”

                      No, I can get an absentee ballot for ANYONE who is registered. All I need is the list of registered voters, and what’s the last election they voted in.

                      So I find ones who haven’t voted in a while, and I request an absentee ballot for them. Then I fill it out, and send it back.

                      No muss, no fuss. No photo ID needed to prove I’m that person.

                    3. You: “The Wisconsin Supreme Court said it was up to the individual to decide if they are infinitely confided, so any register voter can claim this status.”

                      WISC: “First, the presence of a communicable disease such as COVID-19, in and of itself, does not entitle all electors in Wisconsin to obtain an absentee ballot under Wis. Stat. §6.86(2)(a),” wrote Chief Justice Patience Roggensack.

                      “Similarly, an emergency order that required all Wisconsinites to remain in their homes except for limited circumstances, standing alone, was not a condition based on age, a physical illness, or an infirmity.”

                      Finally, the chief justice wrote, “having trouble uploading or providing proof of a photo identification does not permit electors to avoid both the absentee voting laws and the voter identification laws.”

                      There’s a bit of a difference between those two statements.

                      Also, what WISC said was that ONLY the voter could declare him/herself “indefinitely confined”. Not that person’s caregiver, and not the Dane or Milwaukee County Clerks.

                    4. So, “Moderation4ever”, WHY was it that an additional 120,000+ voters decided in 2020 that they were “indefinitely confined”, and had to vote absentee w/o photo ID?

                      How is it that the number of people doing this went for ~70k to ~200k?

                      And how is it that every single one of those was honest?

                      Or are you going to continue to avoid those questions, because you have no good answer for them?

                    5. Why did so many people apply for a mail-in ballot as indefinitely confided because they could as the Wisconsin Supreme Court left it to those people judgement if they were confided and many felt that way because of the pandemic.

                      As to your little scheme to fraudulently vote by mail, lets keep the answer simple. You get a list of the voter rolls, you pick a person who has not voted lately and request a ballot using their name. The ballot is sent to their address listed in the roll. How do you get that ballot to vote it? Just hang out at people’s mail boxes for a few days and rummage through their mail? Not real sure that going to work in your grand scheme.

                    6. Isn’t it amazing how WI went from 72k “indefinitely confined” voters to 200k in the space of 1 year?

                      Note: “afraid of Covid” does NOT qualify as “indefinitely confined”.

                      I see Greg has appointed himself to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and is interpreting state laws for them.

        2. some of that was undoubtedly typos and the like, but I’m hardly confident all of it was.

          But you are quote confident, I’m sure, that if there was anything nefarious going on it was all done by Democrats, because Republicans are angels about these things, at least outside of NC.

          1. Well, no, I’m pretty sure it was by Democrats because I was working for a Libertarian candidate running in a district the Republicans had given up on.

          2. 1: I am sure that the people who fight against securing elections are doing so because they’re stealing them

            2: In NC, the campaign manager of the Republican who was caught faking up absentee ballots had previously been an “absentee voting expert” for Democrats. Shocking, isn’t it, that people ONLY started looking into the absentee ballots when he started working for a Republican.

            Notes:
            A: He first helped the guy steal the GOP primary
            B: In the new election, with a Republican who the primary voters actually wanted, the Republican still won

          3. It’s quite obviously easier to get away with substantial fraud when you have a high-population-density locale which is effectively single-party in nature. The first because bigger haystacks can hide more needles, the second because it reduces the number of locals motivated to come forward or investigate.

            So, assuming entirely equal base rates of nefariousness among both Republicans and Democrats — heck, assuming Republicans are moderately more inclined to commit fraud — we should expect Democrats will commit more successful voter fraud, because the list of places that have 80+% single-party ID and high populations are all Democrat-aligned.

          4. NC has a serious problem with people voting illegally:

            https://apnews.com/article/north-carolina-general-elections-elections-raleigh-voting-633ce0fd33f28ec627551b043ed423fd

            That’s on top of 19 indicted last August 31, another 19 indicted (also for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election) in August 2018, etc.

