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Effects of Voter ID in Indiana Primary:

The Washington Post reports that other than for a handful of nuns and some college students from out-of-state, the state's Voter ID requirement upheld by the Supreme Court in Crawford does not appear to have created a significant obstacles to prospective voters' ability to cast ballots.

there were few other such incidents reported across the state, which has one of the strictest laws in the country, requiring voters to have a photo ID issued by the state or federal government. After the Supreme Court upheld the law by a 6-3 ruling last month, there was widespread speculation that the ruling could hurt Barack Obama in the primary, since he was counting on strong turnout among African American voters in inner city neighborhoods in Gary and Indianapolis where many residents lack drivers' licenses. But Obama spokesman Bill Burton said this evening that the campaign had received only scattered complaints on the voter hotline it set up to deal with problems at the polls. He credited the campaign's aggressive voter outreach effort to make sure supporters had the ID they would need. (Residents without driver's licenses can obtain free picture IDs at department of motor vehicle branches.)

Bethany Derringer, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Secretary of State's office, said the office also had not received many complaints on a hotline it set up for today's vote. She said that should not come as a surprise, given that the state's voters have had to contend with the strict law since 2005. "We've had nothing earth-shattering," she said. "We've done extensive education on this."

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. What About Those Nuns?
  2. Effects of Voter ID in Indiana Primary:
Barbara Skolaut (mail):
"the Supreme Court in Crawford does appear to have created"

I think you mean does not, Jonathan.
5.7.2008 11:56am
Brian G (mail) (www):
I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID. Probably more than 22,000, the number of votes Hillary won by.
5.7.2008 12:02pm
Hoosier:
Brian G--I am here in Indiana, and have not heard anyone make that claim. But if any evidence arises, I'll be sure to post a link.
5.7.2008 12:09pm
Viceroy:
I guess primary voters tend to be less likely to be affected by this sort of a law, so it will be interesting to see what the evidence is around the general election.
5.7.2008 12:11pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID."

I wonder how many fraudulent votes -- that we don't know about -- were discouraged by this policy.

Your "discouraged minorities" can be encouraged by educational efforts -- which will also further discourage fraudulent votes. Win/win.
5.7.2008 12:20pm
JB:
We can't prove a negative. Maybe someone somewhere was discouraged to vote by this; maybe they were intent on fraud, maybe they honestly don't have ID.
5.7.2008 12:29pm
rarango (mail):
What Ms Skolaut said in the first post.

Agree with those who suggest looking at the results after the general election. Will be much more interesting I suspect.
5.7.2008 12:32pm
Indiana Demographics:
Brian G,

Here is some IN demographic data that can put the 22K number in perspective.

IN Population (2006) - 6,313,520
% under 18 - 25%
% black - 8.9%

That means that the total number of blacks eligible to vote in the entire state is approx 420K. (I didn't see a racial breakdown of the over/under 18 so I just assumed it was consistent across racial lines).

It is also reported that the total votes cast yesterday was about 1.6mm, giving a total turnout rate of 34%. Assuming a consistent racial breakdown for turnout (definitely a stretch), total black votes cast would be about 142K.

Now we have a range of black votes in IN from 142K to 420K, which means that anywhere from 5% to 15% of the black vote was discouraged from showing up due to lack of photo ID.

For another way to look at it, I saw that about 28% of blacks, or about 117K, in IN were estimated to lack proper photo ID as well. About 20% of the black population without ID would have wanted to vote, but didn't bother because of the new ID law to get to the 22K number.

I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing that those percentages are on the high side (but certainly not out of the realm of possibility) to make the ID law the cause of the 22K vote split. Everyone can feel free to draw their own conclusions from this, however.
5.7.2008 12:45pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
As for the nuns, I seem to recall articles about this same group during the 2006 cycle. If my memory is correct on this I have even less sympathy. Two years is more than enough.
5.7.2008 12:48pm
Brett Bellmore:
If the nuns weren't a deliberate effort to manufacture sympathetic plaintifs for an "as applied" challenge to the law, I'll be very surprised.
5.7.2008 12:49pm
H Tuttle:

Now we have a range of black votes in IN from 142K to 420K, which means that anywhere from 5% to 15% of the black vote was discouraged from showing up due to lack of photo ID.


Err, it's just as likely that this group simply decided NOT to vote, were busy, sick, or otherwise occupied. Look if I have to show a freakin' ID to buy a lousy six-pack, cash a check, get on a plane, or even enter a courthouse, and we can argue the validity of each separately, then the fact that an ID is required to vote is a minimal burden at best.

And those people crying a river now who don't have IDs (other than the legit scant few who may have recently moved in to the state, etc.) are just SOL as far as I'm concerned.
5.7.2008 12:50pm
TerrencePhilip:
I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID. Probably more than 22,000, the number of votes Hillary won by.


I don't know either, but you've just got to be wrong- the real number has to be, oh, a billion.
5.7.2008 12:50pm
@ Indiana Demographics (mail):
I'm going to pass over several leaps of faith you make, most notably that a resident without any form of state-issued ID is a committed, likely, or even possible primary voter. There is this whopper:


For another way to look at it, I saw that about 28% of blacks, or about 117K, in IN were estimated to lack proper photo ID as well. About 20% of the black population without ID would have wanted to vote, but didn't bother because of the new ID law to get to the 22K number.

I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing that those percentages are on the high side (but certainly not out of the realm of possibility) to make the ID law the cause of the 22K vote split. Everyone can feel free to draw their own conclusions from this, however.


Why do you blithely assume that every single one of these 'disenfranchised' black voters was in the tank for Obama? I've been called a racist for much less.
5.7.2008 1:08pm
Fearless:
Wonderful.

It is nice to know that a law designed to combat a nearly nonexistent problem (people without ID going to the polls to cast fraudulent votes) does not have an excessively negative impact. I am sure that Republicans are disappointed that their attempts at disenfranchisement were not more successful.

On balance, ID requirements are still a net negative. The number of people disenfranchised is certainly much higher than the number of fraudulent votes prevented. I know that doesn't matter to elitist scum Republicans, who think that those who are somehow too defective to have an ID should not exercise the franchise.
5.7.2008 1:25pm
xx:
The Indiana Secretary Of State's Office's statement seems at best incomplete. Seems like "extensive education" could decrease day-of-election complaints in two ways: First, education could encourage voters to get IDs. Second, education could warn voters without IDs not to bother showing up at polling places. Either result would decrease day-of-election complaints, and only the first scenario would prove that the law wasn't a significant obstacle to voting.
5.7.2008 1:27pm
Indiana Demographics:
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my post or needed to disclaim it further (probably both). My post was meant to be skeptical of the claim that the 22K difference was due to the ID law.

The assumptions I made were to establish a floor value. I need every single one of the voters without ID to be in the tank for Obama for the numbers I calculated to be right. As the proportion of Obama support drops (as it rightly should), an even higher percentage of people would have wanted to vote but not done so due to the lack of ID.

I think that those percentages I gave were very high for the cause of the loss to be the ID law, particularly given that the law has been in effect since 2005. The cross section of people that want to vote, but don't have ID should be pretty small (and certainly smaller than the percentages I assumed in my earlier post, which was 100%). Of course, Obamania is a more recent phenomenon, but it has been going on long enough for almost anyone in IN who wanted to vote to get the proper ID.
5.7.2008 1:28pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"The number of people disenfranchised is certainly much higher than the number of fraudulent votes prevented."

By what means do you attain certainty on this subject? Can the certainty be reproduced in anyone aside from yourself?
5.7.2008 1:30pm
Stewart:

Now we have a range of black votes in IN from 142K to 420K, which means that anywhere from 5% to 15% of the black vote was discouraged from showing up due to lack of photo ID.

As far as I can tell, there is no evidence for this conclusion. It seems much more reasonable to me to assume that the people who couldn't be bothered to get an ID wouldn't have bothered to vote anyway, even if there was no ID law, but I have no evidence for that, either.

In reality, I'm sure there were some blacks who were deterred by the ID law, but my point is, the number could be anywhere between 0 and 117K. Has anyone done any polling to pin this down?
5.7.2008 1:31pm
Leroy Washington (mail):
Brian G.

I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID. Probably more than 22,000, the number of votes Hillary won by.

Minority people aren't like you, are they? You can't expect them to do all the stuff you do, simple stuff like register to vote. You can't expect that of brown people. They're just not capable. As far as you're concerned brown people are like children, or monkeys.
5.7.2008 1:33pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Anybody have ANY actual statistics on the number of 18+ black residents of Indiana who don't have a state-issued ID? Anybody compared this to the average black turnout in prior races? It is utterly irrational to presume 100% turnout of any bloc of the electorate in any election. Has turn out increased or decreased since the law was enacted?

The assumption that the percentage of under 18 year olds is the same in both the black and the white population is also in great need of support. Looking at census data available here, 23.5% of all white people are under the age of 18, while 31.4% of all black people are under 18.
5.7.2008 1:40pm
The Unbeliever:
I wonder how many subsequent comments Brian G could have avoided if he had put his "more than 22000" comment in /sarcasm tags.

Do we really want to start down the road of eligible voters who are "discouraged" from voting for want of an ID, rather than those actually prevented from voting? I wonder how many were "discouraged" from voting by the weather, bad traffic, or restless children?
5.7.2008 1:43pm
DiverDan (mail):
Fearless, just what does a committed rational independent need to do to discourage folks like you from voting? Sadly, the Supreme Court has struck down literacy tests. Maybe we should try to enact laws requiring Psychological tests, and disenfranchise the lunatic fringe.
5.7.2008 1:44pm
Fearless:

Why do you blithely assume that every single one of these 'disenfranchised' black voters was in the tank for Obama? I've been called a racist for much less.


If you read exit polls, you would know that the vast majority of black voters are voting for Obama. It is not mere speculation to infer that black voters who are disenfranchised due to the voter ID law would have voted for Obama.