        3. Same thing happened in MA when Kennedy died and there was a special election — they sent notices of it to everyone with an EBT card and a massive number of those came back as undeliverable.

          And someone went out to Los Vegas and did a YouTube on the vacant lots that voters claimed to be living at.

        4. ” Probably the sort that usually gets shut down as “voter intimidation”: Get a list of people who are recorded as having voted, and audit it to see if they actually did vote, actually live at the recorded address, actually are who they say they are. ”

          It is relatively easy to determine who voted in a particular election, in my experience. In some cases the ACLU has sued to ensure that citizens are able to obtain that information at little or no cost.

          So get out there and confirm to your heart’s content . . . or quit whining.

      2. There is one very well documented case of voter fraud likely swinging the governor’s election in Washington. Dino Rossi won the initial election and the automatic recount by around 450 votes. In the manual recount a tray of “misplaced” ballots were found in a King County warehouse, that gave Christine Gregoire a 129 vote victory.

        When the Republicans sued they compiled evidence of duplicate voting, dead votes, and illegal felon voting:

        “Judge Bridges noted that there was evidence that 1,678 votes had been illegally cast throughout the state”.

        But the judge went on to rule that having 10x the margin of victory wasn’t enough, that the Republicans actually had to prove who the 1678 ballots were cast for and that it actually affected the election, not that it could of. They would have required at least 978 affidavits (1678/2 + 129) from the people who cast the illegal ballots stating they voted for Gregoire, which was an impossible hurdle to meet.

    2. The Cantoni & Pons study also found no measurable effect on turnout. If ID laws were indeed preventing undetected fraud then turnout should have been reduced (also, if ID laws were indeed disenfranchising large numbers of voters you would also expect turnout to be reduced, so its a double-debunking)

      1. I take it as a given that the percentage of in person voter impersonation is pretty low, all the experts agree that absentee voting is where it really happens.

        Doesn’t mean we should run our elections on the honor system, though.

      2. I’ve seen other studies that found increased minority turnout after photo Id requirements.

        So there’s no way to disentangle a drop in fake voting, from a rise in real voting because people have more reason to trust that their vote will actually matter

    3. It’s also not difficult to conclude that there will be fewer attempts at voter impersonation when there is strict voter-id in place, explaining why convictions for voter fraud do not rise after such procedures are put in place.

  8. “[The U.S. Constitution] contains no universal suffrage principle and no anti-partisanship principle.”

    A republic, not a democracy. And our Constitution isn’t a value-free neutral organizing charter. The founding principle of the U.S. was and still is the protection individual liberty–not the provision of government “services.”

    What a surprise.

  9. Society values secret ballots, and data on fraud will always be deficient where we maintain protections on anonymity. So sometimes logic needs to make up for measurement limitations. Perhaps there was some wisdom reflected in the 2005 voting commission. So control the input of ballots (in part through reasonable ID requirements), chain of custody, and observation of counting.

  10. Having participated in what I believe to be one of this nation’s larger election challenges about 16 years ago, gubernatorial challenge to WA Governor Christine Gregoire, the problem at that time was fraud at the electoral center in the state’s largest county (or was it a mistake?) in addition to some ‘lost bags of ballots’ found after the election and authorized for processing. Invalid ballots that had been segregated were inexplicably processed.

    Were I seeking to legislate electoral integrity I’d start with security for invalid mail in ballots.

    1. Mail in ballots are the biggest source of fraud, at least according to what every body agreed upon until 2020 was a non-partisan and worthy report put out by former President Carter after the 2000 election.

      1. The biggest source of fraud is sore losers, based on the results of the 2020 election, in which Republicans found so many cases of fraud that they couldn’t even document any of them.

    2. Saying so is considered an insult to election workers, but nobody else is better situated to commit ballot fraud; You’re in a position to bypass almost all the safeguards, and thanks to our insane system of partisan election administration, in areas where one party predominates, everybody running the polls is likely to be members of the same party.

      I’ve long advocated creating a kind of “election corps” similar to the Peace Corps or CCC, where people could volunteer, be trained and paid for one election cycle, and then be assigned to a random precinct far from home. Thus making conspiracy among election workers to commit fraud virtually impossible to arrange.

      1. Sure, organizing all the election workers in one organization makes it harder to coordinate a fraud. This type of thinking is why nobody wants to put you in charge of anything important, Brett.

    3. in addition to some ‘lost bags of ballots’ found after the election.

      I have wanted one safegaurd put in place, and nobody ever mentions it.
      The number of votes cast within a half hour after the polls close.

      “lost” ballots show up too often

      1. The fix for this is to stop having balloting sites that are so overloaded that when closing time for the polls comes, people are still waiting in line for their turn to vote.

  11. On the other hand, the fact that so many political groups with real skin in the game spend time fighting about voter ID laws makes me wonder if the studies are missing something. Why would legislatures spend political capital enacting them if they didn’t do something? Why would groups spend scarce resources fighting them if they didn’t do something?

    My experience with politics is that it’s often less about what laws do and more about what they are PERCEIVED to do. The laws are q

    1. The laws are quite popular (and quite UNpopular) among various groups, so enacting (or fighting against) them pays dividends in political popularity. And that is generally more important than actually doing something these days

      1. Like abortion. The fight is the value. Abortion could have been legislated at the federal level, but neither side wants to do it.

        1. Maybe, just maybe, there’s nobody in the government who should have much of a say in such a decision.

  12. What I object to is uninformed idiots voting, whether left or right. But there is no test to weed them out. The simplest proxy I can think of is you’ve had your current job for at least one year, and pay for your housing (ie, if you live at home, you do indeed pay your parents for room and board). But there are far too many ways around those requirements, just as there are far too many other ways to beat any system of artificial restrictions.

    Another idea is a third chamber in Congress, whose members proxy income tax dollars. When you file your return, you assign your tax votes to anyone you wish; they can assign them too, and the top 100 are members; presumably No. 101 et seq would assign their proxies to one of the 100. The main benefit is an additional hurdle to passing any law, and explicitly representing people who have shown they are competent enough to earn money. Note this is income tax, not bank account or wealth, not property tax or state income tax or sales tax.

    The simplest idea is let anyone vote, no restrictions at all — illegals, tourists, Martians for all I care — and each voter dips a finger in indelible ink to prevent repeat voting. You’d need an ordered list of body parts to dip for those who have lost fingers etc. You’d need to require individual voting — no assistance other than pushing a wheel chair into a booth, so no babies held by parents.

    1. “What I object to is uninformed idiots voting, whether left or right.”

      You can stop right now!

    2. The simplest idea is let anyone vote, no restrictions at all

      The simplest idea is to let only me vote.

      1. I’ll be SUCH a benevolent ruler! You can trust me! Unless anyone on Saturday Night Live makes fun of me, in which case off to Gitmo with ’em. They know what they did.

  13. There’s less fraud with voter identification and nobody can deny it. Every state has a way to get a picture ID and every citizen can also get a passport. There’s also less fraud with voting on election day in person. Whereas extended early voting and mail in ballots create opportunities to commit fraud. Democrats like to argue that Republicans are disenfranchising people, but it’s clear that is a ruse designed to cover democrat voting fraud. You will note Rep Hill’s win in 2018 was due to ballot harvesting, and once the GOP caught onto that game a republican won the seat later.

    1. “There’s less fraud with voter identification and nobody can deny it.”

      There’s less voting with it, and nobody even tries to deny that. That was the point.

      Making it easy to vote benefits people who aren’t Republicans.

  14. Would it be constitutional to limit voting to property owners?

    1. Male property owners.

      1. “Male property owners.”

        There is an amendment banning only male suffrage, no specific language regarding property. Is a property requirement a banned poll tax?