I'm going to pass over several leaps of faith you make, most notably that a resident without any form of state-issued ID is a committed, likely, or even possible primary voter.


Actually, it is not a leap of faith. It is basic economics.

I know you Republicans love to worship economists. So get this. The higher the marginal cost of voting, the fewer people who will vote.

If the marginal cost of voting is relatively low (because a person already has an ID) an individual is more likely to vote. If the marginal cost of voting is higher (because one most go through the hassle of waiting in line at the DMV to obtain an ID before going through the hassle of waiting in line at the voting booth) an individual is less likely to vote. This is especially true for individuals who have limited transportation options, making the marginal cost of travel to the DMV even higher. (Surprise surprise, people without ID are people who tend to have more limited transportation options. If it takes hours to get an ID when bus transportation and walking and waiting in line are factored in, fewer people are going to vote.)

So, it works like this.

Higher marginal cost equals less voting.

That is actually the point. Republicans want to make it more difficult for these Democratic voters to get to the polls, knowing that ID problems affect Democratic voters much more than Republican voters.

Combating the practically nonexistent problem of voters without ID casting fraudulent votes is not the point. Increasing the costs of voting for minorities who tend to vote Democratic is the point.

By the way, last time I checked, Indiana has absentee ballots.

I guess when you take someones ballot from the mail, vote it, and mail it in, you have to show ID. Oh wait, no you don't.

If this were really about voter fraud, Indiana Republicans would have done everything they could to ensure that individuals can easily obtain the ID they need. They would facilitate the obtaining of necessary documentation and transportation to numerous offices in convenient locations where such ID can be obtained. But they haven't done that.

This isn't about fraud. This is about winning elections by increasing the marginal cost of voting for voters who tend to vote for the other party.
5.7.2008 1:48pm
rarango (mail):
Fearless: Fortunately for those of us who are wingnut Republicans, the Supreme Court does not agree with your assessment. Perhaps you should have made the argument before the court.

Considering the state of TN requires me to show ID to buy beer in a supermarket (but not to buy liquor in a liquor store), I think voter ID for those wishing to exercise their franchise is a remarkably low obstacle.
5.7.2008 1:49pm
whit:
"I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID"

right. because the racist identity card daemon (tm) blocked them.
5.7.2008 1:50pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Hillary appeals to older voters, women voters, and Catholic voters. The way I see it, the 12 nuns' votes would all have gone to her.

Indiana's Voter ID bill supposedly passed on a party line vote. The parties that organize registration drives will have to organize photo ID drives as well. Perhaps the legislature could fund outreach vans to go to old folks' homes and take their pictures.
5.7.2008 1:51pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Considering the state of TN requires me to show ID to buy beer in a supermarket

Tennessee has 100% compliance? Would Santa Claus get carded in Tennessee?

I finally had to show ID the other day, paying for a couple of DVD's by credit card in a record store. First time in years -- I literally cannot remember the last time.
5.7.2008 1:55pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Please let's be honest about a few things concerning this controversy:

1) No one without an ideological axe to grind or otherwise immune to facts thinks that voter fraud of the kind the IN statute was ostensibly designed to prevent is a significant problem.

2) Posner's opinion upholding the statute honestly conceded that it was a solution in search of a problem and that it would on balance affect Democrats more so than Republicans--that is its intent, and behind the nationwide Republican campaign against the phantom problem of voter fraud, which spans from statutes like these to the firings of capable U.S. attorneys for declining to prosecute such nonexistent offenses.

3) One can agree with Posner and the Supreme Court that the statute is constitutional (and I do, though there is a 24th Amendment argument against it not raised at either level), which is the only court test it had to pass to stay on the books--why bother to pretend that it has any morally or democratically legitimate purpose?

4) The real empirical test of the effect of such laws will likely be in the general election, since general voters are generally less informed about such things and less committed to the electoral process than primary voters (an assumption on my part, but I think a fair one).

5) The quest to come up with a case of this kind of voter fraud resembles the Republicans' equally quixotic attempt to identify a single middle class family or family farmer adversely affected by the estate tax prior to its recent reform.
5.7.2008 1:56pm
Fearless:

"The number of people disenfranchised is certainly much higher than the number of fraudulent votes prevented."

By what means do you attain certainty on this subject? Can the certainty be reproduced in anyone aside from yourself?


Anybody that understand economics should see that this will be the effect. The number of people who have been prosecuted for casting fraudulent ballots at the polls is minuscule. And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected. X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. The real Y goes to the polls. X gets caught. If fraudulent voting by people lacking ID was a large problem, these sorts of prosecutions would be much higher.

So. We know we have a situation where we have practically no fraud occurring.

On the other hand, we do know from economics that when you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it. If you increase the marginal cost of voting, you will get less voting.

It is quite clear that the magnitude of the second effect (people not voting due to higher marginal costs) is much greater than the practically nonexistent magnitude of the first effect (fraudulent voting by people without ID).
5.7.2008 2:14pm
KeithK (mail):

No one without an ideological axe to grind or otherwise immune to facts thinks that voter fraud of the kind the IN statute was ostensibly designed to prevent is a significant problem.


No one without an ideological axe to grind really thinks that obtaining a free ID is a substantial burden.
5.7.2008 2:15pm
Sebastian Holsclaw (mail):
"And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected. X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. The real Y goes to the polls. X gets caught."

How does X get caught? You have no idea who he is.
5.7.2008 2:22pm
Fearless:

Fearless: Fortunately for those of us who are wingnut Republicans, the Supreme Court does not agree with your assessment. Perhaps you should have made the argument before the court.


Just because the Republicans desire to disenfranchise is constitutional, that does not make it right.


Considering the state of TN requires me to show ID to buy beer in a supermarket (but not to buy liquor in a liquor store), I think voter ID for those wishing to exercise their franchise is a remarkably low obstacle.


First, you do not need ID to buy beer if you are clearly over the age of 21. I buy alcohol without being carded.

Second, the fact that you are seriously comparing the right to vote with the right to buy beer shows just how f***ed up your values are.
5.7.2008 2:23pm
Fearless:

How does X get caught? You have no idea who he is.


How does any criminal who doesn't show his ID get caught?

Can you say eyewitnesses? Also, even if the individual is not caught, we would at least know that the event occurred. The fact that these things are not detected very often is rather remarkable.
5.7.2008 2:26pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
If the nuns weren't a deliberate effort to manufacture sympathetic plaintifs for an "as applied" challenge to the law, I'll be very surprised.


Agreed, even assuming difficulty because of their age and that none of them drove in traveling twelve miles to the DMV to get a free ID, the Indiana General Assembly passed PL 109-2005 in July of 2005 and they were told repeatedly by their fellow nuns about the need to get an ID. That's nearly three years since the time Indiana passed their voter ID law to figure out a way to make arrangements to get to the DMV to get a free ID.

I agree, it was deliberate because twelve elderly nuns make a better photo op than someone caught registered to vote in two States so she could double-dip on her homestead exemption.
5.7.2008 2:27pm
Fearless:

No one without an ideological axe to grind really thinks that obtaining a free ID is a substantial burden.


Except for economists, who know that if you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it.

The Republicans behind this law are not stupid. They know that if you increase the marginal cost of voting, you will get less of it.

It is not about it being a "substantial burden." It is about increasing the marginal cost of voting for one segment of the population (those currently lacking ID), while keeping the marginal cost of voting the same for another (those currently possessing ID).
5.7.2008 2:28pm
Fearless:

right. because the racist identity card daemon (tm) blocked them.


More likely, because they did not have transportation to the DMV. Or extra time to go to the DMV. Or access to documents needed to demonstrate identity to the DMVs satisfaction.

You can argue against basic economics all you want whit, but I think you should stick to law enforcement, which is more your forte. If you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it. Period.
5.7.2008 2:30pm
Piano_JAM (mail):
Except for economists, who know that if you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it.

Fearless, get over it. You lost, voter ID is here to stay.

And I agree with your marginal cost. We wingnut repubs usually have a job, and the choice between making money and voting is a marginal cost. So there!
5.7.2008 2:37pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
"And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected. X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. The real Y goes to the polls. X gets caught."


How does X get caught? You have no idea who he is.


You're forgetting that after casting a fraudulent vote while posing as Y, X decides to hang out at the polling station for the day shooting the breeze with the election judges until Y shows up.

And then when the camera crew from COPS shows up, X decides to make a run for it while intoxicated and handcuffed.
5.7.2008 2:37pm
Fearless:

And I agree with your marginal cost. We wingnut repubs usually have a job, and the choice between making money and voting is a marginal cost. So there!


Due to transaction costs, most people do not sacrifice a significant amount of income to vote. While in theory your time may be worth X, in reality, transaction costs will often prevent you from realizing X as income.

In other words, if you have a salary and your employer lets you take a little time to vote (as most do) you do not lose any income from voting.
5.7.2008 2:42pm
The Unbeliever:
The Republicans behind this law are not stupid. They know that if you increase the marginal cost of voting, you will get less of it.


And when you increase the marginal cost of voting fraud...
5.7.2008 2:44pm
Fearless:

You're forgetting that after casting a fraudulent vote while posing as Y, X decides to hang out at the polling station for the day shooting the breeze with the election judges until Y shows up.


In contrast, all the other criminals who are somehow caught always stick around at the scene of the crime in order to facilitate their apprehension. Criminals who engage in fraudulent voting are just somehow extra sneaky in that they do not stay at the scene.

Anyway, the issue is not one of apprehension, but of detection. Even if you did not apprehend these criminals because the police were too busy munching on donuts and could not be bothered with a proper investigation, you would at least detect that the voting occurred.

The fact that this is not even detected tells us all we need to know for the purposes of evaluating whether fraudulent voting without ID is a significant problem. And guess what. It is not.
5.7.2008 2:46pm
The Unbeliever:
More likely, because they did not have transportation to the DMV. Or extra time to go to the DMV. Or access to documents needed to demonstrate identity to the DMVs satisfaction.

Heaven help them if they should ever need to apply for and receive federal aid! (Or are we turning Social Security into a come-on-come-all soup line now?)
5.7.2008 2:47pm
FantasiaWHT:
Anybody that understand economics should see that this will be the effect. The number of people who have been prosecuted for casting fraudulent ballots at the polls is minuscule. And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected. X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. The real Y goes to the polls. X gets caught. If fraudulent voting by people lacking ID was a large problem, these sorts of prosecutions would be much higher.


Economics has nothing to do with the major mistakes you are making in this analysis (although it fits fine with your earlier analysis of marginal costs).

# of convictions for fraud =/= # of instances of fraud.

It is very very simple to prove that fraud is happening on a much larger scale than the mere number of convictions can show. Take a look at the problems showing up in Milwaukee, such as the thousands of provisional ballots which were cast with nonexistent physical addresses, or the fact that more votes were counted than were actually cast. Look at numbers of votes cast by dead people, felons, or non-residents.

Even your example above is severely faulty (X votes as Y, Y votes, X gets caught). How, exactly, is X supposed to be caught? X didn't give any information that would allow authorities to discover his real identity to arrest him.
5.7.2008 2:48pm
Fearless:

Fearless, get over it. You lost, voter ID is here to stay.


Why can't conservatives just "get over it" and realize that the right to choose abortion is here to stay.

Why can't libertarians just "get over it" and realize that drugs and sex with underage teenagers will remain illegal.

I am sorry, I am not going to "get over" the intentional disenfranchisement of voters. You will be playing defense on this law for the rest of your life until it is overturned.
5.7.2008 2:49pm
The Unbeliever:
In contrast, all the other criminals who are somehow caught always stick around at the scene of the crime in order to facilitate their apprehension.

Blatant category error. Voting fraud (the kind we're talking about here anyway) is an identity crime, not one determined by forensic evidence. The proper comparison is with criminals who engage in identity theft or credit card theft. If you can't challenge and verify the identity of a suspect, how do you expect to catch any criminals in this category?

Criminals who engage in fraudulent voting are just somehow extra sneaky in that they do not stay at the scene.

"Regular" criminals usually leave forensic evidence at the scene, or are caught on videotape, which allows police to track them down later. Are you suggesting the better way to prevent fraud is video surveillance on all polling places, or taking fingerprints of voters and attaching them to ballots? What kind of chilling effect would that have?
5.7.2008 2:52pm
Fearless:

# of convictions for fraud =/= # of instances of fraud.


However, failure to even detect fraud that WOULD typically and naturally be detected is an indication that the fraud is not occurring.

Even if you do not catch X, you certainly do find out that X has voted fraudulently by claiming to be Y, when the real Y shows up at the polls at tries to vote.
5.7.2008 2:53pm
A Plebian:
"No one without an ideological axe to grind really thinks that obtaining a free ID is a substantial burden."

An easy claim, indeed, for someone who enjoys a class position above poverty level (yes, I'm assuming here; just try telling me with a straight face that I'm wrong in that assumption). Or when you don't possess a means of leaving work for up to 5-6 hours at a stretch during the DMV's normal business hours without risking leave without pay (something the poor cannot afford) or simply being terminated for failure to show.

(Yes, I said up to 5 to 6 hours. Remember, you have to locate accessible transportation, which for the poor likely means a bus, and buses run on their own schedules rather than the timing required by customers riding them. Where I live, a bus going anywhere at all comes only once every hour, and that doesn't begin to factor in waiting at a transfer point to leave one bus and board another where such transfers are necessary. Then there's the interminable line at the DMV itself; last time I had to get a new license because I moved from one state to another, I waited a full two hours. The time before that was marginally better: I was out of there in an hour and a half.)

Fearless seems to have it quite right in pointing out that requiring IDs is a solution without a problem.
5.7.2008 2:56pm
Fearless:

Are you suggesting the better way to prevent fraud is video surveillance on all polling places


I don't see a problem with video surveillance at polling places. As long as the ballot remains secret, I do not see a problem. I think it would have about as much of a "chilling effect" as video surveillance at 7-11 does for those who want to buy a Big Gulp.


Blatant category error. Voting fraud (the kind we're talking about here anyway) is an identity crime, not one determined by forensic evidence. The proper comparison is with criminals who engage in identity theft or credit card theft. If you can't challenge and verify the identity of a suspect, how do you expect to catch any criminals in this category?


Again, the issue is not one of apprehension. It is one of detection. We are not even detecting this sort of fraud, indicating that it is not a significant problem. Even if you were not able to find the perpetrator through the descriptions of eyewitnesses at the polling place, you would still detect the fraud.
5.7.2008 2:57pm
philosophystudent:
If someone could link a report stating that no instances of fraud had been observed in Indiana, that would be very useful, I think. So far, all I've seen has been a statement that there's never been a conviction of voter fraud in the state.
5.7.2008 2:59pm
rarango (mail):
Fearless--please make your asinine points without attempting to discern my values let alone criticizing them--I don't need an idiot like to lecture me about values. You are in for a miserable rest of your life unless you can get SCOTUS to reverse their decision. Enjoy it.
5.7.2008 3:00pm
NickM (mail) (www):

The number of people who have been prosecuted for casting fraudulent ballots at the polls is minuscule. And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected. X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. The real Y goes to the polls. X gets caught. If fraudulent voting by people lacking ID was a large problem, these sorts of prosecutions would be much higher.


Thank you for repeating silly dKos talking points.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y died and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y moved away and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y never existed and is a phony registration turned in by someone being paid to register voters. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

This sort of fraud was exposed after-the-fact in the 1993 Miami mayor's race, which was overturned by the courts, but they never identified or caught the people who showed up at the polls claiming to be dead people. It happened, and those criminals got away with it entirely.

And choosing dead registrants allows it to be far easier to prove afterward that fraud happened than choosing phony registrants or those who have moved away, because the government keeps and makes publicly available death records.

You can't enter a federal courthouse or federal building without a picture ID. It seeme to me that some pretty important rights are implicated there.

Nick
5.7.2008 3:00pm
Hoosier:
Fearless--You are loading the dice. No one is "disenfranchised" by this law. (Aside from those who would vote illegally.)

Your constant reference to "basic economics" leaves out--oddly?--that you are speaking entirely of individual CHOICES. If people CHOOSE not to vote for the candidates *you* like because of a small increase in marginal costs, you really should direct your bile at them. Not at Hoosier Republicans. Who's fault is it that your candidates don't inspire these "marginal" voters to get a state ID?

No one is requiring them to swim the length of the Wabash River. Why do they CHOOSE to stay at home on election day? Because they CHOSE not to get an ID? Really, that's a problem that goes much deeper than this law, and that is not causally to it.

"Basic economics": It's about CHOICES.
5.7.2008 3:02pm
The Unbeliever:
I don't see a problem with video surveillance at polling places. As long as the ballot remains secret

Hah. I would love to see the furor when that law gets suggested. But you still have the problem of associating the face with the fraudulent ballot, and video doesn't solve the problem of detecting the fraud in the first place. (Unless you tasked poll workers with taking each ballot, pulling up ID pictures from a database, and searching the faces until they find the person. And if you were going to do that, why not just check the ID in the first place?)

It is one of detection. We are not even detecting this sort of fraud,

Identity theft is normally detected when a financial institution calls the victim to confirm some charges, or when "abnormal" charges are racked up when compared to a sophisticated algorithm analyzing the victim's past purchase history. Assuming a poll worker can't do the same because of a secret ballot, and assuming you're against ID checking at the polling place despite the identity-based nature of voting fraud, how do you propose to ever check if fraud has occurred?
5.7.2008 3:09pm
rarango (mail):
Not that this will do any good in fearless' case, but since s/he took umbrage at my example of photo id to buy beerin TN, I was in NO WAY comparing that to voting. The fact of American life is this: Photo ID is required for many, many things, that a great deal of Americans might regard as rights--eg, I also have to show my photo ID when I get medicare services and here the Dems keep telling me health care is a right. It appears that fearless views the exercise of one's franchise as the preeminent right; sadly, judging by voter turnout in the past 50 years, not all Americans are so inclined.
5.7.2008 3:11pm
Hoosier:
This story of people who are so impoversihed that they cannot get to the DMV to obtain ID is hearbreaking. But is there any evidence that it is a problem? I'm here in Indiana. I live in the core city (four-digit address, so withing walking distance of downtown: Mrs. Hoosier and I refused to play "White Flight.")

I can walk to at least one DMV location. I can walk to the Post Office, where ID can also be obtained. To do so, I would need to walk through neighborhoods that are more down on their luck than the LMC to MC neighborhood I live in. So residents of those areas are nearer than I am to the source of ID.

The people most likely to be cut off from access are the *rural* poor and elderly. They are sometimes a great distance from the nearest DMV or major PO.

Rural Hoosiers? That doesn't seem to be the voting bloc that Fearless wants to get into the polls.
5.7.2008 3:11pm
Fearless:

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y died and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.


This is a real common problem. X knows that Y has died, knows that Y is registered, and has Y's information, and is just dying to cast an extra vote. That sounds like a common scenario.


X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y moved away and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.


This is a real common problem. X knows that Y has moved, knows that Y is registered, and has Y's information, and is just dying to cast an extra vote. That sounds like a common scenario.


X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y never existed and is a phony registration turned in by someone being paid to register voters. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.


The registrar of voters could verify the address of the phony registration from a database of real addresses. Say X uses a real address. When the people who really live at the address show up to vote and the poll workers casually mention that Y already voted today and the real voters say that no Y lives with them, X gets caught.

You want to combat voter fraud? Why don't we rein in absentee ballots. That is where the real fraud is. But Republicans wouldn't like that, because Republicans disproportionately benefit from absentee ballots.