        1. Is a property requirement a banned poll tax?

          The 24th amendment prohibiting poll taxes (ratified 1965) only applied to federal elections but the Supreme Court corrected that in Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections (1966) ruling that the Equal Protection Clause required the prohibition also to be applied to the states. They also said that “Wealth, like race, creed, or color, is not germane to one’s ability to participate intelligently in the electoral process. …To introduce wealth or payment of a fee as a measure of a voter’s qualifications is to introduce a capricious or irrelevant factor.” Prohibited are “qualifications which invidiously discriminate,” so limiting it to property owners is probably out (depending on a given court’s sense of invidiousness).

          1. Interesting.

            “Wealth . . . is not germane to one’s ability to participate intelligently in the electoral process.”

            The founders disagreed, I think. At least, they disagreed that a person’s standing in society was not germane to one’s ability to participate responsibly and freely.

            The basic idea, I think, was that those who were dependent on others would not have a free choice.

            Hamilton (apparently quoting from Blackstone): “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

            Adams: “Is it not equally true, that men in general in every society, who are wholly destitute of property, are also too little acquainted with public affairs to form a right judgment, and too dependent upon other men to have a will of their own? If this is a fact, if you give to every man, who has no property, a vote, will you not make a fine encouraging provision for corruption by your fundamental law? Such is the frailty of the human heart, that very few men, who have no property, have any judgment of their own. They talk and vote as they are directed by some man of property, who has attached their minds to his interest…”

            Kind of reminds one of a potential situation where populations are made to be dependent on government welfare and thereby enslaved.

            Madison: “Viewing the subject in its merits alone, the freeholders [that is, landowners] of the country would be the safest depositories of republican liberty. In future times the great majority of the people will not only be without landed, but any other sort of property. These will either combine under the influence of their common situation, in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands; or, which is more probable, they will become the tools of opulence and ambition, in which case there will be equal danger on another side.”

            And on pure democracy generally:

            Madison, “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

            Hamilton, “The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure, deformity.”

            John Quincy Adams: “[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived”

            John Witherspoon: “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

            1. Yeah, but what do woke rich millennials in silicon valley know that working class Latinos in the Rio Grande don’t?

              Nothing.

            2. “The founders disagreed, I think.”

              They’re dead, and we’re not.

          2. But regardless of the disagreement between the founders and Harper v Virginia Bd. of Elections . . . . I don’t see where in the Constitution it outlaws all voting qualifications that are “not germane to one’s ability to participate intelligently.”

            It’s easy to see why the founders did not even empower Congress to regulate voter qualifications and elections (forget about a ridiculous oligarchy where everything is regulated by “judges” who spin law out of whole cloth). So they left it to the States, i.e. to the people. As John Adams wrote:

            “Society can be governed only by general rules. Government cannot accommodate itself to every particular case, as it happens, nor to the circumstances of particular persons. It must establish general, comprehensive regulations for cases and persons. The only question is, which general rule, will accommodate most cases and most persons.

            Depend upon it, sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation, as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters. There will be no end of it.”

            1. You know that the structure of the government has been revised since the Founding, right?

              The Framers were worried about a monarch with sovereign power, so they intentionally divided up the sovereign power of the United States, to keep if from being aggregated into a single person. The states, they thought, would protect individual rights from the federal power. Well, that approach failed, so we reforged the system so that the federal government protects individual liberty against incursion by the states. This is frustrating to modern Republicans, who want to use state power to infringe individual liberty. The federal government keeps preventing them from doing that so they have a goal of destroying the federal government.

      2. Make it White Male Property owners and you’ve got the original state of the nation when the Constitution was written. But, with all those pesky ammendments that give women and non-Whites the right to vote, it would currently be unconstitutional.

        Since voter ID laws require residential addresses, we already limit voting to “people who live in houses listed on traditional postal addressing lists.” That’s not quite “property owners” but it certainly isn’t “all legal adult citizens” either.

        1. No, apartments and the like can be listed as residences. If you’re homeless there’s a bit of a problem, but I expect that even in that case you could list a homeless shelter.

          1. In North Dakota in 2017 this also excluded Native Americans living on certain reservations who had never been assigned residential addresses by state and county governments. The Supreme Court allowed North Dakota to enforce its voter-ID requirement.

          2. If you enjoy irony, you could list an address in Antelope, OR. (a bit of history. A cult set up shop there, and then bused in thousands of homeless people to vote there, giving them (the cult) control of the local city and county governments.

        2. Wrong. MA had Black voters in 1788.

          1. As if things that happened prior to the Constitution were relevant to whether or not something that happened afterwards is Constitutional.

        3. Yeah, but you don’t have to actually live at your “residence”. Hundreds of thousands of people live overseas and still legally vote in federal and local elections from overseas. Millions of retired people have multiple residences where they split time, or one residence and an RV that they spend more time on the road than at home.

          1. Are you arguing that people who live overseas shouldn’t be allowed to vote?

    2. Probably, but the 14th Amendment, Section 2, would reduce representation in Congress as a result of that.

  15. I find it amusing that many of the folks hyperventilating about voting “restrictions” are also the biggest supporters of administrative (bureaucratic)government. In many ways, our government is much less democratic than it was 100 years ago, particularly at the state and local level: elective offices have been replaced by appointed ones, if not “merit selected” bureaucratic functionaries; legislative bodies have been reduced in size to make them more “efficient”, and government has become generally more centralized in practice if not in formal structure. Yet, much caterwauling is heard about “access” to voting in our increasingly meaningless elections.

    1. Nothing says “more democratic” like only enfranchising less than 50% of adult citizens. It was “more democratic” when women, native americans, and blacks couldn’t vote? really?

      If only conservatives put as much faith in the right to vote as they do the right own arms.

      1. Women were granted the right to vote more than 100 years ago.

        1. Depending on where you’re standing, more than 150 years ago.

      2. Like many, you seem to be confusing the concept of “democratic” with the concept of “universal suffrage”.
        Yes, it most certainly was democratic to structure the original state and federal governments, even while excluding women, non-property holders, or whatever.

        Many classical Athenian governments were most certainly democratic, and at the same time the most broad only allowed a third of adult residents to vote – while the strictest only allowed a few hundred!

        1. You see, as I say time and again in these debates many on the right either have disdain for democratic values or find them strange and impossible to understand.

    2. Good comment. You’re right. But I would say especially at the federal level. The bureaucratic monstrosity in D.C. operates largely unperturbed by the voters and their elected representatives. Elections are to the bureaucracy as minor ripples. Congress does very little except bicker over the corrupt distribution of trillions of dollars. In the executive, countless alphabet soup agencies promote a myth of their supposed “independence” which is an absurdly unconstitutional idea by definition.

      The root cause is the centralization of power in DC. If most matters were left to the States, you would have a much more tolerant “live and let live” society. Instead, we have people in New York City and people in the mountains of Idaho voting on how to spend each other’s money for abortions and trans surgeries. Or on how to regulate each other’s gun ownership. They get two choices usually handpicked by the bipartisan political establishment and nobody is ever happy with it, Congress approval rating is always in the dumps. Oh, and those elected representatives don’t even decide usually, it is some lifetime judge who decides. The situation is beyond ludicrous.

      This polarizing and totally dysfunctional national arrangement clearly poisons all state and local government due to their affiliation with the 2 parties and the preoccupation with the never ending dog and pony show of national politics. It poisons everything now, from neighborhoods to churches to you name it.

    3. “elective offices have been replaced by appointed ones, if not “merit selected” bureaucratic functionaries”

      Yikes! If the job is filled by someone who can be fired for not being good at it, how will the government EVER reflect the will of the people?

  16. The problem with relying entirely on legislative solutions to inequitable political processes is simply that undemocratic features are installed precisely to prevent political solutions.