I want to hear Republicans who favor ID requirements also speak up in favor of reining in absentee ballots. By the way, no ID is required in Indiana to vote by absentee ballot.

Why is it that a practically nonexistent form of fraud at the polling place is the target of so much Republican effort. Why not REALLY require everyone to show ID and forbid absentee ballots? I will tell you why. Because eliminating absentee ballots would disproportionately disenfranchise Republican voters.

This isn't about fraud. This is about increasing the marginal cost of voting for those who would tend to vote Democratic.
5.7.2008 3:12pm
Hoosier:
>>>I want to hear Republicans who favor ID requirements also speak up in favor of reining in absentee ballots. By the way, no ID is required in Indiana to vote by absentee ballot.

Why aren't you talking to Hoosier Democrats about this? Lake and Porter Counties have had serious absentee vote fraud issues. And they have NOT been perpetrated by Republicans trying to stuff ballot boxes.

Come to think of it, I think you make a good argument for TIGHTENING ID requirements in this state. I'd better get on the phone to my state rep.
5.7.2008 3:15pm
SeaLawyer:

However, failure to even detect fraud that WOULD typically and naturally be detected is an indication that the fraud is not occurring.


There was nothing in place to even detect fraud before. Even if X came claiming to be Y and voted and Y showed later, there is no reporting system for that. So you can not claim that voter fraud was not taking place, and is not taking place in other states.
5.7.2008 3:15pm
FantasiaWHT:

Due to transaction costs, most people do not sacrifice a significant amount of income to vote. While in theory your time may be worth X, in reality, transaction costs will often prevent you from realizing X as income.


Wait a minute, your whole argument is that it doesn't matter if a burden is substantial, what matters is that even a slight increase in marginal costs will result in fewer votes.

So even if you are only sacrificing a small amount of income to vote, less people are still voting.

So tell me, why aren't you decrying the disenfranchisement of the working classes?
5.7.2008 3:18pm
The Unbeliever:
I want to hear Republicans who favor ID requirements also speak up in favor of reining in absentee ballots. By the way, no ID is required in Indiana to vote by absentee ballot.

Would an independant do? I don't favor "reigning in" absentee ballots en bloc, but there are simple enough ways to prevent absentee ballot fraud that I would like to see implemented alongside ID laws. If we put the two proposals together would you drop your opposition to ID laws, or is this just random tu quoque?
5.7.2008 3:18pm
Fearless:

Rural Hoosiers? That doesn't seem to be the voting bloc that Fearless wants to get into the polls.


That is totally false. I do not want anyone to be disenfranchised. I don't give a damn if they vote for Hillary or vote Republican.

You are also missing another variable besides transportation. That is, getting the proper documents together so an ID can be issued. That is a nontrivial task for those who do not have these documents handy. If you have to request a birth certificate from another state, that costs money and can take weeks to arrive. Getting a social security card when you do not have one handy can be a bit of effort too.

Even when these documents are available, if the only reason you are getting the ID is to vote, then the cost of obtaining the ID is basically a cost of voting. And, as I have mentioned before, if you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it. That is just basic economics.
5.7.2008 3:19pm
KeithK (mail):
Yes, thankfully I'm above poverty level. Even if I assume that it does in fact take 5-6 hours to get a picture ID, we're talking about a 5-6 hours spent on exactly one occasion to get something that is extremely useful for the individual. And it's not like it has to be done at a particular time. Someone who wants to vote in November has SIX months in which to schedule a trip to the DMV or wherever to get that ID. This may be an inconvenience but that's it.

I'm pretty sure there are millions of people living below the poverty line who have managed to get themselves to the DMV to get drivers licenses.
5.7.2008 3:21pm
Watts (mail) (www):
While there's a lot of bashing of Fearless going on here, I think his point about marginal costs is worth taking seriously. While I'm more to the left side of things myself, I didn't see any particular justification for why the requirement to have an ID is so onerous, either. But it doesn't actually have to be that onerous to have a measurable effect, does it? Over the last few years I've gotten to know more friends who, to be blunt about it, are a lot poorer than I am, and they seem to be much more likely to not have a valid form of photo ID. Most of them don't have cars. And for most of them, actually getting a photo ID is not such a simple operation. (More than one of them apparently has had snafus with driver licenses that require a lot of bureaucratic disentangling to fix.)

Having said that, isn't the real issue whether the problem these laws ostensibly solve have a greater cost than the side effect? i.e., is more fraudulent voting stopped than legitimate voting stopped? It seems to me that if the answer is yes, the laws are on balance good, but if the answer is no the laws are on balance bad. From what I can tell, nobody actually has that answer -- and some of the comments here are along the lines of, "Well, we can't know what level of fraud really existed in the first place, so we can't know what level of fraud this is really stopping." Despite my self-identification as "to the left," I've got enough libertarian in me to suspect that a law whose efficacy is apparently untestable is a law that maybe doesn't have any business being on the books.
5.7.2008 3:22pm
SeaLawyer:

That is totally false. I do not want anyone to be disenfranchised. I don't give a damn if they vote for Hillary or vote Republican.


Fraudulent votes are a form of voter disenfranchisement.

Showing ID when you vote is helping to ensure a fair election.
5.7.2008 3:22pm
Fearless:

If we put the two proposals together would you drop your opposition to ID laws, or is this just random tu quoque?


If you put the two together, that would prove that Republicans are actually concerned about fraud, rather than disenfranchising people for partisan advantage. That they propose only one shows what their true motives are.

However, even if the two were combined, I would still be opposed, because I believe that the number of legitimate Democrats and Republicans who would be disenfranchised by combining both proposals would far exceed the amount of fraud that would be eliminated.
5.7.2008 3:24pm
Dan Weber (www):
I'm really disappointed that the Democrats have allowed the Republicans to run away with the issue of "stopping fraudulent voting." When the outside observers sees a group opposed to stopping fraudulent voting, it's not hard to guess what those observers think that group is for.

The fact that the Democrats can get owned like this is why Will Rogers said "I don't belong to any organized political party -- I'm a Democrat!"

If obtaining a picture ID is hard, let's work to make it easier.
5.7.2008 3:25pm
Hoosier:
>>>If you have to request a birth certificate from another state, that costs money and can take weeks to arrive.

People with the lowest incomes are the least likely to move from state to state. So they would be, what, the goup LEAST likely to be affected by this? And college students the MOST likely?

A social security card? Those are not that hard to get, and allow you to do thigs like . . . well, work. Are you sure the people you are talking about would ever come to the polls for anything, ever?

Abnd what I said about rural Hoosiers is not "totally false," even thjough you have claimed that it is so. I never said YOU want to disenfranchise anyone. You have said that large numbers of Republicans in my state want to do so. But you've given only a theoretical argument for the way in which people might choose not to participate. No one is 'disenfranchised'.
5.7.2008 3:27pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Fearless,

By the way, no ID is required in Indiana to vote by absentee ballot.

That's what I thought. On the one hand, that leaves a huge and glaring loophole in Indiana's law that anyone actually interested in preventing election fraud ought to want plugged. On the other hand, it also means that all the allegedly-disfranchised ID-less in Indiana had to do is vote absentee. Problem solved; "marginal cost" (in terms of time taken from work, transportation cost, &c.) almost certainly less than that of voting in person without an ID requirement.

In other words: The law is poorly designed, but it's hard to see how it puts a substantial obstacle in the way of anyone's voting.

Incidentally, what do the opponents of voter ID requirements here think about jury duty? Now there's something that really is a pain in the butt if you're poor and car-less. What's more, it's illegal to shirk it, and even if you have a good case for a hardship exemption, you generally have to make said case in person before the judge — which means the better part of a day lost anyway, certainly as much as you'd lose going (once) to the DMV to get an ID.

(For that matter, as I understand it, most states compile their juror lists from DMV records and voter rolls, so that registering to vote, if you're car-less, entails the additional cost of being called for jury service. Has anyone argued that that is a de facto poll tax? Why not?)
5.7.2008 3:28pm
common sense (www):
Fearless- if we are doing an economic analysis, why does anyone vote at all? As Posner pointed out in his opinion, voting is economically non-sensical. If all these huddled masses are making complex economical calculations about whether to vote, then they aren't going to vote in the first place. That's why a marginal cost analysis really doesn't carry much weight.
5.7.2008 3:28pm
GMS:
I'm still trying to figure out why we would want to encourage people to vote who won't bother to find some time during their lives to make it to the DMV for a free ID. Are we postulating a significant population of people who (i) take elections seriously, (ii) have sufficient information to make an informed choice, (iii) have the ability and desire to travel to the polling place on election day to cast their vote in person, but (iv) somehow cannot manage, during the course of their life, to get to a DMV to have their picture taken for free? Or are we simply talking about people who will only vote if they are not put to any inconvenience? I'm pretty sure that I don't want those people deciding elections.

I have an idea, Fearless. For all those folks who don't have an ID, why don't we just let the Obama campaign send staffers over to their homes to ask them who they want to vote for? Granted, there would still be some small marginal cost to voting, in that the person would have to open the door, and then nod, make a verbal response, or otherwise indicate his or her preference. I know you want to reduce the marginal cost to zero, since anyone who wants to impose any marginal cost on voting is a right-wing racist, but this is the best I can come up with.
5.7.2008 3:29pm
Fearless:

Wait a minute, your whole argument is that it doesn't matter if a burden is substantial, what matters is that even a slight increase in marginal costs will result in fewer votes.

So even if you are only sacrificing a small amount of income to vote, less people are still voting.

So tell me, why aren't you decrying the disenfranchisement of the working classes?


Actually, I think the difference in marginal cost of voting that those earning an hourly wage face versus those who earn a salary is a significant issue.

However, I have not yet thought through the possible policy responses. I do not believe that the government should compensate people to vote, even if they can document that they lost some amount of income due to being paid hourly.

There will always be some cost to voting. Time is a valuable asset. But those costs should be minimized and not unnecessarily increased. Further, one should not artificially increase the costs to one group, while minimizing them for another. That is precisely what has happened in Indiana. Even though the serious fraud occurs with absentee ballots, reforms are aimed at the polling place.
5.7.2008 3:30pm
MartyH (mail):
The magnitude of voter fraud that the ID law prevents is unknowable.

One way to get a handle on it is to follow up with voters after an election cycle. Mail every registered voter a card after the election cycle, asking them to check off which elections they voted in. Cards will fall into four categories:

Returned as undeliverable-voter should be purged from rolls.

Not returned- voter sent two follow-up cards a month apart; failure to return both results in voter casting a provisional ballot at next election.

Returned, reported results consistent with voting records-no action taken

Returned, reported votes inconsistent with voting records-investigate to determine possibility of fraud (or faulty memory). Check signatures on voter sign in sheets vs. those on file.

This would at least give a bound on the scope of the potential fraudulent voting.

I don't know what the costs would be-$2-3 per voter per election cycle? Just doing it once would sure put a lot of this arguing back and forth to bed.
5.7.2008 3:30pm
Fearless:

I'm still trying to figure out why we would want to encourage people to vote who won't bother to find some time during their lives to make it to the DMV for a free ID.


Exhibit A. Someone who is straight out advocating disenfranchisement.

Such scum do exist.
5.7.2008 3:31pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
"No one without an ideological axe to grind really thinks that obtaining a free ID is a substantial burden."


An easy claim, indeed, for someone who enjoys a class position above poverty level (yes, I'm assuming here; just try telling me with a straight face that I'm wrong in that assumption). Or when you don't possess a means of leaving work for up to 5-6 hours at a stretch during the DMV's normal business hours without risking leave without pay (something the poor cannot afford) or simply being terminated for failure to show.


The normal business hours of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles include being open on Saturday and until 7pm on Tuesday. Moreover they have extended hours the day of and the day before the election to enable people to come in and get their IDs.

As far as arranging transportation, buses usually run about every fifteen minutes in metropolitan areas and since this is supposedly about the "disenfranchisement" of likely Democratic voters who tend to be more likely to live in metropolitan areas, that's ample time to catch a bus and go in either early in the morning, at the end of work on Tuesday, on Saturday or earlier or later on the day of or before an election to get your ID.

And for retired people like these nuns who don't have to be at work at all, they have even more time to get to the DMV to get their IDs.
5.7.2008 3:35pm
Hoosier:
Michelle--Well, jury duty is where I see a real problem along racial lines. Black voting in this city is not noticably different from other cities with the same sort of demographic profile.

But JURY DUTY--it has been a big, big problem, if you value the idea of a "jury of one's peers." By which I mean a potential cross-section of the county that runs the court.

Two years ago I was able to see this first-hand, instead of just reading about it in the paper. I was called for jury duty. The crime was drug-dealing. I was dismissed when the defense attorney found that I had "young children in the home." So I am assuming the accused was selling to kids or near a school. Or else dealing from a home with young children.

The accused was black. Of the 51 potential jurors who showed up to compose the pools, TWO were black. I can't say what this did to his chances of conviction or aquital, but that sure doesn't look like a jury of our peers was in the cards. So this strikes me as a real issue.

On the specifics: It made no difference. His attorney was Tony Zirkle, so I'm sure the guy is doing consecutive life-sentences in a Turkish prison right now.

But IN PRINCIPLE, this is upsetting.
5.7.2008 3:36pm
Fearless:

I know you want to reduce the marginal cost to zero, since anyone who wants to impose any marginal cost on voting is a right-wing racist, but this is the best I can come up with.


There will always be some marginal cost to voting.

However, the fact is that Republicans have chosen to increase that cost for one group (those currently lacking ID) while it remains constant for another group (those currently possessing ID) all the while ignoring the 100-pound gorilla in the room where the real voter fraud occurs, absentee ballots.

Why should we even allow absentee ballots? If Republicans who disproportionately use absentee ballots are too lazy to bother to go to the polls, I am not sure I want them voting. At least according to your logic.

Absentee ballots don't do anything, except for decrease the marginal cost of voting. But guess what. You want to know where the real fraud is? In absentee ballots.

I don't see the Republicans in Indiana rushing to abolish absentee ballots in order to combat this fraud. I guess keeping marginal costs low makes sense, as long is disproportionately enables Republican voters to cast their ballots.
5.7.2008 3:38pm
Hoosier:
I'm still trying to figure out why we would want to encourage people to vote who won't bother to find some time during their lives to make it to the DMV for a free ID.


Exhibit A. Someone who is straight out advocating disenfranchisement.

Such scum do exist.


Not encouraging = Preventing?

I don't want to BAN internet porn. But I'm not going to link websites on my homepage either.

I think you need to look up "disenfrachisement"
5.7.2008 3:38pm
GMS:
Oh, and get rid of absentee ballots too, at least for those people who are in the state on election day. Make everybody show up in person. I'm all for increasing the marginal costs of voting to weed out those people who don't take voting seriously.
5.7.2008 3:39pm
Fearless:

As far as arranging transportation, buses usually run about every fifteen minutes in metropolitan areas and since this is supposedly about the "disenfranchisement" of likely Democratic voters who tend to be more likely to live in metropolitan areas, that's ample time to catch a bus and go in either early in the morning, at the end of work on Tuesday, on Saturday or earlier or later on the day of or before an election to get your ID.


That is funny. I never heard any Democrats say that disenfranchised rural voters do not matter. Can you say straw man.
5.7.2008 3:40pm
Fearless:

Oh, and get rid of absentee ballots too, at least for those people who are in the state on election day. Make everybody show up in person. I'm all for increasing the marginal costs of voting to weed out those people who don't take voting seriously.


At least you are consistent. If only the Republicans in Indiana were likewise consistent.
5.7.2008 3:41pm
Dan Weber (www):
You want to combat voter fraud? Why don't we rein in absentee ballots. That is where the real fraud is. But Republicans wouldn't like that, because Republicans disproportionately benefit from absentee ballots.

Then take up the cause. Once you get a block of people together pushing through "we want to stop absentee ballot fraud," there's no way someone could oppose you without looking like total jackasses.

There was nothing in place to even detect fraud before. Even if X came claiming to be Y and voted and Y showed later, there is no reporting system for that. So you can not claim that voter fraud was not taking place, and is not taking place in other states.

Back when Massachusetts used paper reporting, they checked off each person's name as they voted. So they did have a mean of detecting fraud. (Although I'm sure if they would've had a means of following it up; and the way their books were set up, I could easily glance over the sheet and claim to be "Joe Smith" who hasn't been checked off yet. Computers have ameliorated these issues.)
5.7.2008 3:41pm
The Unbeliever:
Exhibit A. Someone who is straight out advocating disenfranchisement.

Uh, no. Libertarian and anarcho-capitalist fantasies aside, a government has to have some minimal contact with the governed. Whether it's via census taker, or tax collection, or whatever; there is a minimal expectation that your government knows you exist, or still exist. Requiring someone to visit the DMV (or tax collector or county clerk) once in their life, or even once every 10 years or so, is not an onerous burden for citizenship.

I haven't set foot in a DMV for 11 years, but all my IDs are up to date. I even picked up a new state ID by mail for a measly $3 last month. Indiana may have different rules, but calling someone "scum" because they don't agree with your assessment of costs is just plain silly.
5.7.2008 3:43pm
Brett Bellmore:
Do the (primarilly) Republicans enacting these measures have bad motives? Probably. And most campaign regulations are, 'corruption' be damned, intended to make life hard on challengers. So what? The question was whether these laws were constitutional, not whether the people enacting them had clean consciences.

If the only laws on the books were the ones which were enacted from pure motives, the law books would be pretty sparse reading. And, come to think of it, we'd be better off. But seeing to that isn't the judiciary's job.
5.7.2008 3:44pm
SIG357:
Even though the serious fraud occurs with absentee ballots, reforms are aimed at the polling place.


To take a leaf from the liberal playbook, what concrete evidence is there that absentee voting is rife with fraud? How many people have been convicted of this crime?
5.7.2008 3:46pm
GMS:
I'm still trying to figure out why we would want to encourage people to vote who won't bother to find some time during their lives to make it to the DMV for a free ID.

Exhibit A. Someone who is straight out advocating disenfranchisement.

Such scum do exist.


I'm honored to be called scum by someone whose definition of "disenfranchised" is "can't be bothered." Perhaps "scum" is a compliment in his world. My question, however, remains unanswered -- why do we want these people to vote? Are we likely to get a more informed outcome because of their votes?

PS -- Oh, to preempt possible responses, "a$$hole," "d*&%^bag," "fascist," and the like are not really answers.
5.7.2008 3:47pm
SIG357:
Why don't we rein in absentee ballots. That is where the real fraud is. But Republicans wouldn't like that


Can you provide any evidence that Republicans wouldn't like that, or is this simply you projecting again?
5.7.2008 3:49pm
Hoosier:
GMS--Would "sweatbeatle-dickweed" be acceptable as a rebutal?
5.7.2008 3:49pm
SIG357:
Fearless seems to have it quite right in pointing out that requiring IDs is a solution without a problem.



The fact that it's not a problem for the Democratic party is not the same thing as saying there is no problem.
5.7.2008 3:52pm
Dan Weber (www):
People with the lowest incomes are the least likely to move from state to state. So they would be, what, the goup LEAST likely to be affected by this? And college students the MOST likely?

In my experience, the young and poor tend to move around a lot. Which is good, because it lets them move to where the jobs are.

The costs involved with obtaining the needed documentation are at issue, and we shouldn't dismiss them just because Fearless said it.