    Take gerrymandering as an easy example. The whole point is to entrench the party currently in power – that is, to make it difficult or impossible to change the composition of the legislature by political action. It’s foolish to say “this practice, which effectively stifles democracy, must be overturned by democratic means.”

    And this applies more broadly, of course. If you make rules prevent the opposing party’s voters from voting they are going to have a hard time throwing you out and changing those rules.

    John Roberts, career anti-voting-rights activist, surely understands this, but wants to pretend he doesn’t.

    1. The problem with relying entirely on legislative solutions to inequitable political processes is simply that undemocratic features are installed precisely to prevent political solutions.

      So the judiciary is empowered to impose whatever laws it deems necessary in order to correct for the inadequacies of the legislature and of the democratic process? I don’t think that this kind of open-ended and unlimited political authority was granted to the judiciary by the Equal Protection Clause, though I assume you disagree as long as the judiciary is exercising its authority in conformity with your political sentiments (but not otherwise, as, for example, if the judiciary declared the minimum wage unconstitutional).

      1. So the judiciary is empowered to impose whatever laws it deems necessary in order to correct for the inadequacies of the legislature and of the democratic process?

        Not what I said. Not remotely, but go ahead and respond to what is in your head rather than the actual statement.

    2. The one nice thing about gerrymandering for partisan gain, is that you do it by making a smaller number of really secure seats for the other side, and somewhat larger number of marginal seats for your own side. Then along comes an election where the other side does better than you were expecting, and your marginal seats fall like dominoes.

      That’s why the 1994 Congressional elections were so dramatic: The Democrats had only held onto Congress so long through gerrymandering.

      Currently, most gerrymandering is NOT partisan gerrymandering, (Though Illinois is a rather gross example of it being perpetrated right now.) but instead pro-incumbent gerrymandering: Something incumbents of both parties can agree is a good idea!

    3. Take gerrymandering as an easy example. The whole point is to entrench the party currently in power –

      I remember studying this back in the 70’s in civics. We looked at grotesque legislative districts drawn to create Black districts, and that, according to the teacher was the way it should be. Also Dems were particularly adapt at protecting their turf. But other than talk about it, nobody thought it needed any adjusting.
      Now the Dems think gerrymandering is a problem, All the gerrymandering of the 70’s by democrats has turned the geography of the United States RED, with islands of blue in the megalopolises.
      I know Iowa has a well thought of redistricting system. Some simple geographic rules about proportionality and such, An apolitical committee draws the lines and if that fails, a judge draws the lines, no appeals. Last time the SoS was asked how many state ask to see their model, he said it was rare.

      1. So your response to my comment is that the Democrats are hypocritical on the subject of gerrymandering?

        OK. They are. So are the Republicans.

        Now what?

    4. “The problem with relying entirely on legislative solutions to inequitable political processes is simply that undemocratic features are installed precisely to prevent political solutions.

      Take gerrymandering as an easy example.”

      The solution to gerrymandering has a simple solution, whose only flaw is that it will never be selected by anyone who has the power to do so.
      Let the losers of the election draw the districts for the next election, instead of the winners.

  17. I suspect that non-citizen voting is one of the major fears of Republicans. That’s especially true when combined with motor voter laws.

    On the driver’s license application, it asks if you want to register to vote. Undocumented immigrants fear that if they say “No”, that ICE may come knocking on their doors. Similarly, if they fail to vote although registered, that too may make a red flag for ICE to come investigate them.

    But to investigate allegations of widespread non-citizen voting, requires that investigators widely ask the question, “Are you a citizen?” That’s forbidden in most places. We’re not even allowed to ask that question on the census form.

    FEDSOC had a podcast discussing the ways that Democrats systematically suppress investigation of allegations of voter fraud. That allows them to then say, “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”

    How many non-citizen voters might there be? We can only guess. 1 million is a guess, 100 million is another guess. The guesses can be wildly wrong, but there is no legal way to make a scientifically sound investigation to provide a well founded estimate.