I can certainly think of alternatives to requiring photo ID. I think that voter registration should basically give you a "ticket" that you need to bring to the voting booth and sign in person in order to gain admission. If my state were to pursue a voter-ID law, I would encourage my representatives to follow this route.
5.7.2008 3:54pm
FantasiaWHT:
MartyH, Wisconsin does something very similar with provisional ballots. The number of undeliverable cards (these were all somebody who had voted, and their votes were all counted) was in the thousands in Milwaukee. The margin for John Kerry (or maybe it was Gore, I forget which one) was less than 5,000 votes.
5.7.2008 3:56pm
Pliny, the Elder (mail):
The simppe solution is to use universal vote by mail with a mandatory death sentence for voter fraud. Since there is no voter fraud, no one could find this objectionable. (If there is voter fraud, recidivism is minimized.)
5.7.2008 3:56pm
Pliny, the Elder (mail):
I meant "simple".
5.7.2008 3:57pm
SIG357:
The fact that this law does not address every possible source of vote fraud is not a sign that it should be scrapped, but that it should be strengthened.


For instance


"Department investigation into the November 2004 General Election in the city of Milwaukee states that a number of problems occurred in the handling of record keeping for the election.

The 67-page report, conducted by the MPD's Special Investigations Unit, includes areas of double voter entries, un-entered absentee ballots, 220 felons voting, and the actions of election inspectors.

The majority of the issues cited in the report seem to be record keeping issues, which makes the possibility for voter fraud that much greater.

The report indicates 5,300 more ballots were cast than voters recorded, and it cites 1,305 unenterable on-site registration cards in Milwaukee as a possible reason for this voter gap.

Some of the onsite cards didn't have addresses in Milwaukee. Some weren't signed, and some didn't even have names.

The task force says it believes one way to eliminate the possibility for fraud, or the appearance of fraudulent voting, is to eliminate on-site or same-day voter registration all together, or government-issued identification like a photo ID or social security card."

5.7.2008 3:58pm
SP:
Do Democrats think it is tenable politically to keep asserting that minorities are too stupid to have something as basic as an ID? How do they drive? Buy beer? Get loans? Use credit cards?
5.7.2008 3:58pm
GMS:
GMS--Would "sweatbeatle-dickweed" be acceptable as a rebutal?

Depends on the tone, I suppose. Under some circumstances, I could see it as unflattering.
5.7.2008 4:01pm
SIG357:
The costs involved with obtaining the needed documentation are at issue

No, not really. The costs are inconsequential. If we're going to get hung up on the cost of ID, we should also mandate that the government provide everyone free transport to their voting place. After all, it costs money to get around. And some people may not be able to take time off work to vote, so election day should be a paid holiday for everyone.
5.7.2008 4:02pm
Brett Bellmore:
If I had my way, they'd fingerprint you when you cast your vote. And reserve absentee ballots for real hardship cases, having for them electionmobiles with portable voting booths, election challengers, the whole voting mechanism, going around from one absentee voter after another.

The whole absentee ballot system seems practically designed to circumvent all the safeguards set up around in person voting, including the secret ballot.

"My question, however, remains unanswered -- why do we want these people to vote? Are we likely to get a more informed outcome because of their votes?"

I've noticed that there are two schools of thought where voting is concerned. One views the purpose of voting as selecting government officials and setting policy, and regards the uninformed vote as an undesirable source of 'noise' in the system. The other views voting as a kind of secular sacrement, where participation is the whole point, and the quality of the outcome is at best secondary.

Naturally, the latter school of thought values the votes of people who don't get interested in the election until election day, and who haven't got a clue about the candidates and issues. They may be ignorant, but at least they're voting.
5.7.2008 4:03pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Can you provide any evidence that Republicans wouldn't like that, or is this simply you projecting again?


I think it's a fine idea to require that someone who asks for an absentee ballot to produce a valid photo ID to the clerk to check against the information on the application. I can't recall if the clerk asked to see it when I last voted absentee (2002 which was a bit of a hassle as the ballots were changed after I voted) but as a matter of habit, I always keep my driver's license ready whenever I'm paying with a credit card or signing any sort of official document.

Come to think of it, I don't know anyone who opposes such a measure but I suspect the reason it hasn't been made into law yet is that the people who keep bringing it up don't really care about it either, they just want it as an excuse to justify opposing requiring a photo ID for people who vote in person.
5.7.2008 4:04pm
karrde (mail) (www):

Please let's be honest about a few things concerning this controversy:

1) No one without an ideological axe to grind or otherwise immune to facts thinks that voter fraud of the kind the IN statute was ostensibly designed to prevent is a significant problem.


Thales, I have served as an election inspector in two different municipalities in the State of Michigan.

I don't necessarily think that the kind of vote fraud dealt with by this law is a significant problem in the cities I worked in. But I know that it could have been a big problem in certain other cities in the State.

The fact that such fraud is incredibly easy when voters were not required to show picture ID is what causes me to support
such ID laws.

In one of the municipalities I worked in, I saw a political party operative who had full access to the list of people who had voted. He would call people from his Party who hadn't showed up yet.

I was new to that town, so I had no idea if the people he encouraged to come in actually were the people that they claimed to be. At the time, we could request ID but the voter could legally refuse to show ID and still vote. If they could fill out a document with a Name/Birthdate/Address that matched a listing in the Qualified Voter List, then we had to let them vote.

This particular sequence of events scared me. I had no way of knowing whether or not I was witnessing voter fraud. Thankfully, there were no other indications of fraud.

However, this is one reason that I suspect that the Indiana laws (and similar laws elsewhere) will make fraudulent voting much harder. I support such efforts; I also support efforts to make sure that absentee voting is done properly.

Does this make me a person with an ideological axe to grind?

I don't care whether the problem is significant or not. I do care that it was easy earlier, and is much harder now.
5.7.2008 4:17pm
GMS:
Brett -- As a matter of theory, I think you're spot on in describing the two schools of thought. I fall in with the first class -- although everyone should have the right to vote (since they will be affected by the result), there should be some minimal level of inconvenience involved to weed out the extremely blase.

As a practical matter, however, I think most people who want to lower "obstacles" to voting do so for tactical reasons, because they think they have a pretty good idea how the "new" voters will vote. They don't want to increase participation, they want to increase participation for their side. Mock outrage at "disenfranchisement" is merely a helpful tool.
5.7.2008 4:22pm
Brian K (mail):

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y died and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y moved away and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y never existed and is a phony registration turned in by someone being paid to register voters. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.


all of these can be prevented by maintaining more accurate voter roles. voter ID is not needed to prevent any of these.
5.7.2008 4:26pm
SIG357:
all of these can be prevented by maintaining more accurate voter roles. voter ID is not needed to prevent any of these.

Voter ID is needed to maintain more accurate voter rolls.
5.7.2008 4:28pm
SIG357:
No one without an ideological axe to grind or otherwise immune to facts thinks that voter fraud of the kind the IN statute was ostensibly designed to prevent is a significant problem.

So what kind of voter fraud was it "ostensibly" designed to prevent?

After you answer that, perhaps you can explain how you know that it is not a significant problem.
5.7.2008 4:31pm
Wahoowa:
I would support the videotape &fingerprint law if it means (as I think it might, seeing as how they all think your social security card is the mark of the beast) less Ron Paul nuts disturbing my day.
5.7.2008 4:41pm
rarango (mail):

This appears to be such a contentious issue we should let the Supreme Court rule on it. Oh, wait...6 to 3 as I recall.
5.7.2008 4:44pm
Raoul Ortega (mail):
If voting by mail/absentee were free of fraud, Dino Rossi would be running for re-election for governor of Washington as the incumbent.
5.7.2008 4:58pm
Smokey:
Fearless:

IANAR [I am not a Republican], but your comment:
"I know that doesn't matter to elitist scum Republicans..."
...is a little bit over the top. Anyone who denies that there is rampant voter fraud in parts of the country is either being mendacious or foolish. It is doubtful that the SC would have ruled as they did, if they truly believed that voter fraud is a nonexistent problem.
5.7.2008 4:59pm
Federal Dog:
"The number of people disenfranchised is certainly much higher than the number of fraudulent votes prevented."

Are we supposed to be convinced by an anonymous poster with an obvious political agenda pulling unsupported assertions out of thin air?
5.7.2008 5:02pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
The claim I challenged: "The number of people disenfranchised is certainly much higher than the number of fraudulent votes prevented."

The response:
"The number of people who have been prosecuted for casting fraudulent ballots at the polls is minuscule. And it is not as if this sort of behavior would go undetected."

It is precisely the case that this sort of behavior goes undetected. Let me parse your scenario; in summary, your scenario is only one of many ways in-person vote fraud plays out.

"X goes to the polls claiming to be Y."

Granted: this is the only way requiring ID at the polls can help.

"The real Y goes to the polls."

Here you assume the worst sort of vote fraud, the one that not only casts a fraudulent vote, it also steals a legitimate one. Essentially, this fraud counts twice.

There are other types we've explained to you: simple fraudulent registration, voting for a willing accomplice, voting for the deceased, voting for a recently relocated person. All can be detected, but the resources required to detect them are considerable and require intergovernmental cooperation. All of them (contra a recent post) are simple to pull off -- for example, finding who has recently deceased is easy, simply look in the obits. In particular, if you run the city government doing all of these is a cakewalk.

"X gets caught."

Nonsense. There's little chance the perpetrator would ever get caught; the only evidence is the forged signature, and odds are that the 'forgery' is transparent (i.e. the person simply scrawled some words, not an actual signature).

"So. We know we have a situation where we have practically no fraud occurring."

Again, the situation is that we see only second-order evidence of such fraud -- an occasional person complaining that they were unable to vote (but no mechanism to correct that, after all, what could be done?), an occasional impossibly high vote total (even most large-scale fraud won't leave that kind of tracks, since actual voting isn't close to 100% of registered voters)... Who can tell?

"On the other hand, we do know from economics that when you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it. If you increase the marginal cost of voting, you will get less voting."