    The voting issue is also entangled with the immigration debate. If we have open borders, and if the undocumented immigrants get to vote, then the demographics heavily favor Democrats in the future.

    1. FEDSOC had a podcast discussing the ways that Democrats systematically suppress investigation of allegations of voter fraud.

      Really? I thought they were just a conservative discussion group, more or less. Was there any discussion of Republican malfeasance?

      That allows them to then say, “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”

      You are aware that there have been numerous investigations, including by motivated Republicans, that have found no such evidence? But go ahead with that “Stop the Steal” sign.

      1. Your second claim sounds an awful lot like “it’s not really suppression if it works”. How do you distinguish a clean system from one where cheats have instituted rules that effectively prevent catching most cheating?

        1. That’s how you know the conspiracy really exists… if there’s no evidence of conspiracy. y’see, the conspiracy covers its tracks, and gets rid of any evidence that it exists.

  18. I will concede that the Republican voter laws are pretextual, but they woudln’t be necessary if we had reasonable, common sense restrictions on voting in the first place. A single black woman with an IQ of 85 and 6 illegitimate children with 5 different men gets the same vote as a white church deacon running a successful small business and raising 3 solid children. That’s an outrage.

    1. The average IQ is 100. The standard deviation is 15 points. Those scoring 85 are just below average. You would exclude voters simply because they have below average intelligence, or do they also have to have illegitimate children and be a black woman?

      1. No, I would exclude voters purely for having below average IQs. But 50% of blacks have IQs below 85, versus only 16% of whites.

        So any IQ test is going to disproportionately impact blacks.

        1. “But 50% of blacks have IQs below 85, versus only 16% of whites.”

          And 100% of you.

    2. Or a single White woman with an IQ of 85 and six illegitimate children with SIX different fathers gets the same vote as the Black man who retired as a LTC (and B-52 pilot) from the SAC. Equally outrageous.

      NB: SAC — Strategic Air Command — they flew nukes during the Cold War.

      1. Yup. But there are very very few white women in that category.

      2. “Or a single White woman with an IQ of 85 and six illegitimate children with SIX different fathers gets the same vote as the Black man who retired as a LTC (and B-52 pilot) from the SAC. Equally outrageous.”

        Special Ed gets to vote, too. Outrageous!

      3. “NB: SAC — Strategic Air Command — they flew nukes during the Cold War.”

        So did TAC, (Tactical Air Command). Also NORAD (North American Air Defense)
        Strictly speaking MAC (military airlift command) flew a few missions with nukes aboard, and all of these groups knew how to do it because of ATC (Air Training Command).
        I got the training becaues of my military occupation (46250 Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist) but never served in SAC.

    3. Here we have it folks.

  19. The idea that people have of great amounts of election fraud happening is both the result of a lack of knowledge of the election procedures and an over active imagination. They simple don’t understand that the diffused election process does not allow for large scale fraud. Small numbers of fraud can occur and most of these are caught. There is no way to conduct a large scale fraud. It would have to occur across voting districts and across states. It would require a massive conspiracy and so would be impossible to hide.

    In the 2016 election Russia put it thumb on our election scales. Now there is no doubt that Donald Trump won and there is no way to really quantitate the effect of the Russian actions. But even these actions, large or small, left a very discernable trail that could be followed. You simply can not step into an American election, have a significant effect and not leave a trail.

    1. While I agree that there is no large-scale fraud your position mistakenly assumes that the presidential election is the only one that matters.

      Small scale fraud could certainly swing House seats, (and with the House as close as it is a few seats would swing the entire chamber) Any number of state or local races would also be susceptible to even a small amount of fraud

      1. You are entirely correct that in smaller election voter fraud could be enough to change a race. Those are the races that deserve scrutiny and they often get that by way of recounts.

        But larger races statewide and national are very unlikely to be affected by fraud. It would be hard to fake the number of votes needed, harder yet to do it undetected.