[parody of="Fearless", postID="12:48pm", smilingWhenISayThis="yes"]I know you Democrats hate economists.[/parody]

Marginal costs aren't relevant in this situation. Marginal cost is the change in total cost when the amount produced changes by one unit. It costs no more for me to go to the polls even if thousands of others do -- so we're not talking about marginal cost.

What you're actually concerned about is the profitability of voting: the value derived from voting minus the cost of voting. You're reasonably concerned that requiring ID raises the cost of voting, but you're totally ignoring that requiring ID also increases the return on voting, since it's not diluted by an unknown and unknowable amount; it also reassures the voter in a very immediate way that *this* vote is undiluted (as opposed to a law that somehow statistically reduced the incidence of vote fraud, perhaps by prosecuting it after the fact).

So it's NOT clear that requiring ID reduces the incentive to vote. It might, it might not.

-Wm
5.7.2008 5:06pm
NickM (mail) (www):

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y died and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y moved away and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y never existed and is a phony registration turned in by someone being paid to register voters. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.



all of these can be prevented by maintaining more accurate voter roles. voter ID is not needed to prevent any of these.


You don't work on campaigns much, do you?

While dead voters can be eliminated in most cases by proper use of the Social Security death tapes by the registrar, I have seen far too many incidences of dead voters remaining on the rolls to think that the problem would just go away by making the existing system work better.

Motor-Voter's provisions regarding reregistration when a postal change of address is filed are a huge problem in this area. If your personal representative or executor files a change of address for your mail after you die, this information from the post office is quite likely to arrive at the registrar and be used to update your registration before the death record arrives - and since the death record will no longer match the name and address of a registrant, the decedent stays on the rolls (at a new address).

If there is a misspelling on your voter registration (happens in about 1%-2% of registrations), your death record will not match either.

If you happen to die outside the U.S., you can almost forget getting the registration removed.

As for people who moved away, Motor-Voter was designed to deal with this problem by using postal records to update voter registration records. However, if the name listed on the postal records is not a perfect match to the name listed on voter registration records (nicknames/short forms of names, listing only last name or one member of a household's name, etc. on the postal form), the old registrations will remain. For people who get their mail at a P.O. Box or PMB, a move in the same geographic area may not even cause a postal record change to be sent to the registrar. And then there are the people who don't file a change-of-address form with the post office.

As for phony registrations, other than striking registrations when election materials come back undeliverable, what are you proposing that the registrars do? Are you asking them to have an investigative task force to ensure registrations are real, and budgeting for it?


Nick
5.7.2008 5:08pm
Ken Arromdee:
Republicans want to make it more difficult for these Democratic voters to get to the polls, knowing that ID problems affect Democratic voters much more than Republican voters.

Of course Republicans are doing this to get rid of Democratic voters, but what you're ignoring is that fraudulent voters are also disproportionately Democratic. So this can be a self-interested measure by Republicans to prevent Democrat votes, yet remain completely legitimate.
5.7.2008 5:13pm
Anonymous Tennessee Resident:
To Fearless, Tony et al:
Tennessee does require package beer sales (supermarkets, conveniance stores) to check ID for every sale, regardless of how old the customer appears. WaPo article here: http://tinyurl.com/5qol9r. Citation is Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 57-5-301(a)(1)(A).
5.7.2008 5:27pm
NickM (mail) (www):

X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y died and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.



This is a real common problem. X knows that Y has died, knows that Y is registered, and has Y's information, and is just dying to cast an extra vote. That sounds like a common scenario.


It is. And campaign organizations, which have time, resources, and motivation, have gotten involved in doing it in elections around the country.


X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y moved away and is still on the voter rolls. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.



This is a real common problem. X knows that Y has moved, knows that Y is registered, and has Y's information, and is just dying to cast an extra vote. That sounds like a common scenario.


It is. And campaign organizations, which have time, resources, and motivation, have gotten involved in doing it in elections around the country.

You could try reading Larry Sabato and Glenn Simpson's book Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics.


X goes to the polls claiming to be Y. Y never existed and is a phony registration turned in by someone being paid to register voters. Y will not be showing up. X therefore will not be caught.



The registrar of voters could verify the address of the phony registration from a database of real addresses. Say X uses a real address. When the people who really live at the address show up to vote and the poll workers casually mention that Y already voted today and the real voters say that no Y lives with them, X gets caught.


Ha ha ha. Poll workers casually mention? That's a good one. Never mind that you can do phony registrations at real addresses where no actual voters live, at addresses where the real voters vote absentee, at apartment complexes or residential hotels, at fictitious granny units, with the same last name as the real voter, etc. if you were even remotely worried that poll workers might ask.


You want to combat voter fraud? Why don't we rein in absentee ballots. That is where the real fraud is. But Republicans wouldn't like that, because Republicans disproportionately benefit from absentee ballots.

I want to hear Republicans who favor ID requirements also speak up in favor of reining in absentee ballots. By the way, no ID is required in Indiana to vote by absentee ballot.


I'm in favor of greatly tighening the requirements for an absentee ballot. There just aren't any laws recently put into place to do that, primarily because Motor-Voter BANNED states from tightening their absentee ballot application rules. That was a law passed through Congress by Democrats on a basically partisan basis in 1993 and signed into law by a Democrat.

There was 0 chance, even when there was a GOP majority in both houses of Congress and a GOP President, that a repeal of that part of Motor-Voter would have made it through a filibuster.

I'll focus on the acheivable, not the impossible.


Why is it that a practically nonexistent form of fraud at the polling place is the target of so much Republican effort. Why not REALLY require everyone to show ID and forbid absentee ballots? I will tell you why. Because eliminating absentee ballots would disproportionately disenfranchise Republican voters.


Eliminating absentee ballots would take first an act of Congress and second an act of state law. The first is not going to happen, and your party would oppose it virtually unanimously at the federal level. That's why.


This isn't about fraud. This is about increasing the marginal cost of voting for those who would tend to vote Democratic.


Strangely enough, most of the states involved did not have a free ID provision before they passed voter ID laws.

Seems to me that they decreased the effective [marginal is the wrong word, as was explained by another commenter] cost of all sorts of other activities that require a photo ID.

Nick
5.7.2008 5:33pm
Marc W:
Watts wrote: "While there's a lot of bashing of Fearless going on here..."

Actually, I think the tone taken toward "Fearless" has been remarkably civil. That is, considering that from the getgo his/her position has been that anyone who disagrees is evil and intent on disenfranchising people. Somehow he/she refuses to consider the possibility that there are people of good conscience who disagrees with him/her.
5.7.2008 5:37pm
pete (mail) (www):

I can certainly think of alternatives to requiring photo ID. I think that voter registration should basically give you a "ticket" that you need to bring to the voting booth and sign in person in order to gain admission. If my state were to pursue a voter-ID law, I would encourage my representatives to follow this route.


This is basically how it works in Texas (or at least in my county). When you register they mail a voting card to your address that you are supposed to sign. Each year they mail a new card printed on different color paper stock with the date printed on it to reduce potential fraud. You can either bring that card or a photo ID to the polling place. Before you vote you sign in and they enter into a database that you have voted and that prevents double voting by the same person.

We also get to vote at any early voting polling place in the county in the two weeks before the election, although on election day itself you have to go to your specific polling place.
5.7.2008 5:37pm
MLS:
Just out of curiosity given the problems for Democrats in the Florida and Michigan primaries, why on Earth are we even referring to the process of parties selecting candidates for a general election as "primary elections"?

Each party is a private organization with its own rules concerning how it will select a candidate to carry forward its banner in a general election. If a party's rules so provided, it could select a candidate by throwing darts at a dartboard, playing a game of 9 ball, shooting basketballs from 3 point range, mud wrestling, etc.

This being the case, then perhaps someone can elaborate on why it is just fine under law to use taxpayer dollars to fund what it otherwise a private activity.
5.7.2008 5:42pm
SIG357:
"I know that doesn't matter to elitist scum Republicans..."

Although the Democrats are still living off their outdated self-image from the 1930's, the fact is that they are the party of the elites, scummy or otherwise.



See for yourself.



"Through May 1, the Democratic presidential field has suctioned up a cool $5.7 million from the more than 4,000 donors who list their occupation as "CEO." The Republicans' take was only $2.3 million. Chief financial officers, general counsels, directors, and chief information officers also break the Democrats' way by more than two-to-one margins. The Democrats' advantage among "presidents" is a less dramatic but still significant $7.2 million to $6.1 million. And this isn't new: In 2004 all but one of these categories of top corporate officers broke just as dramatically for the Democrats, the "presidents" being the exception.

Republicans do somewhat better further down the corporate food chain, but still lose the competition for contributions from executive vice presidents, vice presidents, and managers.

Wall Street firms, long a symbol of American elite accomplishment, also tilt decisively toward the Democrats. Employees in storied Wall Street institutions such as Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley have all favored the Democratic field by a large margin. Even both sides of the recent Bear Stearns/JP Morgan Chase deal choose Democratic candidates over Republicans by two-to-one margins."





Of course, McCain and Bush are not the working mans friend either, but that's simply a sign of their political cluelessness. As they watch the elites pour money into the Democratic party, they figure that the way to cut in on that action is to out-liberal the liberals.
No politican in this country wants to go grubbing for mere votes, when there's money to be had instead.
5.7.2008 5:50pm
rarango (mail):
TN Resident: Precisely--I made that point to Fearless and had my values challenged. As a matter of course, when visiting my local Memphis grocery store, I now ask the clerks if they would rather see my medicare card--alas, no photo ID on it. Its a minor inconvenience. just as it is a minor inconvenience for voting, IMO.
5.7.2008 5:55pm
Mac (mail):
Tony wrote:



I finally had to show ID the other day, paying for a couple of DVD's by credit card in a record store. First time in years -- I literally cannot remember the last time.