        1. Voting fraud can happen across a large number of precincts, leading to a large number of bogus ballots, without a single overarching conspiracy behind it. And it probably does. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-philadelphia-judge-elections-convicted-conspiring-violate-civil-rights-and-bribery

          1. Kind of proves my point that election fraud on a large scale is difficult to get away with.

          2. “Voting fraud can happen across a large number of precincts, leading to a large number of bogus ballots, without a single overarching conspiracy behind it. And it probably does”

            It’s also possible that a large population of mammalian bipeds could be living in North American forests, yet not be detectable despite multiple, independent efforts to prove it’s out there. Until they get evidence that doesn’t appear faked, I’m not listening to the Bigfoot fans any more than the “massive election fraud” fans.

  20. Have blacks bought a beer, sent a package, started a phone account? Their ID was scanned. It is quite racist to assume an ID law will affect blacks more than whites.

    1. “Have blacks bought a beer, sent a package, started a phone account? Their ID was scanned.”

      Funny story. I did two of those things today, without presenting an ID to anybody. Then again, I’m white, so maybe I had different rules?

  21. To all those opposed to voter ID:

    Please remove your username and passwords from your online accounts. Also, please join my petition to remove the requirement to prove I have the authority to use your credit card number.

    You have no proof that I have ever tried to impersonate you online or use your credit cards, therefore it’s not a problem. You’re just making it hard for me, which is terribly unjust.

    1. You’re terrible at analogies.

      1. Indeed he is. Probably thinks he’s clever, too.

        For the record, I have approximately 0% opposition to voter ID requirements IF they’re created and administered in a way to avoid disenfranchising lawful voters.

  22. It is worth considering the often-repeated right-wing argument that stringent voting regulations—imposed by legislatures—are a proper way to boost public confidence in elections. It is ludicrous on its face.

    Compare the hit to voter confidence of two alternative threats:

    1. Voter impersonation at the polls, which is easy to theorize, but nearly impossible to demonstrate.

    2. Self-interested political office holders who try by multiple stratagems to disqualify voters who the office holders think will vote against them. And who do their level best to burden, hinder, and diminish the voting opportunities of all their political opponents whom they cannot disqualify outright.

    That seems to be the trade-off, and for undermining public confidence in elections, number 2 is a far greater threat than number 1. Only fools and cynics will say otherwise.

    1. Tell that to all the European countries that decided requiring government-issued ID when voting is essential to clean elections.

      Also, Democrats have been pushing vote-by-mail very hard lately. At least seven states currently have automatic mail-in ballots — they mail a ballot to every registered voter, automatically, for every election. (CA and NJ also did that in 2020, but it’s not clear whether they will continue.) Your two alternatives are not even close to covering the relevant trade-off space.

      1. “Tell that to all the European countries that decided requiring government-issued ID when voting is essential to clean elections.”

        Do their constitutions prohibit poll taxes, like ours does? Do they charge voters to get those government-issued ID? Recall that one of those European countries once required religious ID, and that a number of them had requirements for government-issued ID just to move around in the country. “Papers, please”.

  23. I sense that relatively few of the people offering strident testimony or opinions about elections here have much experience as an election official, as a legitimate poll watcher, or in election day legal operations (election court, boiler room, at the polls, etc.)

  24. “Why would legislatures spend political capital enacting them if they didn’t do something?”

    Political success doesn’t come so much from what you’ve actually done, as from what the suckers back home THINK you’ve done, are doing, and will do in the future.

  25. “Are Voter ID Laws Antidemocratic and/or Unconstitutional?”

    The universal legal answer applies: “it depends”.

    It depends on who’s writing them, and what they’re really trying to do. If they’re trying to disenfranchise people who would otherwise legally be allowed to vote, then, yes, they’re undemocratic and very likely unconstitutional. Hint: This is the type the Republicans have been trying to write for a couple of decades now.

Please to post comments