Tony, you either don't get out very much or live in a remarkably crime free area. Everyone at our local Wal-Mart (pop.40,000) gets carded when they buy booze or tobacco even if they look as old as Methusala. Many businesses are carding every time a credit card is used for any purchase. Almost all businesses card for a check. I believe, but don't know for sure that a food stamp card requires an ID certainly to obtain and, I believe, to use. All bars card anyone who even remotely looks to be under 26.

At Phoenix Sky-Harbor, all bars card everyone. As these bars are past the security check in points, the sometimes used excuse of, "I forgot my ID" is particularly amusing to the wait staff.

I am now having my 20.00 bills checked for authenticity, but am not carded, I will admit. It is nice where I live, but it must be really, really nice where you live or, as I said before, you must not get out much.

You also need ID to get Welfare, Disability, Unemployment, Veteran's health care or benefits (even if you are a homeless Vet), Social Security and on and on. I have to show my driver's license to be able to use my insurance card at all Dr.'s offices and lab's etc, now. I am sure that anyone on Access or Medicaid would also have to show ID. These are poor people. No one seems to object to this and health care must be at least as important as voting, I would think.

Feerless,

5,000 phony voter registrations by ACORN in K.C. Mo. in 2004. Elections that year were very close there.
100% eligible voter registration in Philly and ever increasing voter registration roles despite the fact that Philly is losing population. Does anyone really believe that 100% of all eligible voters register and vote?
500 absentee ballots found in a very close Senate race between Thune and, Daschal, I think it was. The Dem won. ( Thune won the next election as the Republicans took a very active role in stopping voter fraud.) All 500 were on an Indian reservation and were all for Daschal. 200 absentee votes found on Indian reservation in AZ. All 200 voted Democrat.

Washington State Governor's race decided for the Dem after 2 machine recounts (acknowledged by all election experts to be the most reliable and accurate way of recounting) went for the Republican and a hand count went for the Dem even though there were at least 200 more votes cast than there were registered voters.

You'd best rethink your desire of stronger anti- fraud laws re absentee ballots. Seems that the Dem's are all over that one, too, when it comes to fraud.


And, you had best not move to Arizona. Here we, the voters, passed a Voter ID law that our Governor, Janet Napolitano, had vetoed in the State Legislature. We have often wondered why Janet vetoed it. Could it have anything to do with a high number of illegals voting?

Here your have to now show proof of US citizenship when you first register to vote. You then must show a photo ID with an address that matches your voter registration records. If you have moved and not changed your driver's license address you must show 2 other forms of ID to prove you are who you say you are, i.e. a bank statement and utility billing at what you say is your current address, in your name, dated within 90 days of voting. I worked the polls the last two elections and had no one who could not vote. Some had to go home and come back with proper ID, but everyone who wanted to vote, did. We also have Provisional ballots giving you 10 days to get to the election commission to prove you are who you say you are and live where you say you live. I don't know if it is proof of voter fraud or not, but some of these voters are never heard from again.

Here, all absentee ballots have a signature card included which must be signed. The signature on the card is then checked against the signature on the registration form, which is completed in person. If it does not match, the voter is contacted if at all possible. Otherwise, the vote does not count. The commission mails out ballots so, one would think, that would eliminate phony addresses, at least.

Historians seem to acknowledge that between Daley (sp?) in Chicago and Johnson in Texas, Kennedy stole the 1960 election from Nixon. I was a rabid Kennedy supporter, but looking at the evidence, have to agree that they did. Well. you don't have to, but it seems pretty widely accepted that there was massive fraud.

Dennis Kasinisch seemed quite certain that Hillary had robbed Obama through voter fraud of a victory in New Hampshire and demanded a recount. Haven't heard any more about it, though. He's a Dem and certainly believes it is quite possible to have voter fraud.

More proof? Every time a Republican beats a Dem in a close race, the Democrats scream voter fraud. In most worlds, you can't have it both ways.


Why voter ID laws? Because it gives the people confidence that the election is fair and accurate and that their vote has not been taken away by someone else. Confidence in the election process is vital to a Democracy.
5.7.2008 7:20pm
whit:
"More likely, because they did not have transportation to the DMV. Or extra time to go to the DMV. Or access to documents needed to demonstrate identity to the DMVs satisfaction. "

in 3 years? spare me. that's how long the law has been in effect.


"You can argue against basic economics all you want whit, but I think you should stick to law enforcement, which is more your forte."

spare me the crap. you have no idea what i know of economics. fwiw, i make my INCOME trading index futures. law enforcement is my career, but trading is how i spend my free time. like that matters.

" If you increase the marginal cost of something, you get less of it. Period."

i don't disagree with that. so frigging what?

anybody who wanted to get an ID in 3 frigging years could have gotten one. yes, it takes MORE effort than not getting an id. so does getting out of bed in the morning, or anything else we CHOOSE to do.

but that's really not the point.

i think it's perfectly reasonable (and the law is all about reasonableness) to say - want to vote, show an ID.

it does help prevent fraud, however prevalent (or not) fraud is. it does help promote confidence in the system (as noted above... good point).

in brief, it is NOT too much to ask.

does it disproportionately affect democrats? most certainly. minorities? sure. some of them. so what?

the above point about kennedy is good, too :)

it's also frankly a little paternalistic (classic liberal bigotry of low expectations) that those poor besotted minorities are just incapable of GETTING A FRIGGING ID.

spare me.
5.7.2008 7:35pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
Quoting myself: "Marginal costs aren't relevant in this situation. Marginal cost is the change in total cost when the amount produced changes by one unit."

WARNING! Snark ahead!

It occurs to me that "marginal cost" may be precisely what Democrats are concerned about... If, all things considered, it costs more to vote twice than it does to vote once, the Democratic voters might content themselves with one vote per person, which just might put Democratic politicians out of work.
5.7.2008 7:51pm
Smokey:
Following this election cycle, it would be interesting to study the number of provisional ballots in which the voter claimed that he/she did not have the resources to obtain a photo ID.

Since the provisional voter supports a particular candidate, that candidate's campaign workers would make certain that the voter's provisional ballot was counted by assisting them in obtaining a photo ID.

My guess is that the argument that some folks are totally unable to vote due to lacking a photo ID is bogus. So looking at the results of provisional voting would tend to show who's right and who's wrong concerning the "disenfranchised voter" argument.
5.7.2008 8:53pm
George Smith (mail):
Everybody is trying to "make a point" to Fearless. I think that's kind of a low percentage play. I just haven't heard a good, snarkless argument why (i) one should not have to be a citizen to register to vote, and (ii) one should not have to show that he/she is whom he/she says he/she is in order to cast a vote. I'll keep my own pet conspiracy theories to myself.
5.7.2008 9:03pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Not everyone believes that Indiana is fraud free: History of corruption clouds primary in northern Indiana
5.7.2008 9:50pm
Mac (mail):
Mac (me) wrote


If you have moved and not changed your driver's license address you must show 2 other forms of ID to prove you are who you say you are, i.e. a bank statement and utility billing at what you say is your current address, in your name, dated within 90 days of voting.

That could have been a bit more clear. Your current address in AZ must match your voter registration address. We are not required by law to change our address on our driver's license when we move, just our vehicle registration address. Ergo, if you have moved, registered at that address and not changed your driver's license, you must show 2 other proofs that you live at your voter registration address. If you can't, you can still vote a provisional ballot and have 10 days to go provide proof that you are who you say you are and live where your voter registration says you live. If you want your vote to count, that does not seem to me to be too much of a burden to ensure a fair and honest election. Hope that clears up any confusion I may have created.

By the way, the Supreme Court upheld our Voter ID Law, proof of citizenship requirement and all. Also, remember, this was done by a referendum put on the ballot by the people. This was not done by politicians.
5.7.2008 10:16pm
Jim Miller (mail) (www):
It's not just "evil" Republicans who think that voter IDs are a good idea. So does the Guardian newspaper in Britain. And they quoted Labour MPS (anonymously) admitting that Labour has kept the vote system vulnerable to fraud because Labour benefits from vote fraud.

I await with interest, but not bated breath, Fearless's explanation for the Guardian's strange ideas.
5.7.2008 11:34pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
I wrote:


I wonder how many minorities we don't know about were unable to vote because they could not get ID. Probably more than 22,000, the number of votes Hillary won by.


Leroy Washington responded:


Minority people aren't like you, are they? You can't expect them to do all the stuff you do, simple stuff like register to vote. You can't expect that of brown people. They're just not capable. As far as you're concerned brown people are like children, or monkeys


I was being facetious Leroy. because for years all we heard about were how minorities were disenfranchised. Yet, hardly anyone pointed out how racist that attitude was. I enjoyed your response because it was exaclty what I was hoping to get.
5.8.2008 2:52am
Mac (mail):
Brian G wrote:
I was being facetious Leroy. because for years all we heard about were how minorities were disenfranchised. Yet, hardly anyone pointed out how racist that attitude was. I enjoyed your response because it was exaclty what I was hoping to get.

Huh? Are they giving lessons in college these days on how to NOT answer an argument? How to just cast aspersions on those with whom you disagree and never, ever have to answer the actual point of the argument? How nice it must be to have such a facetious answer at hand at all times. Saves a lot of mental energy that would otherwise have to go into thinking.
5.8.2008 3:00am
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
Mac, it looks like Brian is trying to agree with Leroy, in an odd way. Brian, your posts don't make any kind of coherent sense -- each one seems to advocate a completely different point of view, none of them are obviously humorous on their own, and none of them are obvious parodies. Note that "facetiousness" should go hand in hand with humor.

If you were merely providing the straight line for a devastating response, congrats on getting it... But please note that this is also known as a "straw man". Never mind the fact that it appears to be an entirely accepted opposition point... :-)
5.8.2008 12:33pm
Mac (mail):
William,

Perhaps you are right. I am not able to think in the necessary circles, I guess, to figure all this out. I appreciate your assistance.
5.8.2008 11:29pm